Chene Park unveils summer shows: Patti LaBelle, Babyface, Erykah Badu, Nas, Whispers, more

By: Freep

, Detroit Free Press Pop Music Critic Published 6:48 a.m. ET March 26, 2018 | Updated 10:50 a.m. ET March 26, 2018


It’s a familiar summertime scene, as music fans and boaters flock for warm nights of chilling to R&B, smooth jazz and hip-hop along the Detroit River.

Another season is on deck at Chene Park Amphitheatre. The downtown venue is set to announce a 2018 concert schedule that features a slate of weekend shows to go with its perennial Wednesday Jazzy Nights series. Tickets will go on sale Friday.

Events on tap include classic R&B belter Patti LaBelle with co-headliner Babyface (July 14), neo-soul veteran Erykah Badu with rapper Nas (June 23), and a concert that reunites Bobby Brown with his New Edition group mates and Bell Biv DeVoe founders Ronnie DeVoe, Ricky Bell and Mike Bivins (June 16).

Also on the way are alternative-R&B artist Jhené Aiko (June 9), jazz-sax veterans David Sanborn (June 13), Branford Marsalis (June 27) and Boney James (July 18), and a showcase of vintage vocal groups including the Whispers and Dramatics (June 30). The season will kick off June 6 with Will Downing.

Additional shows will be announced in coming days and weeks.

• Free Press archives: Chene Park marks three decades as riverside musical jewel

Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday at the Chene Park box office (2600 Atwater) and through Ticketmaster. Season packages for the Wednesday jazz series are $268. Chene Park also offers personal seat licenses for the entire season, starting at $250, giving buyers first dibs on preferred seats. For show and ticket info, call 313-393-7128.

LaBelle will be making her first Chene Park appearance since a pair of 1994 shows.

Badu has been a Chene Park regular in recent years, and the neo-soul star has a special bond with the riverside venue. In 2016, Badu partnered with venue operator the Right Productions to help fund the African American 490 Challenge, a project to break the backlog of untested rape kits in Detroit. Proceeds from ticket sales and VIP parties went to the organization.

Contact Detroit Free Press music writer Brian McCollum: 313-223-4450 or

Chene Park Amphitheatre, 2018 concert schedule to date

June 6: Will Downing with Mark Mixx & Tha Street Cartel (Wednesday jazz series)

June 9: Jhene Aiko

June 13: David Sanborn with Tim Bowman (Wednesday jazz series)

June 16: Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky & Mike, with Silk

June 20: Jody Watley with Mike Phillips (Wednesday jazz series)

June 23: Erykah Badu and Nas

June 27: Branford Marsalis (Wednesday jazz series)

June 30: The Whispers with the Dramatics and Midnight Star

July 11: Norman Brown with Bobby Caldwell (Wednesday jazz series)

July 14: Patti LaBelle and Kenneth (Babyface) Edmonds

July 18: Boney James with Sean Blackman (Wednesday jazz series)

July 25: Kamasi Washington with Zo! and Carmen Rodgers (Wednesday jazz series)

Aug. 1: Peabo Bryson with Thornetta Davis (Wednesday jazz series)

 Aug. 8: Damien Escobar with 313 the Live Experience (Wednesday jazz series)

Aug. 15: Jean Luc Ponty with Will Holton (Wednesday jazz series)

Aug. 22: Raheem DeVaughn with the Hamiltones and L’Renee (Wednesday jazz series)

Aug. 29: Rachelle Ferrell with Lin Roundtree (Wednesday jazz series)


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