With all due respect to the Detroit metro area's many other music festivals, none are as diverse as the annual Concert of Colors.
The four-day free event brings together artists and styles from literally around the world, including many rare treats and special, one-time-only collaborations. A good case can be made for simply camping out there for the entire run, but for those who have to pick and choose, here are six acts you want to catch by any means necessary...
* The sextet Wisaal will get the weekend afternoon moving with its blend of Arabic, Klezmer, electronic and World Musics -- outdoors, no less (3 p.m. Saturday, July 17, Wolverine Outdoor Stage behind Orchestra Place).
* In a crowded Celtic rock field, Black 47 is one of the most consistently potent, both politically and musically. Fists will surely be punching the air throughout its set. (5:30 p.m. Saturday, July 12, on the Meijer Main Stage in Orchestra Hall).
* The 7th Don Was Detroit All-Star Revue freshens the Oak Park native's concept by recreating Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band's legendary "Live Bullet" album in its entirety. Participants include Scott Morgan with the Sights, soul veterans Spyder Turner and Lamont Zodiac, the Detroit Cobras, Doop & the Inside Outlaws, Liz Larin, Nadir, the Infatuations, Corktown Popes and others. Some will surely hope Seger himself will make the scene, but Was and company will surely be able to handle it on their own. (8 p.m. Saturday, July 12, on the Meijer Main Stage in Orchestra Hall).
* Born in refugee camps on the border of Guinea the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars have been the subject of a documentary showcasing the uplifting and even healing powers of their musical magic, which the troupe has parlayed into well-deserved worldwide notoriety. (7 p.m. Sunday, July 13, on the Comerica Diversity Stage in the Music Box).
* Sean Kuti -- son (youngest) of Fela Kuti, playing Afrobeat with his father's Egypt 80. 'Nuf said. (8:30 p.m. Sunday, July 13, on the Meijer Main Stage in Orchestra Hall).
* The MC5's Wayne Kramer knows how to kick out the jams with more than just rock -- including his new free jazz album "Lexington." For Concert of Colors he`s teaming with former Radiation bandmate Melvin Davis for a Rock & Soul Summit that'll surely shake some walls. (9:30 p.m. Sunday, July 13, on the Comerica Diversity Stage in the Music Box).
22nd Annual Concert of Colors
Thursday-Sunday, July 10-13, in Detroit's Cultural Center area
Admission is free
Visit www.concertofcolors.com for schedules, venues and other information
Send your thoughts and comments to