New Center Park, located on West Grand Boulevard at 2nd Avenue in Detroit’s historic New Center district, begins its summer-long series with weekly movie nights, music performances and dance parties. All events at New Center Park are FREE and open to the public, making for a fun-filled, unforgettable summer. Every Wednesday night, all summer long, New Center Park will be screening new blockbuster films as well as timeless classics—fun for the entire family. The Park’s Thursday night Music Series features an array of artists including different Motown Legends, award-winning blues performers, and local indie-folk stars. New this year is a Saturday night dance party series that will showcase live music, instructors and professional dancers who will provide group dance lessons to all who are interested.
New Center’s Wednesday night Movie Series begins June 4, with doors opening at 8:00 p.m. and screenings beginning at 9:30 p.m. Grab a blanket, some popcorn and your family or friends before heading to the park for a perfect summer evening. The screenings for the summer are as follows:
- June 4: The original 1939 classic, “The Wizard of Oz,” is a timeless favorite that all ages can enjoy.
- June 11: Don’t miss “The Triplets of Belleville,” an animated comedy from France.
- June 18: A timeless romance and fan favorite; watch as Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund’s love story unfolds in “Casablanca.”
- June 25: A thrilling movie about dinosaurs brought back to life, “Jurassic Park” is a sci-fi adventure that you can’t miss!
- July 9: This 4-time Oscar nominated film, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is touching and thought-provoking—it will capture your attention and your heart from the first scene.
- July 16: “Tim Burton’s: Alice in Wonderland” is a magical dive through the rabbit hole, one that will have your imagination running wild until the end. Don’t miss out on the fun and the magic at this movie night!
- July 23: The 2010 film “Despicable Me”, will be shown in July. A fan favorite, “Despicable Me” has received high reviews and many awards for its ingenious screenplay and fun animation.
- July 30: A true adventure story, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” is a sci-fi journey that you won’t want to miss. UFO’s, aliens and close encounters await at New Center Park.
- August 6: Critically acclaimed, award-winning “Slumdog Millionaire” kicks off the last month of our movie series. A touching story and quality acting, this is a film not to be missed.
- August 13: A touching documentary about the migratory patterns of penguins, “March of the Penguins” is a heartwarming, informative and exciting film that the whole family will love.
- August 20: The timeless take on a classic high-school story, “The Breakfast Club” delivers important lessons about life, love and friendship in a light-hearted and fun film for all.
- August 27: Take a mysterious journey into space with Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”. This exciting sci-fi journey will have you on your edge of your seat until the credits start rolling!
New Center Park’s Music Series is the perfect way to unwind after a day’s work every Thursday night with doors at 6:00 p.m. and performances beginning at 7:00 p.m. Come out and see some of Detroit’s musical legends or experience something new with international, award-winning performers. The lineup includes:
- June 5: The one-and-only Thornetta Davis kicks off our Thursday night Music Series. Detroit’s very own blues diva is an award winning vocalist and guaranteed great time!
- June 12: Celtic-style Detroit ensemble Nessa rules the stage this evening.
- June 19: The WMXD Summer Solstice is a blast every year, and features R&B singer-songwriter Joe. Arrive early for this performance!
- June 26: Recipient of this year’s Detroit Music Award for “Outstanding Jazz Vocalist” award is Sky Covington, the one-of-a-kind neo-jazz vocalist who graces audiences with her smooth, sultry voice and engaging performances.
- July 10: The Jazz Network Foundation is a Detroit based foundation that promotes multi-cultural arts and performances, showcasing musicians and encouraging youth participation, through public presentations and performances. This year’s performance is given by the Jazz Off Allstars Band, and is guaranteed fun.
- July 17: A native Detroiter, the self-made Audra Kubat is a multi-talented indie-folk artist who has been nominated for a total of ten Detroit Music Awards. Her eclectic and moving style consistently enraptures audiences, making for an unforgettable experience.
- July 24: Led by Al Chisholm (The Contours), The Motown Legends Gospel Choir features legends from some of Detroit’s greatest Motown groups including the Original Vandellas, Enchantment and the Miracles, and Joan Belgrave.
- July 31: The Ebony Hillbillies are a grassroots, four-part string band based in New York that continues to keep the folky, lively music of the old South alive through their street-side performances and headlining shows. They always give a timeless and energetic performance to all who stop and listen.
- August 7: Performing traditional Irish music with a blend of American Old Timey, Bluegrass, French-Canadian as well as other Celtic traditional sounds, the Brock McGuire Band consistently gives vivacious and fun performances. The second feature of the night is the Corktown Popes. A spirited Celtic-rock band from Detroit, the band is gritty and vivacious, promising a thrilling show that will keep you excited and rocking all night long.
- August 14: Originating in East Jordan, Michigan, Breathe Owl Breathe is a folk-indie trio that presents breathtaking harmonies and passionate lyricism.
- August 21: A dynamic duo, Wilner “Wil B” Baptistse and Kevin “Kev Marcus” Sylvester of Black Violin add a new, creative, exciting twist to the classical sounds of the violin and viola. Blending hip-hop, rock, R&B, bluegrass and classical genres, Black Violin provides a ground-breaking and exciting performance that everyone can enjoy.
- August 28: A dynamic blend of rock and soul, The Infatuations give a fresh, fun take on rock, soul, funk and blues to audiences around Detroit. This 6-part band will be sure to keep you excited and dancing all night long.
Saturday night Dance Parties and performances are the perfect way to celebrate the end of a work week and a beautiful summer night! With doors opening at 8:00 p.m. and shows beginning at 9:00 p.m., there is no better way to spend your Saturday night. With 13 performances and 2 festivals, each Saturday is themed for a different dance style, including: ballroom, the lindy hop, salsa, square dancing, swing, and tango. All ages and levels of experience are welcome to join in on the fun! Other great musical and theatrical performances will also be showcased during this Saturday night series.
- June 7: The 15-piece big band, Rhythm Society Orchestra, featuring crooner Paul King bring a contagious sound to the dance floor. King’s smooth voice backed by these vivacious, romantic sounds will keep you swinging all night long.
- June 14: Three of Detroit’s best Square Dancing clubs brings the fun to you at New Center Park! No matter who you are or what your experience with Square Dancing may be, anyone can learn to do-si-do with their partner thanks to the Cross Trailers, Dudes & Dolls and Sashay Strutters.
- June 21: Having studied Argentinian tango since 1993, Lori Burton leads Argentine Tango Detroit in an enthusiastic and passionate performance that all can enjoy. Learn how to tango with the best dancers in Detroit for a fun filled night!
- June 28: Experienced, award-winning lindy hop teacher and performer, Paulette Brockington, graces audiences and students alike with her skill. Exciting, provocative and fun, Brockington’s lindy hop is a guaranteed good time.
- July 5: Fusing the Chicago music scene with Western-influenced Nigerian sounds, the Chicago Afrobeat Project fuses different elements of hip-hop, rock, jazz, funk and orchestral-like arrangements to create a sound that is entirely unique and inspiring. Our second performance is a rich blend of Afro-Cuban and pan-African styles delivered by Ricardo Lemvo and his band Makina Loca. The group brings a truly unique, multi-cultural experience that is celebratory and exciting, creating an atmosphere where audiences can’t help but dance along.
- July 12: Started by Samantha White, the Shakespeare in Detroit group performed their first play in the summer of 2013, here in Detroit. With a crowd of 500 people, “Othello” was a hit, and New Center Park is excited to welcome them as they perform “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” this July. Come see the classic words of William Shakespeare performed on stage with the captivating cast from Shakespeare in Detroit!
- July 19: Detroit activist and talented lyricist, Invincible, rocks the stage with creative lyricism that both provokes and entertains audiences of all walks of life. Come out to New Center Park to see this talented one-of-a-kind artist that you won’t want to miss.
- July 26: Using popular Latin music to inspire their Cuban style salsa dancing, Duane Wrenn & the Energetic Soul Dancers combine fun and fitness to sooth your soulCome to New Center Park for an enriching and exciting dancing experience with Duane Wrenn & Energetic Soul Dancers!
- August 2: Want a special preview of one of the most celebrated festivals in Detroit? New Center Park is hosting a “Tune-Up” evening for the annual African World Festival, featuring Meklit Hadero and her soulful melody of jazz, folk & East African sounds. A cultural experience with performances, poetry, drumming and dance, the African World Festival Tune-Up is an exciting event for all!
- August 9: Thanks to the Caribbean Cultural and Carnival Organization (CCCO) of Detroit, the spice and excitement of the Caribbean are brought to life in the city! Learn about the Caribbean, enjoy the music and dance, and have a great time at New Center Park for the Caribbean Festival!
- August 16: Mr. Smooth himself started the infamous Mr. Smooth dance studio in Detroit, teaching those who wanted to learn, the ways of dance and romance. Mr. Smooth & Dancers comes to New Center Park to teach a hybrid fusion of club & ballroom dance. Learn how to sweep your partner off their feet with your new smooth moves this August at New Center Park.
- August 23: Come see the most theatrical music performance of your life! The Ukranian band, Dakha Brakha, brings lively pop-punk music fused with Indian, African, Arabic, Russian, Australian and traditional Ukrainian sounds to deliver the most thrilling performance you will see all summer.
New Center Park is located in Midtown, at 2998 West Grand Boulevard, on the corner of Second Avenue and West Grand Boulevard. All events are free and open to the public. Midtown Detroit, Inc., produces the park’s Summer Series.
Call 313.420.6000 or visit www.newcenterpark.com for more information.