The University Record, May 9, 1994

Sparling, Capitol Steps, Williams will perform at Summer Festival

The Ann Arbor Summer Festival will enter its second decade in mid-June, celebrating the performing arts with three weeks of entertainment, food and fun for all.

The Festival, which will run June 18–July 10, incorporates two concurrent activities:

  • A series of diverse ticketed performances by nationally and internationally known artists in the Power Center for Performing Arts.

  • Free-outdoor activities at the adjacent Top of the Park, including nightly concerts by area musicians, movies on a giant outdoor screen Sundays–Wednesdays, and free performances and workshops for children on the weekends.

    Power Center performances, which begin at 8 p.m. unless otherwise noted, are:

    Wynton Marsalis, June 20. Having made a name for himself as the “embodiment of jazz,” Marsalis and his ensemble present a brilliant program that showcases acoustical jazz.

    The Lettermen, June 22. Back by popular demand, they return with such hits as “When I Fall in Love,” “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”

    Dance Gallery/Peter Sparling & Co., June 23. This company will pre-sent the world premiere of artistic director Peter Sparling’s full-evening work, “Travelogue” that combines dance, music and text.

    Paula Poundstone, June 24. Poundstone has appeared in her own award-winning HBO comedy special, as well as Saturday Night Live, the Tonight Show and the last three Comic Relief benefits. Her humorous honesty and improvisational approach leave audiences laughing until it hurts.

    Kathy Mattea, June 25. One of the hottest new country stars, Mattea’s down-to-earth style has twice won her the Country Music Association’s Female Vocalist of the Year award. Her songs hold a personal view of love and the importance of living life to the fullest. Opening for her will be Native American (Mohican) folk musician Bill Miller.

    Dave Brubeck, June 27. Brubeck, who is still racking up jazz honors and awards, will bring his swinging sounds and timeless jazz to the Festival.

    The String Thing, featuring Mark O’Connor, June 29. This unique celebration of strings is headlined by Grammy Award-winning fiddler Mark O’Connor. He currently has a major hit on the carts with “The Devil Comes Back to Georgia.” Appearing with him will be the Calgary Fiddlers and the Helsinki Junior Strings.

    Lou Rawls, July 1. Rawls’ rich baritone voice promises an evening of musical pleasure with a wide-ranging repertoire of pop, soul, jazz and gospel.

    Oliver Jones with Ranee Lee, July 2. Blending dazzling speed with a blues feeling, playing everything from ballads to swing, Jones offers something for everyone. He’ll be joined by Lee, one of Canada’s most popular jazz vocalists, whose voice has been compared to Billie Holiday’s.

    Marion Williams, July 3. Heralded as “one of the most magnificent voices in American music” by the New York Times, Williams is the only gospel singer to receive both Kennedy Center Honors recognition and a MacArthur “genius” fellowship.

    Capitol Steps, July 4, 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Always current, always funny, this troupe of Congressional staffers-turned-political satirists has become America’s premiere musical satire group.

    John Gorka, presented by The Ark, July 5. Rolling Stone magazine calls Gorka “the preeminent male singer-songwriter of the New Folk Movement.” Opening for him will be comic songwriter Andy Breckman.

    Willie Nelson and Family, July 6. An opportunity to see the country music legend in an intimate setting. Opening for him will be Billy Jo Shaver.

    Robert Cray Blues Band, July 7. Performing a unique brand of music combining blues, soul and rock, the band presents a program reflecting the best of many eras.

    Paul Taylor Dance Company, July 8. The dance company is described by the New York Times as “one of the most exciting, innovative, provocative and delightful dance companies in the entire world.”

    Forbidden Broadway: Volume II, July 9. Spoofing the hits of Broadway and its personalities, this is New York’s longest-running comedy.

    Information on the Children’s Series and the Classical Musical Series are available from the Festival Office. Top of the Park events will be announced in June.

    To order tickets before May 16, call 747-2278. Beginning May 16, call 764-2538. Or FAX orders to 936-3393. For information or a brochure, call 747-2278.