Chene Park goes big with Aretha, Roots, Derrick May-DSO

Chene Park vowed it would step up big for its 30th anniversary, and the riverfront Detroit venue is delivering.

The amphitheater’s newest summer shows include marquee dates from Aretha Franklin (Aug. 22), the Roots with Common (Aug. 9) and techno DJ Derrick May performing with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (Aug. 14).

Also being announced today by Chene Park is the first Detroit show in two decades by the reunited Jodeci (June 27) and a visit from Erykah Badu (July 11). The daytime gospel event Praise in the Park is also set for July 11.

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. May 8 at and the Chene Park box office.

This latest batch of shows joins a previously announced Chene Park lineup that went on sale in April, including George Clinton, Faith Evans, Anthony Hamilton and the perennial Wednesday smooth-jazz series.

Franklin, whose recent hometown dates have typically been at the Fox Theatre and DTE Energy Music Theatre, will be making her Chene Park concert debut.

The pairing of May with the DSO in August will likely catch the eyes of area techno fans. It follows the pioneering Detroit DJ’s similar set last summer in Europe with the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra, including a sweeping performance of his classic “Strings of Life.”

All is part of an effort by Chene Park to enhance and diversify its schedule as it marks its 30th birthday and looks to ride the momentum of the downtown resurgence. The 6,000-seat, city-owned amphitheater is managed by Shahida Mausi’s Right Productions, which is contracted by the City of Detroit.

“Without a doubt Chene Park is working to celebrate its past and its 30th anniversary, but we’re really looking toward the future,” says spokesman David Rudolph. “This is the sign of times to come. There are a lot of changes in the city, especially in entertainment, and Chene Park is part of that change, bringing broader genres of music and bigger artists.”

Chene Park, best known for its R&B and smooth jazz offerings, plans to fill out its summer schedules with rock, country and electronic music in coming years, Rudolph says.

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