Grosse Pointe ShoresJuly 3, 2012
Brazilian beat, fireworks heat up Ford House grounds during DSO concerts
By K. Michelle Moran
C & G Staff Writer
GROSSE POINTE SHORES — Summer is about to get hotter on the grounds of the Edsel and Eleanor Ford Estate.
The third annual program of summer concerts by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on the lakeside terrace will feature a Brazilian beat. Accordionist and bandoneonist Julien Labro of The Hot Club of Detroit and Brazilian guitarist and vocalist Paulinho Garcia will be joined by other special guests for a night of South American music, including “The Girl From Ipanema” and Piazzolla’s “Adios Nonino,” at 7:30 p.m. July 13. At 7:30 p.m. July 14, the DSO will perform a classical program with selections from Bizet’s “Carmen” suite and Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” from “Fantasia.” Both concerts will be conducted by Carolyn Kuan, music director of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and fireworks follow at 9:30 p.m. each evening.
Ford House President Kathleen Mullins said both nights were close to sold out at press time. Although this concert series is relatively young, it has been huge hit with audiences, selling out in advance of the shows.
The grounds open at 6 p.m., giving visitors a chance to see the gardens and grounds, and enjoy pre-concert music by local students. Although they can’t bring their own food, patrons can purchase a snack or beverages, including beer and wine, and more complete meal packages are available, as well. General admission ticket holders are welcome to bring short-legged chairs. Preferred and VIP admission ticket holders will get reserved seating with chairs, as well as special parking and other perks.
“What I think really makes it special is the environment,” Mullins said. “You’re on the lake, with the house in the background. The whole event is conducive to relaxing. … It’s just that blend of letting this wonderful music waft over you. To me, it’s a perfect combination.”
Chris Harrington, the patron development and sales manager for the DSO, predicted that concertgoers are destined to dance both nights away as they listen to the Brazilian-influenced rhythms.
“This year, we thought it would be cool to do something that was fun and had a bossa nova feel to it,” he said. “I think the bossa nova rhythms will sweep (the audience) away.”
Labro, a Wayne State University graduate, is in high demand internationally in the worlds of classical and jazz alike, and Harrington said “concertgoers are in for a treat” from a performer he said “is a virtuoso.” The Brazilian-born Garcia, a self-taught musician who moved to the United States in 1979, has been performing for the last 50 years, sharing stages with the likes of Joao Donato, Toots Tielemans and Jeremy Monteiro.
“It’s definitely something for everyone’s musical tastes,” said Harrington of programs that include familiar pieces. “You don’t have to be a classical music buff to enjoy the concerts.
Organizers say the concerts have nothing to do with a line of Brazilian-influenced clothing and home accessories now being sold at Macy’s, although they’re not unhappy about this coincidence.
Harrington and other organizers recommend that audiences get their tickets early, since all signs point to these concerts selling out as they have in the past.
“Last summer’s record attendance at Ford House was a clear indication that combining the DSO’s music with one of the community’s most beautiful historic treasures is a recipe for a magical summer experience,” said DSO President and CEO Anne Parsons of Grosse Pointe Farms in a prepared statement. “We look forward to continuing this tradition this summer and for many more beyond.”
The Ford House is located at 1100 Lake Shore, between Vernier and Nine Mile roads. Tickets are $12-$25 general admission, $50 for advance-purchase preferred seating and $175 for VIP seating. Prepaid parking is $5. For tickets, call the DSO at (313) 576-5111 or visit www.dso.org. VIP tickets need to be purchased through Ford House; call (313) 453-2031 for tickets or additional details.
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