Midtown Detroit

The Carr Center presents Rufus Reid at Noel Night


Due to the sudden and unfortunate death of Sharon Jones this past Friday, November 18, Noel Night will be cancelling its scheduled performances that would have featured Miss Jones and the Dap Kings at the First Congregational Church (33 E. Forest) at 8:00 and 9:15 p.m. HERE is a lovely article that recalls Miss Jones last days.

Rufus Reid

Rufus Reid

Noel Night is now working with The Carr Center of Detroit who will present Grammy-nominated jazz bassist Rufus Reid performing with the Michigan State University Jazz Orchestra I at 9:00-10:00 p.m. at the First Congregational Church. Mr. Reid is the Michigan State University Federal Credit Union jazz artist in residence. The Michigan State University Jazz Orchestra I will also be performing excerpts from Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn’s arrangements of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite. 

Rufus Reid
For much of his life, Rufus has performed with multiple generations of our legends of jazz. Several years ago he became a bandleader and composer. This latest release, Quiet Pride – The Elizabeth Catlett Project is a five movement, hour-long suite for a 20-piece orchestra. This composition is different from anything Rufus has written before. Rufus continues to step out of his box, out of his comfort zone. This composition was the result of the generosity of The Raymond and Beverly Sackler Composition Commission. It was premiered as a four-movement work at The Univ of Connecticut at Storrs where the grant was awarded. A fifth movement was composed and the suite Quiet Pride was premiered at The Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge, LA. It has also been performed at Bucknell University, PA, at the David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, NYC, at The Jazz Standard in NYC and at L’Astral, as part of The Jazz en Ralafe Festival, in Montreal.

Michigan State University Jazz Orchestra I
Jazz Orchestra I The nineteen-piece Jazz Orchestra I (The Be-Bop Spartans) is a young, swinging college band playing the repertoire of the great jazz masters as well as a wide range of soul, swing, blues, and gospel. The group’s instrumentation includes saxophone, trombone, trumpet, bass, drums, piano, guitar, and vocalists. Conductor:  Rodney Whitaker - See more at: http://www.music.msu.edu/performance/student-ensembles/jazz-ensembles#sthash.camXT4vs.dpuf

Largest Noel Night Ever Showcases Midtown Detroit District

The 44th annual Noel Night is scheduled for Saturday, December 3rd, 2016, from 5:00-10:00 p.m. 

Now celebrating 44 years, Noel Night will be held Saturday, December 3rd, 2016, from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. True to its roots, Noel Night continues to be a Cultural Center-wide “Open House,” celebrating the city’s diverse holiday traditions amid the state’s premier arts and cultural institutions, historic churches, galleries, and ever-growing circle of small businesses and restaurants, providing the perfect backdrop for a festive evening packed full of performances to enjoy with family and friends—all free of charge. Horse-drawn carriage rides, carolers, music, dance, theatre, children’s make & take activities, unique shopping, holiday delectables, and visits with Santa are all part of the evening’s festivities. Noel Night continues to grow each year, now featuring 100 different venues and recently attracted 40,000 visitors in 2015. Over 200 performances are sure to bring the sounds of the season to life, including these headlining performances:

Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings have traveled the world for more than a decade, blowing minds with their explosive live performances that deliver a visceral rhythm and soul sound to an ever-expanding fan base. The prolific survivor that she is, Sharon Jones has returned to the stage from a 2013 cancer diagnosis and bounced back with a 2014 Grammy nomination for her album, Give the People What They Want, and a new album of holiday classics, It's A Holiday Soul Party! Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings perform twice at 8:00 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. at First Congregational Church (33 E. Forest).

Funny and upbeat with just a pinch of sass, The Good Lovelies are sure to charm you with their folk renditions of old and new holiday tunes. Back by popular demand, The Good Lovelies will perform at the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Rivera Court at 8:00 p.m. (5200 Woodward).

Sonny Knight & The Lakers exist in the afterglow that soul luminaries like James Brown created with his raucous, kinetic, and supreme live performances. Hailing from Minnesota, Knight and his band perfectly capture the uproarious vibe and rebellious musicianship of an era long gone. Sonny Knight & The Lakers will treat Noel Night attendees to back-to-back performances (7:00 and 8:15 p.m.) featuring original music plus holiday favorites in The Cube located inside the Detroit Symphony Orchestra/Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (3711 Woodward).

The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre will present three traditional Czech fairy tales, The Snow Maiden Snehurka, The Stingy Tailor and The Twelve Months. Artistic director Vít Horejš will share with you both the stories of his childhood and the marionette traditions of Central Europe with this one-man show featuring mountain wizards, clever village maidens and spirits. His marionettes speak in a dozen voices, dance, play violin, swim and fly. For families with children of all ages. Performances will be at 5:15 and 7:30 p.m. at the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Crystal Gallery (5200 Woodward).

Canadian alternative country singer-songwriter Lindi Ortega’s voice has been described as a blend of Dolly PartonJohnny Cash and Emmylou Harris. This feisty, fiery and fierce force of nature will sing numbers from her stunning new collection of country-kissed songs, Faded Gloryville, along with modern interpretations of classic holiday tunes. Ms. Ortega performs at 9:00 p.m. at the Motor City Brewing Works Warehouse (located across the street from the brewery at 441 W. Canfield).

Enjoy the sound of holiday hits and dance to vintage favorites with the 15-piece big band Rhythm Society Orchestra (RSO) featuring vocalist Paul King. With a dash of Mel Tormé and Cab Calloway, and the solid, horn-heavy swing of Count Basie and Harry James, RSO and Paul King are irresistible! Don’t miss this holiday swing dance party at The Majestic Theater between 7:00-9:30 p.m.  (4140 Woodward).

Other great Noel Night performances and installations include:

Detroit School of the Arts will showcase the best of its students with performances by the DSA Lady Achievers, the DSA Vision Male Ensemble, its Jazz Band, its Vocal Jazz Ensemble, along with its orchestra and more from 4:30-9:00 p.m. Other activities include crafts for kids, Karaoke Christmas, and an exhibition of art by its students (123 Selden).

Praised by Opera News for her “gleaming tone,” soprano Cree Carrico is an emerging singing actress quickly gaining recognition as an interpreter of 20th and 21st century works. Changing gears for Noel Night, Ms. Carrico along with Broadway pianist and jazz musician Andrew Gerle, will perform a cabaret-infused holiday show at 8:30 p.m. at The Scarab Club (217 E. Farnsworth).

Carrie Morris Arts Production will present A Menagerie of Shadow Animals, a series of shadow puppet scenes profiling different members of the animal kingdom including lions, hens, tortoises, elephants and more, all set to music by the classical composer Saint-Saens. Performances run 20 minutes long and are scheduled for 7:00, 7:45, 8:30 and 9:15 p.m. outdoors on the patio of Midtown Shangri-La (4710 Cass).

The 'bots are back! Apetechnology's lovable Electric Snowman returns with friends:  two new abominable snowmen robots who will take over Woodward Avenue south of the Ice Scraper Challenge between 5:00-10:00 p.m. Apetechnology is a Detroit-based electromechanical and sound collective led by Ch!p Flynn that operates out of Detroit’s New Center area.

Ralph Taylor of Caribbean Mardi Gras Productions will present The Magic of the Virgin Birth, a Carnival inspired large-scale dance and music production with live steel drums outdoors at the Wayne State University green space located at the southwest corner of Woodward and Warren at 6:15 and 8:00 p.m.

The Wayne State University Winter Art & Retail Market is a new pop-up marketplace that will also be located at the Wayne State University green space located at the corner of Woodward and Warren. Wayne State’s Office of Economic Development, the James Pearson Duffy Department of Art and Art History (A&AH) and TechTown Detroit are partnering on this market that will feature local businesses and A&AH-affiliated artists. In addition, The Center for Community Based Enterprise (C2BE), in partnership with its client/partner Reclaim Detroit, will host a holiday wreath sale as part of this marketplace. TechTown’s annual Reindeer Run Scavenger Hunt also begins at this corner.

What is Noel Night without Detroit R&B soulstress, Thornetta Davis? Not possible, we say. Check out Thornetta at the Cass Corridor Commons in the Sanctuary (4605 Cass) at 9:00 p.m.

Also new to Noel Night are a number of venues, including:

  • ArtCity - Creative Spaces (71 Garfield) – Will offer creative gift wrapping demonstrations for kids and adults and a fashion show by pop-up, The Style Gallery.
  • The BLOCK Detroit (3919 Woodward) – One of Midtown’s newest restaurants will feature solo performer Kenny Watson at from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • Blossoms Midtown (4152 Third) – Check out Midtown’s newest florist and be prepared for holiday shopping sales and unique holiday floral arrangements.
  • Cake Ambition (4154 Third) – Jessica Bouren, Detroit's leading pioneer in cake sculpture and cake art, will have holiday treats for sale and will showcase various musical artists. A balloon artist will be on site from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
  • Cass Community United Methodist Church (3901 Cass) – Enjoy performers Michael Brock, DeAnn Forbes, the Cass Ambassador and the Cass Chancel Choir perform all evening. Green industries products will also be for sale.
  • Dangerously Delicious Pies (70 W. Alexandrine) – Check out their newest location on the ground level of The Strathmore Apartments and enjoy both savory and sweet slices of pie—perfect for Noel Night!
  • Detroit Center for Design + Technology (4219 Woodward) – Check out Lawrence Tech’s College of Architecture and Design’s newest home for its Detroit programs and enjoy their pop-up shopping experience showcasing local vendors.
  • El Moore Lodge (624 W. Alexandrine) – Visit this recently rehabbed historic property and learn more about green sustainable practices in redevelopment.
  •  Elite Couture Boutique (66 E. Forest, Suite A) – Stop by for holiday shopping and enjoy the sounds of the season at Midtown’s newest women’s fashion boutique.
  • Filson (441 W. Canfield) – Visit outfitter’s Filson’s newest location in Midtown and get your photo taken with Santa from 4:00-8:00 p.m.
  • Flyball Labs (4160 Cass) - Flyball Labs is focused on building innovative software solutions that includes web and mobile applications and will host “Technology and Turntables” with music by DJ Slopoke from 7:00-10:00 p.m.
  • HopCat Detroit (4265 Woodward) – Hopcat Detroit will be tapping a merry bunch of rare and limited Christmas beers for Noel Night.
  • Little High Flyers (4240 Cass) – Midtown’s newest baby boutique will feature Yvette Rock for an arts and crafts workshop focusing on dolls and stocking making.
  • Mac n’ Brewz (4870 Cass) – Will feature live entertainment and holiday themed food and drink specials… and you would be remiss if you didn’t try their famous mac n’ cheese.
  • Mills Apothecary (4215 Cass) – Midtown’s newest pharmacy will be celebrating Noel Night French-style, and will be offering French-themed edibles and drinks:  mini macarons from Cannelle Patisserie, a sampling of chocolate, and hot chocolat from Marou. DJ Powdrblu will spin music for your holiday shopping pleasure!
  • Mosaic Midtown Church (80 W. Alexandrine) – Enjoy old-fashioned carolers and a holiday shopping bazaar with 25 craft vendors. Christian rapper Beacon Light also performs at 6:30 and 8:00 p.m.
  • Rock City Eatery (4216 Woodward) – Rock City will be open and will feature a special menu and a DJ.
  • Third Man Records (411 W. Canfield) – Stop by for live music, exclusive merchandise and a cash bar.
  • Wayne State University Tierney Alumni Admitted Students Open House (5510 Woodward) – Make a stop at the historic Tierney Alumni House and enjoy the holiday décor, cookies and hot chocolate.
  • Wayne State University Libraries (5201 Cass) – Enjoy donuts and hot chocolate while Santa and his elves greet visitors to the Prentis Fishbowl. The Libraries will also kick out an all-star holiday musical showcasing punk, jazz and funk music at 6:00 p.m.
  • Wayne State University Tierney Alumni Admitted Students Open House (5510 Woodward) – Explore the historic Hecker House, now home to the WSU Alumni Association and enjoy the holiday décor, cookies and hot chocolate.
  • Wayne State University Walter P. Reuther Library, Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs (5401 Cass) – Enjoy holiday refreshments and take a behind-the-scenes look into the Reuther’s operations.
  • The Whitney (4421 Woodward) – Even though one of Midtown’s longest running restaurants, The Whitney will be participating for its first time and featuring a performance by Vision DSA Male Ensemble in their garden at 7:30 p.m.

Perennial favorite, the Ice Scraper Challenge, returns to the DIA Plaza. Watch students from Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies transform blocks of ice into unique sculptural creations throughout the day. Live Animals of the Nativity will also be back on the Woodward lawn of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul from 5:00-9:15 p.m. Discover the best gifts of the season at the area’s galleries and gift shops, including special Noel Night-only opportunities like the annual College for Creative Studies Student and Alumni Art Sale (201 E. Kirby). The Detroit Artists Market’s Annual Art for the Holiday Show is another favorite shopping experience featuring all hand-made items by local artists offering a wide range of products and price points. 

Make sure to not miss other unique shopping and holiday opportunities at these other participating Noel Night venues: 

The evening’s festivities conclude with the annual community sing-along, led by the Salvation Army Band at the Woodward Avenue Bandstand at 9:30 p.m. located near the corner of Woodward and Kirby. There is no better way to celebrate the holiday season than with thousands of metro Detroiter's singing Christmas carols in this time-honored Noel Night tradition. The Detroit Public Library will also host a Food Court on their front Woodward lawn, along with a beer tent presented by 8° Plato Detroit. The Scarab Club will also host its annual food truck rally in its parking lot. Full dinner options and other treats are also available at:  29/41 Street Food, Avalon International Breads, The BLOCK Detroit, The Bottom Line Coffee House, Byblos Café and Grill, Café 78 at MOCAD, CaféDIA, Cass Café, Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails, Dangerously Delicious Pies, Epicurus, Falafill Detroit, First Congregational Church of Detroit, Fourteen East Café, Go! Sy Thai, Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company, Grey Ghost, Gus’s Fried Chicken, Hannan House Café, Honest John’s Bar & Grill, HopCat, Jolly Pumpkin, The International Institute Cafe, La Feria Detroit, La Palma, Lefty’s Lounge, Macabee’s at Midtown, Mac n’ Brewz, Majestic Café, Mario’s Italian Restaurant, Michigan Science Center Cosmic Café, Midtown Shangri-La, Motor City Brewing Works, Northern Lights Lounge, Pho Lucky, Plymouth United Church of Christ, Rock City Eatery, The Scarab Club, Selden Standard, Seva Detroit, Shangri-La Midtown, Slow’s to Go, Starters Bar & Grill, Tony V’s Tavern, Traffic Jam and Snug, Treat Dreams, Union Street, Wasabi Korean & Japanese Cuisine, The Whitney, Whole Foods, and Z’s Villa.

Noel Night activities take place in Midtown Detroit, from Ferry Street to the north, Edmund Place to the south, St. Antoine to the east, and Third Avenue to the west. Woodward Avenue is closed to traffic between Antoinette Street to the north and Warren Avenue to the south. There is free shuttle service that runs continually between parking decks and participating venues, as well as plenty of parking in area lots and structures. Noel Night visitors should consider using Wayne State’s
Parking Structure 1 located at the northwest corner of Cass and Palmer, Parking Structure 2 on Anthony Wayne north of Warren Avenue, Parking Structure 6 on Putnam, as well as Parking Structure 8 located on West Forest between Woodward and Cass Avenue. Visitors are advised to park in marked parking lots and decks—on-the-street parking is difficult to come by.

Lyft is the official ridesharing partner of Noel Night. New users can download the Lyft app and apply the code NOELNIGHT16 for $20 in credit, or even easier, visit: https://www.lyft.com/invite/noelnight16.

It is suggested that all visitors check with the Noel Night website for more information on all road closures, detours, shuttle routes, and recommended parking before driving to Midtown for the most up-to-date information: http://www.noelnight.org.

Admission to Noel Night is FREE. Noel Night is sponsored by the MGM Grand Detroit, Detroit Renewable Energy, Arts Academy in the Woods, Trent Creative, Inland Press, WDET 101.9 FM, WWJ 950 AM, Hour Detroit, Fox 2 Detroit, Henry Ford Health System, Wayne State University, and the Detroit Medical Center. Midtown Detroit, Inc., a nonprofit planning and development organization that supports the physical maintenance and revitalization of Midtown Detroit, produces the event.  Call 313.420.6000 or visit http://www.noelnight.org for more information.


Midtown Detroit, Inc. (MDI) is a nonprofit planning and development agency charged with revitalization of Detroit's Woodward Corridor. Representing over 100 area stakeholders, including Detroit's anchor educational, medical and cultural institutions, MDI provides public space maintenance and security services; marketing support; technical assistance; infrastructure and real estate development; grant administration; and arts programming for the district.

Over the last decade, MDI and its predecessor organization, the University Cultural Center Association, have raised over $56 million for a variety of initiatives including the Midtown Greenway Loop, restoration and conversion of six historic homes into a boutique hotel, the Woodward Avenue Streetscape Enhancement project, the creation of the Sugar Hill Arts District, the construction of two community gardens and a Green Alley, the renovation of many commercial facades throughout the district, and a matching grants security enhancement program for property and business owners. MDI has also facilitated funding for over 50 residential developments resulting in over 1,800 new units of housing and has assisted over 100 local businesses with technical assistance and financing. MDI also manages Live Midtown, a successful initiative to increase population density through incentives to eligible anchor institution employees. Over 1,300 participants have taken advantage of the Live Midtown program to date.

Additional initiatives include a comprehensive communication and marketing campaign to increase awareness of Midtown’s numerous qualities, stimulate population growth, and attract new businesses to the area. MDI additionally promotes local cultural events including three signature events – Noel Night, DLECTRICITY, and Art X Detroit along with New Center Park summer entertainment.  For more information, visit midtowndetroitinc.org.