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Summer Festivals

Friday, 11 April, 2014 11:02 AM

Ann Arbor Summer Festival Announces 31st Season

Highlights include Lily Tomlin, CAKE with Wanda Jackson, Cécile McLorin Salvant, Spanish Harlem Orchestra, MOMIX: Botanica, Ask Me Another Live, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Robert Cray and Mavis Staples, Andrew Bird and the Hands of Glory with Tift Merritt, and more

Photo credit: Greg Gorman, 2009

Detroit's own Lily Tomlin will perform classic comedy and a special Q&A on Saturday, June 14.



ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is pleased to announce its headlining indoor performances as well as two special outdoor attractions for the 2014 season. From comedy legends and dancer-illusionists to blues icons and a new inflatable, walk-through luminarium, the new season runs from June 13 through July 6 and features an eclectic mix of music, dance, comedy, film, spoken word, contemporary circus, street arts, and family entertainment.

Tickets go on sale: Monday, April 21 at 9:00 am (donors of $1000+)
Tuesday, April 22 at 9:00 am (donors of $100+)
Monday, April 28 at 9:00 am (general public)

Tickets may be purchased in person at the Michigan League Ticket Office, by phone at (734) 764-2538, or online at starting on April 28th.

Now celebrating its 31st season, the festival’s Mainstage series features the return of several Ann Arbor favorites along with a number of performers making their festival debut. With artists spanning the globe, this year’s lineup includes: an evening of classic comedy with Lily Tomlin; independent alt-rockers CAKE with the Queen of Rockabilly Wanda Jackson; Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant; the Latin jazz all-star ensemble Spanish Harlem Orchestra; dancer illusionists MOMIX in ‘Botanica’; NPR’s trivia and sketch comedy show Ask Me Another; powerhouse jazz, blues, and funk from Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue; a double bill of legendary blues guitarist Robert Cray and gospel and R&B icon Mavis Staples; acoustic Americana from Andrew Bird and the Hands of Glory with Grammy-winning country artist Tift Merritt; and political satirists The Capitol Steps.

The festival’s ticketed Mainstage performances take place in Power Center for the Performing Arts and Hill Auditorium. The festival’s outdoor Top of the Park activities continue at Ingalls Mall, located directly in front of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies on Washington Street near the Burton Memorial Tower.

A detailed schedule of ticketed Mainstage performances along with additional information on the Architects of Air and Transe Express exhibitions follows. The remainder of the festival’s 2014 lineup, including the full Top of the Park band and movie schedule, will be announced over the coming weeks and months. For the most up to date information, please visit the festival’s website at:

An Evening of Classic Comedy with Lily Tomlin
Saturday, June 14, 8 pm
Hill Auditorium
$55, $50, $45, $40, $35

Laugh along as legendary comedian Lily Tomlin brings to life indelible characters like Ernestine, Sister Boogie Woman, and Mrs. Beasley, and flexes her wit in this one-of-a-kind show mixing classic comedy, new stand-up material, historic video, and a special audience Q&A.

CAKE with special guest Wanda Jackson
Sunday, June 15, 8 pm
Hill Auditorium
$60, $55, $50, $45, $40

For nearly twenty years, the group CAKE has been winning over generations of fans with their witty lyrics, signature fusion of rock, funk, country, new wave pop, jazz, and mariachi, and refreshing lack of pretensions. Queen of Rockabilly and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Wanda Jackson opens the show.

Cécile McLorin Salvant
Wednesday, June 18, 8 pm
Power Center
$35, $30, $25, $20

With a deep, velvety voice, rhythmic poise, a sublime feel for the blues, and while still only in her mid-20’s, 2014 Grammy-nominated Cécile McLorin Salvant is jazz’s brightest rising star. A French-Haitian American, Salvant confidently delivers jazz interpretations in a gorgeous, accessible program of standards and originals. “Salvant has it all” (New York Times).

Spanish Harlem Orchestra

Friday, June 20, 8 pm
Power Center
$40 General Admission with an open dance floor

A proud throwback to the classic era of Latin jazz big bands, this Grammy-winning thirteen-member all-star ensemble has reintroduced the classic sounds of ‘50s, ‘60s, and ‘70s New York City Salsa to music and dance lovers worldwide.

MOMIX: Botanica
Saturday, June 21 and Sunday, June 22, 8 pm
Power Center
$55, $50 $45, $15 Kids under 12

The spectacular dancer-illusionists of MOMIX return to dazzle audiences in Botanica, a seamless celebration of nature’s changing forms that combines athletic dance, elaborate costumes, puppetry, breathtaking projections, and a riveting score that ranges from birdsong to Vivaldi. The seasons will never be the same.

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue
Tuesday, June 24, 8 pm
Power Center
$45 General Admission

International superstar Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews amazes audiences with his deft command of trombone and trumpet and fearless reinvention of American jazz, blues, funk, and R&B. Together with his band Orleans Avenue, don’t miss a triumphant return to Power Center in support of their latest release, Say That to Say This.

Ask Me Another – NPR, Live Show
Thursday, June 26, 8 pm
Power Center
$35 General Admission, $25 Student

Flex your intellect and laugh out loud as NPR’s popular trivia show Ask Me Another takes over the Power Center. Host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton question puzzle gurus, audience members, and special mystery guests for a future broadcast. The program airs locally on Michigan Radio 91.7 FM.

Robert Cray and Mavis Staples
Saturday, June 28, 8 pm
Power Center
$55 and $45

In an astonishing double bill of powerhouse blues and roots, legendary blues guitarist Robert Cray and gospel and R&B icon Mavis Staples share the Power Center stage for a special night of musical magic.

Andrew Bird and the Hands of Glory with special guest Tift Merritt
Wednesday, July 2, 8 pm
Power Center
$45, $40, $35

World-renowned violinist, whistler, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird returns to the festival with his band the Hands of Glory in an old timey acoustic configuration huddled around one microphone. Grammy-winning country singer/songwriter Tift Merritt opens the show.

The Capitol Steps
Friday, July 4, 5 pm
Power Center
$55, $50, $45, $40

America's funniest politicos make their annual return to the Power Center for one show only! These former Congressional staffers poke fun at both sides of the aisle with their own special brand of satirical humor and up-to-the-minute song parodies. If you’re tired of hearing about Congressional gridlock, financial crises, or sex scandals, you've come to the wrong place.


Architects of Air: Miracoco
June 19–21, 2:30–9 pm, June 22, 1:00–7 pm
Palmer Field, near Top of the Park, on the University of Michigan Campus
$10 per visit; Children under 3 free with an adult
Tickets are available onsite at the event entrance; first come, first access

The wildly popular Architects of Air mount a new monumental sculpture redolent of the Lotus Temple of India on Palmer Field. Bring the whole family to experience this visual wonder—a walk-through inflatable luminarium featuring a dazzling maze of winding paths and spiral lattices filled with radiant light and color. Wander, relax, meditate, and be inspired!

Transe Express: Les Tambours (The Drummers)
June 27 & 28, 6 pm & 8:30 pm
Top of the Park, South Ingalls Mall Lawn

France’s masters of public spectacle, Company Transe Express, take over Ingalls Mall with four performances of a high energy, interactive street parade booming with powerful brass and percussion. Taking place on the South Ingalls Mall lawn at 6 pm and 8 pm during both nights of the exhibition, this grand spectacle will invigorate the crowd and whimsically transform a familiar environment into a massive public celebration. Performances are free.

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival is an exhilarating celebration of performing arts, outdoor entertainment, and community spirit. An annual international arts gathering in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the three-week festival offers an array of ticketed and free events, both indoors and out, featuring a progressive mix of local, national, and international artists. Presenting over 140 events each season and attracting a diverse audience of more than 75,000 people, the festival continues to grow as a
major cultural event in the Ann Arbor community, and as a leading multi- arts celebration that enriches the cultural, economic, and social vitality of the region. The festival’s 31st season runs from June 13 through July 6, 2014.

For more information, please visit the festival website:

Source: Ann Arbor Summer Festival (A2SF)



Photo credit: Tim Jackson

CAKE will entertain audiences with special guest Wanda Jackson on Sunday, June 15.


Photo credit: Jonathan Mannion

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue will perform on Tuesday, June 24.


Photo credit: The Capitol Steps

The Capitol Steps will return with their political comedy on Friday, July 4.








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