Nowhere is Detroit’s music legacy more apparent than at the Motown Museum. Tour where Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the Supremes and the Jackson 5 got their start. Note: A $50 million expansion is the talk of the town, with new exhibit space, recording studios and a theater set to open in 2019. After your Motown education, stop by Third Man Records, a store under the tutelage of The White Stripes’ Jack White, with a performance stage, record booth and a viewing window of its vinyl pressing plant.
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Be sure to explore the marquee music fests that serve as bookends to Hart Plaza’s summer lineup. Movement, a Memorial Day weekend techno/electronic dance party, kicks off the fun, while the Detroit Jazz Festival, the world’s largest free jazz festival, closes out the season Labor Day weekend. Sandwiched in-between is the Detroit Music Weekend June 14-17 in the city’s entertainment district outside the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts. Cultural organizations, restaurants and retailers join in as well with related on- and off-site concerts, performances and festivities.
Since Detroiters are rabid concertgoers, most big-name tours stop in The D. See Shania Twain (June 15), Sam Smith (June 22) and Harry Styles (June 26) at Little Caesars Arena. Before or after the show, dine at hometown rockstar Kid Rock’s Made in Detroit eatery in the arena. Ford Field hosts Kenny Chesney and friends Aug. 4, while DTE Energy Music Theatre packs in popular acts like Lady Antebellum on June 30 and Niall Horan on Aug. 28. For a more intimate, authentically Detroit music experience, catch a live band at PJ’s Lager House in Detroit’s Corktown or Small’s in Hamtramck.
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