Grand Rapids African American Art & Music Festival


Calder Plaza

300 Ottawa Ave NW

Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503


A cultural event celebrating African-American culture, art, food and music.  The African American Art and Music Celebration is a three-day festival that will immerse the community in activities reflecting the many aspects of our diverse community in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Friday, September 22, 2017

6:00pm- 6:30 pm               African Drum Tribute: W. Michigan Jewels of Africa

6:30- 7:00 pm                   Spoken Word: Sara Brooks

7:00pm- 8:00 pm               Candy Laprie

8:00pm- 9:00 pm               Ballroom Lessons:  Andre Posey

9:00pm- 10:00 pm             Ol’ Skool Open Dance Party: Dj Dre


Saturday, September 23, 2017

11:00am- 12(noon)           Fitness on the Calder: Soulful Motion with Amber Mayfield

12(noon) – 12:30 pm         Hot Sauce Express-R&B

12:30pm- 1:00 pm             Al Hight & M6 West-R&B

1:00pm- 2:00 pm               AZZ-IZZ-NeoSoul Funk

2:00pm- 3:00 pm               Sean Jackson-Jazz

3:00pm- 4:00 pm               Glenda Williams- Contemporary Soul

4:00pm- 5:00 pm               Lokhead Crux & Jayfro

5:00pm- 6:00 pm               The Mel V’s

6:00pm- 6:30 pm               Jeri Wade- Soul Singer

6:30pm- 7:30 pm               Catlindt Landrum & Friends- Jazz

7:30pm- 8:30 pm               Avalon Cutts-Jones Music

8:30pm- 10:00 pm             ZAPP

Sunday, September 24, 2017

10:00am- 11:00am           Chosen ft. Danny Richardson

11:00am- 12(noon)            Mish Banks- Gospel

12(noon)- 1:00 pm           Fredrick Landy- Gospel

1:00pm- 1:30 pm               Special Touch- Gospel

1:30pm- 2:00 pm               Friends of Sinners- Christian Rap

2:00pm- 3:00 pm               IMANI Singers of Grand Rapids- Gospel

aaf promo


GRAM on the Green 2017 Lineup

The Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) is pleased to announce the lineup for its ninth annual GRAM on the Green free outdoor summer concert series.
Running for six weeks throughout July and August, the concert series features some of the best local and regional talent Grand Rapids has to offer. Guests of all ages are invited to relax on the Museum’s outdoor terrace and enjoy free live music, dancing, food trucks, art-making activities, and a cash bar.
Visit the heart of downtown Grand Rapids on Thursday nights and see the city landscape come to life as a dynamic and inclusive gathering space.
From Latin alternative and Jazz to Hip-hop and Folk rock, GRAM on the Green’s 2017 lineup offers a diverse array of performers.
The festivities don’t stop outside—admission to the Museum is free during GRAM on the Green evenings from 5 pm – 9 pm, as it coincides with Meijer Free Thursday Nights.
Concert guests are invited inside the galleries to explore the exhibitions on view during the summer months: The Art of Rube Goldberg, Black Waves: The Tattoo Art of Leo Zulueta, Off-Shore and On The Beach, and the Permanent Collection on Level 3 of the Museum.
2017 Lineup:
Cabildo, Latin alternative
July 6, 6 – 9 pm
The Crane Wives, Folk rock
July 13, 6 – 9 pm
The Great Ones (Lady Ace Boogie + JROB) feat. Orlando of BedRock and
DJ Dean Martian, Hip-hop
July 20, 6 – 9 pm
(Ages 21+), Electronic/House
July 27, 9 pm – Midnight
The Accidentals, Indie folk rock
August 3, 6 – 9 pm
Walter White, Jazz
August 10, 6 – 9 pm
Grand Rapids Art Museum, 101 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Karuna: Hamid Drake & Adam Rudolph


Sunday, April 23, percussionist Adam Rudolph and Hamid Drake come together for their first tour as Karuna.

For tickets to the Underground Concert Series presented by Adventure Music at LaFontsee Galleries, 833 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids, For directions to the venue (616) 451 – 9820.

Karuna: Hamid Drake and Adam Rudolph Duet
Adam Rudolph (handrumset (kongos, djembe, tarija, zabumba) thumb pianos, sintir, multiphonic vocal, percussion)
Hamid Drake (drum kit, vocal, frame drums, udu drums, tabla, percussion)

The Hamid Drake and Adam Rudolph duet traces it beginning to a chance encounter between two 14-year-old aspiring percussionists in a downtown Chicago drum shop. Their shared love for rhythms and music of the world and music’s’ relationship to matters of the spirit led to years of shared creative journeys.

In the mid-1970s they performed and recorded with AACM co-founder Fred Anderson, and in 1977 they joined Foday Musa Suso in founding Mandingo Griot Society, one of the first groups to combine African and American music. By 1978 they were touring Europe with the Don Cherry and since that time have performed together in projects with Yusef Lateef, Pharaoh Sanders, Hassan Hakmoun, Hu: Vibrational and Adam Rudolph’s Moving Pictures. Their shared Chicago roots and longtime global music research and performing experience have allowed them to forge a uniquely shared musical understanding and creative outlook.

After over 40 years of music making together, this will be their first tour as a duet. Featuring their unique and evolved rhythm languages, in concert they aspire to inspire any audience though spirited dialogue. As Drake reflected upon their influence upon each other, “I have been developing a hand drum concept on the drum set while Adam says he is developing a drum set concept on his hand drums. We understand one another”

The name Karuna reflects Drake and Rudolph’s ongoing research and dialogues into the connection of the inner life to musical expression. Karuna speaks to the idea of creative action as a gesture of compassion.

Art in Bloom-March 24 – 26, 2017

Art in Bloom
March 24, 2017 – March 26, 2017
Art in Bloom is a bi-annual, one-weekend-only exhibition that celebrates the combined beauty of art and floral design. Come see the first signs of spring at the Museum while touring the galleries and enjoying extravagant floral sculptures. Our region’s most talented floral designers will create thought provoking and elegantly designed arrangements inspired by works from the Museum’s collection. These floral sculptures emphasize, challenge, and build upon elements and concepts within the original work of art, creating an extraordinary dialogue between the two pieces. Visitors will be invited to select the People’s Choice Award Winner by casting a vote for their favorite floral sculpture. This three-day exhibition is a must-see!Friday, March 24, 2017
6:00 – 9:00 pm
Art in Bloom floral design on view and People’s Choice Award voting opens
Third Floor Galleries | Free with admission
6:00 pm Opening Reception
Auditorium | Free for members, general public welcome with price of admission | Cash bar and light hors d’oeuvres
7:00 pm Juried Winner Announcement
7:30 pm Creativity Uncorked: An adult studio and after-hours gallery experience.
Saturday, March 25, 2017
10:00 am – 5:00 pm Galleries open and People’s Choice Award Voting Continues
Third Floor Galleries | Free with admission
11:00 am – 12:00 pm Art in Bloom Tour with Ron Platt and Alice Waterous AIFD, CF, CFD, PFCI
Meet in the lobby | Free for members, general public welcome with price of admission
12:00 -1:00 pm Little Member Morning
Meet in Lobby
1:00 pm Drop-in Studio
Garden Room & Betz Studio | Free with admission
Sunday, March 26, 2017
12:00 pm – 5:00 pm Galleries open and People’s Choice Award Voting Continues
Voting closes at 1:30 pm | Third Floor Galleries | Free with admission
2:00 pm People’s Choice Award Announced before Sunday Classical Concert
2:00 pm Sunday Classical Concert Series: Music in Bloom
Featuring Jennifer Walvoord (violin), Andrew Le (piano), Leslie VanBecker (viola), and Alicia ESundayClassical_mark-300x300ppinga (cello)
Lobby | Free with admission
Grand Rapids Art Museum, 101 Monroe Center St NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

I Dream-A new rhythm and blues opera

January 15, 2018  |  7:30 PM  |  Fountain Street Church


A new rhythm and blues opera

The inspiring story of the famous preacher and iconic civil rights leader from Atlanta is brought to life in this deeply moving premiere performance that beautifully fuses opera with bluesy, jazzy, and gospel-tinged rhythms. In a stirring account of his most intimate moments shared with wife Coretta Scott King and close friend Ralph Abernathy, we discover that the themes of equality and justice from the Civil Rights Movement are echoed in our political sentiments today. Despite the well-chronicled tragedy that ended the preacher’s life 50 years ago, the audience is left beaming with the hope of his dream in their hearts.

Opera Grand Rapids



Sunday Classical Concert Series-Almava Trio

The Almava Trio

All the way from New York City, the Almava Trio arrives at the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) Sunday, March 19th. The three Juilliard School graduates have each dedicated themselves to lives of leading, performing, and teaching the musical arts. Through the violin, cello, and piano, the group aims to create a soulful and engaging experience for guests. Tomorrow afternoon, they will bring alive the works of Beethoven and Brahms.


Sunday, March 19th

2 – 3 pm

Grand Rapids Art Museum · 101 Monroe Center · Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Sunday Classical Concert Series @ GRAM

Every Sunday this winter, enjoy live classical music performances set amidst GRAM’s beautiful architecture and galleries. Concerts are free with admission and free for members.

Sunday, Feb 19, 2017

2 – 3 pm

Grand Rapids Art Museum

101 Monroe Center · Grand Rapids, MI 49503

About Ralph Votapek
A Milwaukee, Wisconsin native, Mr. Votapek is a celebrated solo recitalist around the world. He has made hundreds of appearances with major orchestras in the United States and abroad—traversing stages in London, Lisbon, St. Petersburg—making a special commitment to Latin America, where he recently made his 25th appearance. Performing at GRAM this Sunday, Mr. Votapek will treat you to classical selections by Mozart, Brahms, and Debussy. Be sure not to miss this world-class performance. After the concert, enjoy an afternoon at GRAM with our newest exhibitions and a drop-in tour of Prints and Processes!