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July is here and we have plenty to celebrate in Michigan . Crops planted this spring will be ripe and ready to eat. We will be able to sample some music outdoors on warm summer evenings, and music concerts and festivals will abound.

July in Michigan requires restraint when entering the grocery store and special caution when you come upon a fresh fruit stand. This is loose clothes season in Michigan. Our great local produce starts showing up and it all goes well at a picnic. At the Dirty Dog Chef Andre and his crew will use Michigan’s rich fresh bounty that is  available only at this time of year. Standing and clapping at this month’s events will help balance out the mouth watering fare.



It is the start of our local blueberry season. I was surprised to see the slogan Pure Michigan  pasted on the carton of berries.. The State of Michigan has for along time run commercials  that highlight the natural beauty of Michigan. Michigan is an easy sell with its great and small pristine lakes carved out by ancient glaciers. These same glaciers also brought down rich soil from Canada leaving fertile flat farmland and friendly small towns. Driving north the landscape changes to  rolling hills and forests. This glorious state has inspired an appropriate ad theme,


Here is Michigan’s idea for promoting the state.

Here is Louisiana idea for promoting its state.

NOTICE A DIFFERENCE?                                                                       Louisiana gets us excited by using its unique music.

New Orleans and Detroit are two of the world’s greatest musical destinations in the world. New Orleans never fails to use its music to lure the world to visit the city. They always seem proud of their storied tradition. I believe that Detroit should think of incorporating one of its greatest assets, the rich music scene, into all the promotions. We draw millions of visitors to our music festivals because the world wants to know what is new and real in music. We need to think about promoting our city with a product that already exists – our music.

CONCERT OF COLORS                                        IN DETROIT MICHIGAN  JULY 14-17

The 24th annual CONCERT OF COLORS is one of the many concert series that happen every summer in Detroit. The season ends with the Labor Day weekend’s monster festival THE DETROIT JAZZ FESTIVAL. The CONCERT OF COLORS celebrates the diversity of Detroit, which is truly worth celebrating. It is free and includes the music and fun of most of the rich cultures that have been drawn to Detroit.


I am lucky to spend time painting in a space alongside a Detroit music icon, Luis Resto.  Luis has a loft  in the Eastern Market where he can compose and produce his music in a sound friendly and private space, except on Saturday. On the Saturdays when he is in town and available, Luis leaves his door open.   Shoppers hearing music  wander in along with musicians seeking to play some tunes with Luis. He has a weekly concert of colors most days with every kind of musician getting a chance to play with Luis. I will be painting and listening and sometimes I have to stop and find out who the heck has completely changed the music from symphonic to electronic. Musicians bring their culture with them and Luis feeds off of the experience.

Don Was and The Don Was Detroit All-Star Revue will bring a melange of artists together to play the selected top 10 Detroit songs. Luis Resto was one of the original WAS(NOT WAS) band and will be on keyboards. They will play at 8Pm on Saturday night at the Max Fisher Music Center. This is a reason to stay in town this July.

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ALVIN WADDLES Pianist, singer, composer and musical director

Wow! What better way to celebrate July in Michigan than to come out to the Dirty Dog to hear a Detroit original, Alvin Waddles. Alvin will swing into the Dirty Dog Jazz Café this coming week. Alvin in old English means elf friend, making  Alvin’s parents a little prophetic. Alvin does have an elfin twinkle in his eye when he performs. He has enormous talent that he uses with grace. For many of us  he is  the friendly face of jazz.

Alvin’s musical career is a Detroit story which includes a generous and gifted teacher that showed up at the right time. For Alvin it was Mrs.Gusseye Dickey who took the gifted 8 year old Alvin under her wing. Alvin says that it was Mrs. Dickey that first instilled in him his life-long love of classical music. Alvin took his early lessons at Cass Technical High School, the Interlochen Arts Academy and the University of Michigan School of Music and added  his rich Detroit culture to become a multi-talented master musician. We have a lot to be thankful for, living in such a beautiful and vibrant state in the Month of July. Pure joy.

John Osler


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