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You are invited to Detroit Performs LIVE

Join Detroit Public Television on Friday, September 18th at The Fillmore for Detroit Performs Live!

You have probably never been a part of a night quite like this where stars from pop, soul, country and jazz music will come together on one stage to showcase not only their musical talent, but also the heart of a city bursting with energy and hope.

On September 18, R&B vocalist Bettye LaVette, soul and pop artist Jessica Hernandez, country star Ty Stone, popular flutist Alexander Zonjic and Detroit crooner, Ben Sharkey will light up the Fillmore stage to tell a story that is uniquely Detroit--uniquely impressive; uniquely hopeful. They will raise their voices and show the world how “Detroit Performs” during a live concert and broadcast set to make history. They will also be joined on stage with PBS favorites, Pasquale Esposito and Roxanna.

The evening begins with a VIP event at 6:30 with the stage show that starting at 7:30. We hope you’ll join us.

Off-stage a cadre of local artists will showcase their work in an interactive gallery featuring the likes of visual artists Dominic Pangborn and Peter Coe, photographer Amy Sacka, sculptor Austen Brantley, as well as the Vision Male Vocal Ensemble from the Detroit School of Arts.

All you have to do to attend this event is LOVE music, LOVE Detroit and want to support Detroit Public Television. It’s that simple.

So, who are these artists, you ask? Let’s start with our newest addition to this impressive lineup, Ben Sharkey. With performances that have been viewed more than five million times on YouTube alone, Sharkey has been delighting fans worldwide with his romantic style and velvet vocals on old swing and jazz standards. His original compositions bear his soul and tug at the listener's heart strings. He has often been compared to Mel Torme and Harry Connick, Jr, with his intimate interpretations of jazz classics and ability to make them sound fresh and new.

Bettye LaVette hit it big at the age of 16. In 1962, at only 16 years old she recorded a single, "My Man—He's a Lovin' Man," with Johnnie Mae Matthews, which became a Top Ten R&B hit. A Grammy Award-nominated performer, she has also received “Best Contemporary Blues Album” for her 2007 album, The Scene of the Crime and “Best Contemporary Females Blues Singer,” among others.

Alexander Zonjic, the force behind it all and the event’s music director, also began his career at age 9. A professional flutist who performs light jazz and classical compositions, he has shared stages with such musicians as Earl Klugh, Harvey Mason, Kirk Whalum and Angela Bofill, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl and the Apollo Theater in New York, as well as with the Detroit Symphony Orchestraand the Windsor Symphony Orchestra.

Sharing the stage with these two legendary performers will be rising star, Jessica Hernandez. Hernandez grew up in West Bloomfield, the first-generation American daughter of a Mexican mother and Cuban father. After releasing countless EPs Jessica Hernandez eventually signed a record deal with Instant Records. She and her band, the Deltas, appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman on November 10 playing the song "Sorry I Stole Your Man" for which they received high praise.

Adding some Motor City country to the mix that night will be country star Ty Stone, who was discovered by the one and only Kid Rock. At 11 years old, Stone purchased his first 4 track recorder and began making music. After Ty taught himself to play several instruments, he began writing rock, country, and folk songs. He formed the band “2 Days Straight” in 1999 and began performing live shows in Detroit. His song, “Beauty Queen,” was featured in full on the finale of ABC’s “The Bachelorette.”

Detroit Performs Live is much more than a concert; it’s the story of Detroit’s vibrant cultural mix, and of DPTV’s power to bring it all together in the heart of downtown, thanks to the support of funders like the MASCO Corporation, IXITI, and others and of partners like you. Check out www.detroitperforms.org/live for complete details and to get your tickets. I look forward to sharing this incredible night with you.

Detroit Public Television (DPTV) is the non-commercial, viewer-supported PBS-member station watched by more than 1.5 million people in Detroit and Southeast Michigan and another 1.2 million people throughout Canada. DPTV also manages WRCJ 90.9 FM, Detroit's classical and jazz radio station, in collaboration with the license-holder, the Detroit Public Schools. The radio station is located in the Detroit School of Arts. DPTV is licensed to the Detroit Educational Television Foundation and governed by a volunteer board of trustees from the local business, civic, and cultural communities.

Bridge welcomes guest columns from a diverse range of people on issues relating to Michigan and its future. The views and assertions of these writers do not necessarily reflect those of Bridge or The Center for Michigan. Bridge does not endorse any individual guest commentary submission. If you are interested in submitting a guest commentary, please contact Ron French. Click here for details and submission guidelines.

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