Music

SAT JUNE 22 | THE FRONT PORCH | ALL OVER FERNDALE

By Sara Teller

EACH YEAR, THE FRONT PORCH FESTIVAL BRINGS FERNDALE RESIDENTS TOGETHER for a day of music on neighborhood porches with a variety of bands playing an eclectic mix of tunes. Planning for this year’s event is well underway. “We are looking to have a porch this year dedicated to children’s music,” said Michael Benghiat, its founder and executive producer. “Additionally, we are always looking at components outside of music such as comedy or spoken word on porches in between performances.”

He added, “From day one we’ve always explored how we can extend the Front Porch brand and the event past the 6:00 P.M. cutoff into the downtown area.” The idea would be for merchants and venues to host music well into the night. Benghiat called the concept “kind of like a Front Porch at Nite.”

This summer, the line-up is also set to expand. “The first two years we focused on just getting the event under our legs. This year, however, we just may accomplish something like this,” Benghiat explained. “Last year we had twenty-seven porches and fifty-seven performances. This year, if we choose, we can have as many as thirty-five porches” which would equate to seventy performances. However, he said there is a need to “try to keep the footprint as tight as possible so that attendees can easily get from porch-to-porch and see as much music as possible.”

There will be some return acts from the first two years as well as new entertainment with submissions being received from bands all over Michigan. Benghiat said, “While the concept of music on porches fits so well with the folk, singer songwriter and Americana genres, we have submissions from performers labeling themselves as powerpop, blues, jazz, classical, gospel, house/dance/EDM, worldbeat improv, hip-hop, funk instrumental, modern country and more.”

In addition to planning the festival, The Front Porch television show is still in the works. “We’re still working on the production of a potential show, which may not necessarily be on a TV platform per se,” Benghiat said. “The most important component needed, of course, is funding. We’re still seeking the needed funding to produce a ten-to-thirteen-episode series.” 

Benghiat is pleased with the success of the first two events and is thankful for the support received. “Enough cannot be said for the tremendous support we receive from Ferndale residents to lend us their porches that are turned into stages for the day and all the artists and performers for their willingness to participate,” he said. “And, we so appreciate our partnership and collaboration with the City of Ferndale and police.”

For more information, check out www.thefrontporchmi.com.

 

SAT-SUN JUNE 1-2 | PALMER PARK

Palmer Park Art Fair

DETROIT’S PALMER PARK hosts one of the area’s most beautiful boutique art fairs on June 1-2. The artist tents are in a serpentine pattern winding near the lake and up to the log cabin. This creates a relaxed environment inviting shoppers to take their time and explore. The jurors for this show tend to select artists that enhance that calm atmosphere, though there certainly are some of the edgier Detroit artists participating. The show features over 60 professional artists from across the region and also includes more emerging artists than just about any other juried art fair. Mint Artists Guild, the teen art program that has a small presence at the Funky Ferndale Art Fair features as many as fourteen teens in a group tent. The Detroit Fine Arts Breakfast Club adds another ten adult emerging artists. Breakfast Club tent participants are new to art fairs and include artists in their twenties and others close to seventy. This year the fair adds an authors’ tent, featuring area writers. Food trucks and a beer tent round out the offerings. The art fair is June 1st and 2nd. Saturday hours are 10 AM-7 PM, Sunday 11 AM-5 PM. Free parking is available in area lots and along Merrill Plaisance. To get to the art fair head south on Woodward and take the first right, about 3/4 mile south of Seven Mile. Information and artists lists are at PalmerParkArtFair.com. 

 

SAT-SUN JUNE 22-23 | ST MARY’S ORCHARD LAKE

Fine Art Fine Wine Fair

THE FINE ART FINE WINE FAIR WILL BE HAPPENING AGAIN at St Mary’s June 22-23, featuring dozens of juried fine artists with one-of-a-kind exquisitely crafted works. Artists from many states participate and display works of painting, mixed-media, fiber art, drawing, jewelry, sculpture, and many more categories. We will also have wine tasting tickets available so that you can enjoy your art shopping experience while tasting an amazing variety of wines. For details visit FineArtFineWineFair.com. The Grosse Pointe Art Fair will also be returning for its second year to the Grosse Pointe Yacht Club May 18-19 in partnership with the Great Lakes Boating Festival, which has free admission and free parking at the high school with a complimentary shuttle. For more information visit GrossePointeArtFair.com. 

JUNE 16 | FERNDALE HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM 

Ferndale Community Concert Band

THE FERNDALE COMMUNITY CONCERT BAND wants to thank our patrons, advertisers, donors and friends for their continued support. The FCCB will end their Fourth Concert Season on Sunday, June 16, 2019, 3:00 PM, with its “Salute to our Fathers” Concert, held on Father’s Day, at Ferndale High School, 881 Pinecrest. Historically, a patriotic and father-themed concert will be enjoyed by all! Immediately following the concert, the FCCB will host their Annual Ice Cream Social, to say “Thank You” to all our concert goers who have attended our concerts, this season.

The 2019-2020 Concert Season runs from September through June. The FCCB performs (5) five concerts per season, usually in October, December, February, April and June. The Ferndale Community Concert Band is a diverse, multigenerational musical ensemble of experienced volunteer musicians from all over Metro Detroit. Its Mission is twofold: to provide quality, challenging musical and mentoring experiences for the members and student musicians, as well as educating and entertaining the citizens of Ferndale and surrounding communities. Please check out our website at www.fcconcertband.org or email us at fcconcertband@gmail.com for more information about the Band. The FCCB was established in May 2015 as a nonprofit 501(c) (3) organization.

 

7/18 – 8/15 – 9/19 | VESTER & WOODWARD

Get Reel Movies On Vester

OUTDOOR MOVIES IN THE MIDDLE OF DOWNTOWN FERNDALE return for the 8th year this Summer on July 18, August 15 and September 19! Enjoy a summer evening under the stars, watching a blockbuster movie while lounging in your camp chair or blanket, right in the middle of the street. FREE outdoor movies include pre-show activities and entertainment, food and snack vendors and, most importantly, a guaranteed good time. Movies start at dusk, but get there early, pick your spot and enjoy treats from our vendors or nearby restaurants! The big – 26-foot wide! – screen will be set up right on Vester Street, between Woodward & Bermuda. Get all the details at www.downtownferndale.com or www.facebook.com/DowntownFerndale or www.facebook.com/DowntownFerndale

 

SAT MARCH 30 | DURFEE INNOVATION SOCIETY

Detroit Soup

DETROIT SOUP, A PROGRAM OF BUILD INSTITUTE, is a microgranting dinner celebrating and supporting creative projects in Detroit. For a $5 donation, attendees receive soup, salad, bread and a vote and hear four presentations ranging from art, urban agriculture, social justice, social entrepreneurs, education, technology and more. Each presenter has four minutes to share their idea and answer four questions from the audience. At the event, attendees eat, talk, share resources, enjoy art and vote on the project they think benefits the city the most. At the end of the night, we count the ballots and the winner goes home with all of the money raised to carry out their project. Winners come back to a future SOUP dinner to report their project’s progress.

In addition to funding projects, SOUP aims to:

• Empower residents • Help create jobs

• Allow people to establish new relationships and networks

• Promote action and change

• Foster critical dialogue • Instill neighborhood pride

• Provide a deeper understanding of democracy

The SOUP model is now being replicated in over 170 cities around the world, while in Detroit is has lead over $140,000 in local giving $5 at a time with over 20,000 attendees participating in one of the 176 community dinners throughout the city. Build Institute is hosting an upcoming Youth SOUP, a special Detroit SOUP focused on celebrating and supporting projects by changemakers age 14-24. Anyone is welcome to attend, but proposals must involve and should be presented by Detroit young people. Youth SOUP takes place on Saturday, March 30th at Durfee Innovation Society from 1-4. To find out more about these and other upcoming events, check out www.detroitsoup.com or http://buildinstitute.org. ■

ALL YEAR LONG, KIDS ANTICIPATE A SUMMER OF FREEDOM from school assignments, but studies have proven that a three-month period without proper stimulation of literacy skills can undo some academic achievements from the previous semesters. Ferndale Library’s Summer Reading assures young minds are raring to go when September comes around by keeping the reading wheels turning for all grades with educational, fun, and free enrichment activities to go along with programs that are inspired by the theme: “A Universe of Stories.” With this July marking the 50th anniversary of the Moon Landing, our Youth Services Librarians will be designing programs and events inspired by all things space-related (including cosmology, space exploration, discovery, etc.). Along with Summer Reading for kids, we’ll have three outdoor Summer Concerts in our courtyard. The Ferndale Library’s Summer Concert Series has always strived to expose library visitors to music that is new and exciting in a setting that is both lively and thoughtful. FADL’s biggest music event features three free, family-friendly concerts spread across the season. You can see Lansing-based singer/songwriter Joe Hertler (a blend of indie-folk and classic pop) on July 18. Ferndale’s own ‘30s-’40s-era swing jazz and string-band strummers The Aston Neighborhood Pleasure Club will perform on  July 16. And Detroit-based singer/songwriter Ronny Tibbs leads a versatile ensemble on August 20. Each of these performances are free and begin at 6:30pm, each date is a Tuesday evening; if the weather turns, performances will be hosted indoors, instead.

SUN JUNE 2 | 1-5 PM | HUNT. WOODS LIBRARY

Huntington Woods Home Tour

THE 27TH ANNUAL HUNTINGTON WOODS HOME TOUR is an open house tour of five beautiful homes, featuring a variety of architectural styles which reflect the diversity and character of our city. All proceeds raised from this event are redistributed to local charities supporting education, women and children’s causes, such as Berkley High School scholarships, the Huntington Woods 4th of July Parade, Berkley Youth Assistance program, Norup Food Pantry and other great organizations. Sunday, June 2, 2019, 1:00 – 5:00 PM. Ticket prices: $20 advanced $25 at the door (16 years and older). Huntington Woods Library 26415 Scotia Rd, Huntington Woods MI www.hwwl.org/ ■

 

FRI JUNE 7 | FOX THEATER, DETROIT

Forgotten Harvest’s 27th Annual Comedy Night

ACTOR/COMEDIAN JIM GAFFIGAN WILL HEADLINE the 27th Annual Comedy Night hosted by Metro Detroit’s only food rescue organization, Forgotten Harvest. Comedy Night will take place on Friday, June

7th at the Fox Theatre. Tickets range from $35 – $175, and will be available through the Fox Theatre box office or at www.forgottenharvest.org/2019comedynight. Corporate sponsorships start at $1000 and can be purchased by contacting Rebecca Gade-Sawicki at (248) 864-7527. Jim Gaffigan is a four-time Grammy nominated comedian, actor, two-time New York Times best-selling author, top touring performer, and multi-platinum-selling father of five. Gaffigan is known around the world for his unique brand of humor which largely revolves around fatherhood and his observations on life and food. The event offers a chance for Forgotten Harvest and its supporters to celebrate their achievements in the community. Tickets are going fast. Act now to get into the action. ■

 

JUNE 20 | LOCATION TO BE DETERMINED

Art Of The Cocktail

THE FERNDALE DOWNTOWN DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY’S signature fundraising event, The Art of the Cocktail, returns a fun-filled sixth year on June 20th. The Ferndale DDA continues its efforts to raise funds for public art in the district by bringing back the event of the year! Exhibiting the creative blending talents of the district’s best bartenders, attendees will be the judge of each cocktail creation, crafted from identical

ingredients supplied to each bartender. Guests can watch the creative genius at work, taste the results and vote for their favorite to designate Downtown Ferndale’s Cocktail of the Year. The evening also includes a silent

auction, music, appetizers and much more! A limited quantity of tickets will be available, via the Ferndale DDA or PayPal, so make sure you get yours! All proceeds help the DDA continue its efforts to raise funds for public art in Downtown Ferndale. www.downtownferndale.com ■

 

SAT JUNE 28 | 10AM – 6PM | DOWNTOWN BERKLEY

Berkley Art Bash

ART, MUSIC AND FOOD LOVERS looking to add a little color to their weekend will find a diverse assortment of photographs, garden art, jewelry, pottery, paintings, gourmet offerings, live music and more at the Berkley Art Bash in beautiful downtown Berkley. The show, which is presented by the Berkley Area Chamber of Commerce, has more than 150 vendors with many of them showcasing Michigan artists. Kids activities

include inflatable moon bouncer, creative craft projects and air brush tattoos. Attendees will enjoy free parking and many shops along Twelve Mile and Coolidge will be hosting sidewalk sales and offering

 

up additional entertainment & activities throughout the day. 12 Mile Road between Kipling and Buckingham in downtown Berkley. www.BerkleyArtBash.com ■

 

THURS-SUN JULY 4-7 | DOWNTOWN ROYAL OAK

Michigan Rib Fest

KICK OFF THE SUMMER IN GRAND FASHION! Rib Fest will once again welcome thousands of guests for a weekend of BBQ, bands, and family fun in downtown Royal Oak. Rib Fest will showcase an unparalleled selection

of unique cuisine, food trucks, and BBQ – along with a selection of adult beverages. More than a dozen food vendors will be offering up mouthwatering fare that’s sure to please even the most discerning palate. With a list of bands as long as the food vendors, Michigan Rib Fest presents a carefully crafted entertainment lineup that’s fit for all ages. The event will feature some of the state and region’s most impressive local talent with a range of musical genres and styles performing all day that will please any crowd! Admission is free all weekend, with festivities running Thursday, July 4 – Sunday, July 7. MichiganRibFest.com. ■

 

By Jeff Milo

MARK MCDANIEL BURTON HAS HEARD SIMILAR COMMENTS OVER THE YEARS FROM LOCAL ARTISTS: “…I need a space!” Burton is a former chair of the Ferndale Arts & Cultural Commission, as well as the current curator for the Level One Bank gallery at Woodward and Saratoga and manager of local framing business Frame.ography, so he knows the logistical dilemma faced by many local artists.

That’s why he’s partnered with a trio of fellow creatives who each bring a breadth of experience in different mediums (as well as comparable empathy for the necessity of “space”); their collaboration is “The Stratford,” a former church at 8 Mile and Stratford that’s been revitalized into a multi-purpose artist’s collective.

“It can be an event space, a gallery, a band hotel, a photography studio, a creative space…” said Stratford co-founder Chris Ahern. Burton brought the idea for the Stratford during an exhibition last summer at Level One that featured some of Ahern’s photography. But Ahern is also a musician, and he and bandmate/collaborator Ian Davidson had actually been talking about wanting something like this for years. “I mean, we’ve had times where we’re jamming outside in the garage…and if it’s not a garage, then it’s a basement, or an attic, or a spare room…” The Stratford, which also includes Davidson as well as Paul Giannetti, is here to make space for Ferndale’s creatives!

Burton said that the owner of the nearly 3,500 sq. ft. property happens to do his banking at Level One, which is how the conversation with Burton started, last August, about whether this could be utilized as a studio or gallery of some kind.

“We always need space,” said Burton, humbly speaking for all local artists. “(The Stratford) is something I’ve been pushing for for several years.” He admits that there were a bit of wracked nerves building up to the opening since this was a new kind of adventure for everyone involved, but enthusiasm was restored by the knowledge that Ferndale needed a cooperative arts space as well as the unique ingenuities of everyone on board. Davidson has experience in carpentry and construction (as well as music), Ahern has experience in marketing and copywriting (as well as photography), and Giannetti is a local restaurant owner. So, whenever there’s a reception, etc., there’s the potential for some exceptional catering.

Ahern said that the obvious inspiration to start something like the Stratford draws from how involved each of the four of them have been in the arts. “But we also wanted to create a place that the community can be a part of,” said Ahern. That means more than just art exhibitions in the upper level, but also live music performances and biannual art festivals.

WHILE THEIR UPPER LEVEL WILL BE FOR EVENTS, the former church’s lower level is remodeled into multiple mini-studios that can function as rehearsal spaces for bands. Think of it as a “band hotel…,” where a local band would pay a monthly rent to gain 24/7 secure access to their “room,” where they could have their drum kit, guitar, synthesizer, laptop, you name it, set up and ready for practice (or songwriting). Burton credits Davidson with the work of putting up the walls and making spaces are soundproofed. “This would have been nice to have, ten years ago, back when we started doing band type work,” Ahern said.

“Ferndale is a very arty city,” said Burton. “(With) really diverse talent across the board. But we don’t have larger spaces like this in town. We have several smaller galleries, but nothing quite like this. Everyone I’ve talked to, the (Downtown Development Authority), the Chamber of Commerce, they’re all really excited. The more we’ve talked about it, the more it just seems like a win-win situation for the community.”

The six creative spaces downstairs will be outfitted for bands, but they can also accommodate visual artists who need space for canvases, paints, etc, or maybe podcasters. There is also one space reserved for photography. Those spaces will be private and accessible only to Stratford members, but any event hosted upstairs (or, in the warmer months, outside in their backyard/lot), will be open to the public.

“We’re looking forward, in the summer, to have an Arts & Crafts Fair,” said Burton. This could manifest pretty easily, considering Burton worked with the city, through his role with the Arts & Cultural Commission, to initiate the Art Fair at City Hall in the past.

Part of their recent Kickstarter campaign involved the goodwill of local visual artists who donated their works to be offered as rewards for funders. Not surprisingly, they got a very enthusiastic response—indicating that many artists in the area appreciate the need for something like The Stratford.

By: Jill Lorie Hurst

THEIR MISSION: “The Ferndale Community Concert Band is a diverse, multi-generational musical ensemble of experienced volunteer musicians from all over Metro Detroit.”

Their purpose is twofold: “To provide quality, challenging musical and mentoring experiences for the members and student musicians, as well as educating and entertaining the citizens of Ferndale and surrounding communities.”

By the way, the concerts are free. And you can buy baked goods before each performance.

Beautiful music and delicious cookies made for a perfect Sunday afternoon this past November 4th, as the  FCCB opened their fourth season. Their “American Inspiration” performance included pieces by Aaron Copeland, George Gershwin, and Michigan composer H. Owen Reed as well as a medley of music from Woodstock called “Summer of 69.”

As this was my first time seeing our band I was happy to meet up with Patti Aberlich, trumpeter and FCCB Board Member. Benched from the stage as she recovers from shoulder surgery, she was a generous and joyful guide to all things FCCB.

FIRST, BACK STORY. In 2015, co-founders Tim Brennan and Sharon Chess sent out a questionnaire to the community: Band or orchestra? Band! So, Chess and Brennan proceeded accordingly. Today, 70-plus musicians make up the Ferndale Community Concert Band. There are eleven Ferndale High School alumni among the group. Two high school students are the youngest, and Joe Sales, who plays tuba, is the senior member. The band is a family affair as well, with husbands and wives, siblings, and a mother and daughter in the membership. The musicians travel from all over Southeastern Michigan to rehearse on Tuesday evenings and perform five Sunday afternoon concerts a year.

Next up is their annual “Hometown Holiday” concert on December 16th. In February, they host a community band festival with bands from Clarkston and Rochester, then wrap up their 4th season with concerts in April and June. June is always a “Salute to Our Fathers” which is both patriotic and a nod to Father’s Day.

While the band would love a performance space of their own someday, the collaboration with Ferndale Schools has been a happy one. Retired Ferndale High School principal Roger Smith is “so supportive and enthusiastic.” Renting the auditorium has provided the band with a good home.

THE MUSICIANS REHEARSE AND PERFORM as a labor of love, but the FCCB has expenses! There are a number of simple ways to help them pay their rent, buy their music stands and music, pay their talented artistic director and conductor Ed Quick, and print programs. Along with the pre-show bake sales, you can donate or become a patron of the band. There are also easy ways to help through Kroger and Amazon to give back while you shop!

When I joined Patti Aberlich during intermission, she pointed out family and friends who travel to Ferndale for each concert. “We go out to dinner afterward.” She says. “It’s a Sunday event.”

The Ferndale Community Concert Band performances are my new Sunday event. Meet me (and Santa!) there for the holiday concert on Sunday, December 16th at 3:00 P.M. Get there a little early so you can buy some cookies before you settle in to listen to the wonderful Ferndale community Concert Band.

Find out more about the FCCB by contacting them at fcconcertband@gmail.com or at 313-549-9244. You can watch their promotional video at http://www.fcconcertband.org/videos. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram at fcconcertband.org

Story by Sara E. Teller

STACEY JAMISON TOOK AN INTEREST IN MUSIC AT A YOUNG AGE. “I BEGAN PLAYING MUSIC WHEN I WAS EIGHT. My mom had bought recorders and a book for us to learn to play together. I took to it immediately, and apparently took off learning without her,” Jamison said.

She joined the band at her elementary school in Williamsport, PA playing the flute. “I had the privilege of growing up in a church community where I was able to play my flute all the time and really be
comfortable with performing,” she said.

“As I got older I started to learn other instruments, including the saxophone and bassoon, which ultimately became my primary instrument.”

By the time Jamison was in high school, she was regularly playing professional theater gigs and subbing in the local symphony. She remembered, “It became quite clear that music was my path. I was especially inspired by one of my bassoon teachers, who eventually became my husband.” Her husband happens to be he local legend, Elon Jamison, Director of Bands at Ferndale High School.

In college, Jamison studied music education and bassoon performance, eventually acquiring a Master of Music degree in bassoon performance. “How’s that for different?” she joked, adding, “I would come home in the summers and teach music to children at my home church. After college I moved to Ferndale to start my life as a professional and be with my future husband. I started teaching music in the public schools right away.”

After a few years in Ferndale, the Jamisons began looking for a Lutheran church family that was both progressive and welcoming. “Zion Lutheran was an obvious choice,” she said. “I had been teaching elementary music for a while, so when a position opened at Zion I jumped at the chance. I knew I had a gift to connect with children, and I wanted to show children that they could love being in church and love God through the greatest gift I have, music.”

TODAY, JAMISON LEADS A WEEKLY REHEARSAL WITH THE KIDS’ CHOIR and every year they put on a Christmas musical where the kids try out various speaking and singing roles. “It’s a safe and loving environment for these kids, and that’s why I’m so passionate about it,” Jamison said.

She is also a freelance musician, playing the bassoon in a symphony as well as pit orchestras on woodwind instruments, and has been working with Ferndale’s marching band for seventeen years.

“My official job is to work with kids musically and on the field to get them to be the best performers that they can be,” she explained. “One of the reasons I really love this job is the kids themselves. There are also those crossover kids that I’ve had since they were really little at Zion, and I love watching them grow up into young adults. I feel a special responsibility to keep an eye out for them.”

Jamison added, “Being with the marching band is so much more than a side job. For me and our family, it’s a big part of our lives and really defines who we are. The adults and students are together for hundreds of hours throughout the season, and we all get very close.”

Winning one of Ferndale’s 2018 Good Neighbor awards was a surprise. “I look at all of the people around me who do so much for others, and I never considered myself to be among their ranks. When I thought about it more, I realized that what people have seen is my passion and devotion, to the children interested, in my spiritual, musical, and emotional care,” Jamison said. “I am honored that people think I have been successful in this mission, and it makes me be even more passionate. I have been considering delving into youth ministry, and this to me is confirmation that I’m going in the right direction.”

The Jamisons have two boys, one in second grade at Ferndale Lower Elementary, and one preschooler at Drayton Co-op Preschool. “I served on the board for the preschool for the four years my older son was there. We are very passionate about school districts being local and growing together as a community. We are very passionate about raising our children in a community that is welcoming, progressive, loving, accepting, and feels like family,” she said.

FERNDALE IS NOT YOUR CONVENTIONAL MIDWEST TOWN, and that is reflected in the unusual shops, eclectic restaurants and even its festivals.

For 15 years, The Funky Ferndale Art Fair has been bringing unexpected and edgy fine art to the city. A few years later, the DIY Street Fair began, adding music, beer and a selection of less traditional art mediums. Both shows return this year on September 21-23.

Presenting two fairs at the same time creates an opportunity for shoppers to see a greater variety of art. Those attending one fair may discover that there are also things that they love on the other side of Woodward. Each fair is separate, with different planning and visions, so they stay surprising.

In addition to over one hundred artists or vendor booths in each show, both offer hands on opportunities to explore the arts. Traditionally, DIY has had family-friendly projects adjacent to the library. Funky has introduced some unusual projects over the years, from the world’s longest comic strip to toilet-paper-mache. This year, participants will be able to work on the community mural, create take home art projects, visit selfie stations, have their caricature painted and more.

Both shows have their own distinctive personality. DIY has a strong focus on music, beer and food trucks. It celebrates the concept that peo-ple with a “Do It Yourself” outlook bring a passion to everything they do. Funky Ferndale is dedicated to juried artists from across the country. Many are represented in major museums and galleries. A difference between Funky Ferndale and other major art fairs is that the jurors look for artists that have an edgier touch. You may find some of them in other fairs, but to see over 100 in one place you must go to Funky Ferndale.

Funky Ferndale Art Fair has turned into a very competitive show, with over 300 applicants each year for about 120 spaces. The committee works to include both established favorites and great new artists. This year, more than 25 artists are coming for the first time. This includes established artists from as far away as California and some that work out of their Ferndale garages. A list of artists, with sample images of their work, is available on the FunkyFerndaleArtFair.com web site.

DIY has a wide selection of offerings, including items such as soaps, candles and t shirts. All show creativity and a dedication to quality. Their web site (www.Ferndalediy.com) includes lists and photos of what to expect on the East side of Woodward and Nine.

If you’re looking for a great time and some quality one-of-a-kind items, there’s no place better to go than art weekend in Ferndale featuring both the Funky Ferndale Art Fair and the DIY Street Fair.

Funky Ferndale Art Fair – Friday 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Saturday 10:00 AM until 7:00 PM and Sunday 11:00 AM until 6:00 PM. Nine Mile west of Wood-ward.

DIY Street Fair – Friday 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM, Saturday 11:00 AM until Midnight and Sunday 11:00 AM until 11:00 PM. Nine Mile and adjacent areas east of Woodward.

Parking – Ferndale’s many parking lots will be open. Street parking is permitted in many areas. The Credit Union One parking structure will also be available for a small donation for Fern Care.

FunkyFerndaleArtFair.com 

Ferndalediy.com

By: Jeff Milo

JAMIE D’ANGELO MARKED THE FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF RUNNING FERNDALE’S NEW WAY BAR BY MAKING A SIMPLE, YET BOLD MOVE. Starting in January, there would no longer be admission fees on nights featuring live local music. “That door charge was just bothering me,” D’Angelo said. “It just didn’t suit me well.”

It might be expected that a handful of folks would opt to go find another bar if they find out there’s a cover charge for their intended destination, but for D’Angelo even just seeing one person turn away was one person too many.

Under D’Angelo’s management, the New Way’s standing in the local music scene has certainly elevated; it’s now among the regular hotspots of weekend nightlife activity, where you’re likely to find a variety of contemporary artists like the band Remnose. “I’ve met a lot of fellow local musicians through the New Way, for open mic nights formerly hosted by [now-deceased] Brian Miller,” said Remnose singer/songwriter Marlon Morton.

D’ANGELO IS A LIFELONG MUSIC LOVER who does have some experience in the food service
industry — but his main gig used to be construction. “I was a builder,” as he puts it… But with New Way, he’s been able to build some-thing beyond bricks and mortar, and instead with heart and soul. New Way sprang from his own vision of making it into a traditional neighborhood bar for Ferndale, with the blue-collar intimacy and easygoing-ambiance of a classic “dive bar.”

It’s also a bar going out of its way to build a home for musicians. “We’re their host,” he said. “We want (local bands) to feel welcome. Without them, I’d barely have a business. And without them it certainly wouldn’t be anywhere near as much fun!”

Morton recalls when D’Angelo brought up the idea of free shows. “I’m sure he brought it up to many other of his regulars,” said Morton. “But as a musician, it’s a win-win. Bands are compensated for the music they provide and the people they bring to their shows, while the no-cover policy can help bring in more people who might otherwise never have heard your music.”

“You’d have no way of knowing that (D’Angelo) owns the place the way he’s just out amongst the crowd,” Morton continued. “(He’s) just enjoying watching everybody do their thing. (D’Angelo) likes to consult with the locals and regulars about any changes he wants to make; he genuinely wants to know what they think.”

Now, five years in to running the New Way, D’Angelo is definitely in a groove, with a solid staff, an upgraded PA system, updated lighting, and new monitors for the stage. Then there’s the satisfying result of improving the menu, beers on tap and liquor selection.

D’Angelo has a starting rate that Morton appraised as quite amenable to regional artists. Before the switch, his motto was to always give bands 100 per cent of the cover charge, but now there will be a rate that can fluctuate depending on the bill and number of bands. The sound engineer is also compensated in this new “no cover” era. “So far I’ve kept (prices) the same,” said D’Angelo. “I might have to raise (some items) by a quarter here or there, but so far everything is the same. I’ll look at things after a few months.”

Along with regular weekly concerts, The New Way has a strong following for its weekly stand-up comedy nights (on Mondays) and open mic nights (on Wednesdays). Singer/songwriter Ryan Dillaha (leader of the band The Miracle Men) took over as host of the Wednesday open mic nights after the untimely passing of Brian Miller. Dillaha deemed D’Angelo’s decision to be “a positive one.”

THE OPEN MIC NIGHTS DILLAHA OVERSEES became one of New Way’s surest ways of nurturing a sense of community between performers and music lovers. “They have a crowd and following at that bar, but I have noticed how they were sometimes deterred at the door by being asked to pay for a band they didn’t know. I think it’s a good move for musicians to have folks hear them who normally wouldn’t, and for the bar to get the bands’ fans in there too.”

“People who love music but aren’t familiar with the incredible scene in Detroit need an ‘in…,’” said Lisa Joan, a Ferndale resident and ardent music fan often found deeply embedded in the audiences of several venues on a weekly basis. “And if they don’t have a friend in it or a connection to the scene, then I don’t even know how they could dip a toe into it. Free shows are a way…, and I hope it works out for the (New Way) and for the bands.”

D’Angelo said it came down to a simple platitude: “Treat people nice!” That went for his customers, his staff, and the bands he wants to host on a regular basis. “I have a passion for this; I really love what I do. I’m glad to be there every day…I’m lucky to be there every day.”

One of D’Angelo’s favorite events of the year is Record Store Day, when local quartet Duende performs a matinee rock show. This annual vinyl-celebrating holiday was on April 21, and if you visited New Way during the afternoon, you were treated to a free show from Duende. Then again, you can walk in any weekend, this year, free of charge.
A five-dollar fee will no longer be a barrier to someone discovering their new favorite band. In fact, you’d be surprised how many of your new favorite bands might be living just down the street from you. You’ll find them at the New Way.

By David Ryals

AS MEMBERS OF THE FERNDALE ARTS AND CULTURE COMMISSION (FACC), Tim Brennan and Sharon Chess were charged with creating a community band. In February 2015, Sharon set up a FaceBook page and named it Ferndale Community Concert Band. The interest in the idea was inspiring, and they knew they were heading in the right direction. They separated from the FACC that Spring, and became a recognized 501c3 non-profit organization.

Now, beginning their third season, they are excited to welcome 20 new members, bringing them to a resounding 83 members. Their members are exceptional musicians, having various talents and degrees in teaching or performing music and longevity. Twenty-five members are alumni of the Ferndale Schools (FS) Music Program, from 1969 to students who are now Freshman through Seniors in the FS program.
The fascinating part about FCCB is, as a group, they have become a community of individuals who share the passion for music, people and community. The friendships, camaraderie and mentoring for each other is unlike anything Sharon and Tim have ever witnessed or experienced in other organizations.

Being part of this organization has been a wonderful opportunity for all of them.

One of their flute players, Ms. Anne Dwyer, put it best, “The opportunity to interact with and learn from this wealth of musical knowledge is like finding a million dollars in my attic – it’s a treasure in my own house.”

Though Sharon does not play an instrument or read music, her passion for music and those who are talented and gifted in music touch her heart and soul. She is the band’s biggest cheerleader, as she listens through every rehearsal and performance.

Her job as Director of Development is to create awareness and opportunity for members and the whole organization. They now have several smaller ensembles within the band who are invited to play at area events. The organizers of such events in turn donate to the band, welcome assistance for a non-profit with a slim budget.

They gladly accept donations for the band, and encourage everyone to join their email list. Immediately following their concerts, the FCCB offers a bake sale, and many of the members put their culinary skills to work and contribute to the sale.

Other opportunities are blossoming. A new event being produced by Quicken Loans, Winter Wonderland, has reached out to the FCCB to be a part of an innovative way to bring people to Downtown this winter.

The Ferndale Community Foundation, Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce, Woodward Dream Cruise, Downtown Development Association, Social Connection and Ultimate Fun Productions are a few of those who have helped to recognize and support them in this endeavor.

The FCCB is extremely excited to announce they are the recipient of a grant for 2018 from Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. The Council invests in organizations which encourage the growth of arts and culture in any community.

The FCCB Home Town Holiday concert, on Sunday, December 17 at 3:00 P.M. will be held in the Ferndale school auditorium, and is free to all those who attend. This performance is not your traditional singalong of carols. A new tradition will begin with this concert; they are encouraging everyone to wear an ugly holiday sweater or tie, and join them in a Santa march scheduled for the same day.

The FCCB has also been invited by the Clarkston Community Band to join them and the Rochester Community Band in a single performance in the Clarkston High School auditorium on March 4, 7:00 P.M. The facility is state of the art, having been recently renovated. This invitation, once again, shows the respect gained in such a short period of time with in the world of community bands.

Their Music Director, Ed Quick, is excited to lead an incredible collection of talent and devoted musicians, and smiles as he raises his baton to begin each rehearsal. They couldn’t do it without him.

Continued support and opportunity will increase the Ferndale Community Concert Band’s longevity. Check them out on YouTube and at www.fcconcertband.org