On July 4, 2013, I went to one of the opening concerts of the annual Concert of Colors in Detroit at the Scarab Club. The Scarab Club, built in 1907, is an art gallery and hosts musical events. Concert of Colors are all free events and I got there about 45 minutes early. It was jammed.
There were no seats available. Then, I saw someone carrying chairs out of a room. I went in the room and grabbed a chair. I was careful to place it so there was still an aisle so people could get passed me. I said hello to several of the band members. My first seat was good as it was place right next to the air conditioning. The crowd was larger than expected and they ran out of programs. If I had gotten a program, I would have been able to reference the numbers and solos I liked the most
PD9 usually plays swing music from the ‘big band’ era of the 1930s. During this concert, they were playing a mix of township African melodies from people like Hugh Masekela, Brotherhood of Breath and the Johannesburg Street Band. The musicians playing were: Justin Jozwiak(alto sax, flute), Daniel Woodward Bennett (tenor sax, clarinet), Joshua James(Bari and alto sax, flute), James O’Donnell(trumpet, flugelhorn), Ken Ferry(trumpet, flugelhorn), Jon(T-bone)Paxton(trombone), Phillip J. Hale(keys), Damon Warmack(elec. bass) and Akunda Hollis(djembe).
They did a great job and played for about two hours straight. As the concert went on, the crowd thinned and I got a seat in the front room for about the last 30 minutes. The music was so exhilarating that a large part of the crowd was dancing during the last couple of numbers.
The drive home was distracting since fireworks were exploding over the freeway. And it continued all the way until i was home. Sitting on the back deck with my dog, I could see the occasional explosion. The fireflies were trying to match the light of the fireworks. Bonnie, my dog, was ok with it when she was near me. She desperately wanted to relieve herself but every time she tried, there would be loud explosion which stopped the action. It quieted at midnight and we settled in for the evening.