If you are a Detroiter and love music, chances are you have checked out a concert at the Detroit waterfront venue known as Chene Park in your lifetime. And you have felt that summer isn't truly on its way until the line up for downtown venue is announced (usually in April) every year. There is just something about heading to the heart of downtown Detroit and seeing your favorite jazz, r&b, hip hop or pop artist under the stars and off the water that completes a Detroit summer.
Just in case you are unfamiliar, Chene Park Amphitheater is a concert and entertainment venue located on Detroit's riverside that hosts a diverse line up of musical acts from June-September every year. The beautiful space which can host 6,000 people ( 5,000 seats and 1,000 lawn spaces) is the perfect intimate venue that gets you up close and personal with the performer . It has been voted one of the top 100 concert venues in the world. And to many people Chene Park is a major part of summertime in Detroit.
Let's explore a few reasons why:
• Great entertainment for an economical price: Detroiters LOVE their music (especially live) but not with a high entry fee and Chene Park offers just that. Ticket prices for their Wednesday Night Jazz Series range from just $12-$35 and tickets for their Summer Soul Series on Friday and Saturday nights range from $30-$150. There is also food and drinks available for purchase on site.
• Your concert backdrop is the Detroit Riverfront: You will be hard pressed to find another outdoor venue where you can not only enjoy an up close and personal performance by your favorite artist, but that also includes the romantic and soothing water and Canada skyline anywhere else in Michigan! This is perfect for date night in The D or just a great night out with friends. Boat owners get the best seat in the house.
• Chene Park books artists that we love: Over the years, the Chene Park stage has hosted such musical stars like Mary J. Blige, Nas, Charlie Wilson, Chaka Kahn, Kenny G, Nicki Minaj, Robin Thicke, Stevie Wonder, Ne-Yo, A Tribe Called Quest, Wynton Marsalis, Teena Marie, Najee, Kem, Erykah Badu, D'Angelo, Michael McDonald, Lauryn Hill, Mint Condition, Ice Cube and Kendrick Lamar just to name a few. Some performers are so popular at Chene that they are booked season after season (Will Downing, Maysa, and Lalah Hathaway anyone?) Chene Park has also seen vintage pop and rap acts like The Go-Go's, B 52's, Salt N Pepa, and MC Hammer hit the stage. There's something for every musical taste.
• This gives you yet another reason to hang out in downtown Detroit: the downtown area is one of the most vibrant and active areas in the city of Detroit and seeing a show at Chene Park is a perfect reason to spend a summer evening out and about downtown. The venue sits right off the Detroit River Walk and is within walking distance of great restaurants and clubs. You can park your car, see a great show, and make a night of it without having to drive all around town.
And those are just the first few that come to mind.
It also must be said that Chene Park employs people from Detroit and is operated by people from Detroit. The Right Productions Inc, a Detroit-based entertainment company led by Shahida Mausi-Johnson and her family, was awarded by the City of Detroit the contract to exclusively manage and operate Chene Park in 2004 and the company has been able to extend that contract ever since.
Celebrating a decade of summertime concerts and events is something the Mausi family is honored to do this year. "As a Detroit native it's an outstanding feeling to be able to provide employment opportunities and quality entertainment to Detroit," says Sulaiman Mausi, General Manager of Chene Park Amphitheater. "Chene Park is truly a gem of Detroit and it's been a blessing to be able to manage and operate it for the past 10 years."
This year's season started on June 11th and has already seen great performances from Will Downing, Manhattan Transfer, and Toni Braxton and Babyface. In the next few months superstars like El DeBarge (July 9th), TI featuring K. Michelle (July 19th), New Edition and Big Daddy Kane (July 25th), Jonathan Butler with Norman Brown (July 30th), Fantasia (August 1st) , Joe featuring Faith Evans and Lyfe Jennings (August 9th), and The Isley Brothers with En Vogue and Loose Ends (August 30th) plus other exciting shows will light up the Chene Park stage. For the full schedule and pricing information visit www.cheneparkdetroit.com
The weather has finally changed, the days are longer and the nights are hotter. It's officially summertime in Detroit City. So that means it's time to experience Chene Park!