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Free summer concerts take over Southfield, Lathrup Village

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published June 12, 2019

 Straight Ahead performs at the Burgh Historical Park in 2017.

Straight Ahead performs at the Burgh Historical Park in 2017.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

 Residents take in the sounds during a past concert.

Residents take in the sounds during a past concert.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

SOUTHFIELD/LATHRUP VILLAGE — Grab your lawn chairs and sunglasses — it’s summer concert season.

Whether you’re into jazz, need some gospel or want to hear a little bit of everything, there are plenty of options for all tastes this summer in Southfield and Lathrup Village, and they’re all free.

Returning again this year is Southfield’s Eat to the Beat lunchtime concert series, which is sponsored by the city of Southfield and the City Centre Advisory Board.

The lunchtime concert series will kick off 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. June 13 at the City Centre Plaza, on Central Park Boulevard.

Officials said the lineup for the series is still being finalized, but the music continue July 11 and Aug. 8, and will wrap up Sept. 12.

Admission and parking to Eat to the Beat are free.

Across the street, on the front lawn of the Southfield Municipal Complex, residents are invited to attend Summer in the City, which kicks off  7-9 p.m. June 21 with the band L’USA. The series will continue June 28 with Phase V, July 5 with the Sun Messengers and will wrap up July 12 with the Rhythm Kings.

Food trucks will be at the event each week, along with kids activities provided by Recreation on the Move. Attendees are asked to bring chairs or blankets.

In Lathrup Village, the Free Summer Concert Series, sponsored by the Lathrup Village Community Foundation and AARP Michigan, will return 7-8:30 p.m. June 26 with Lord Yancyy.

The concerts will be held on the grounds of City Hall, 27400 Southfield Road, each week through Aug. 22. Residents are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs.

Recreation Coordinator Chris Clough said the lineup this year is not one to miss.

“We have a great mix this year of different sounds and some big names. We kick off with Detroit-native saxophonist and entertainer Lord Yancyy on June 26 and finish up with Detroit’s Queen of Soul, Thornetta Davis, on Aug. 7,” Clough said in an email. “In between, we have a wide range of groups, from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Youth Ensemble to the ’50s-’60s a cappella group Full Throttle.”

Throughout July and August, Gazebo Concerts at the Burgh will grace the Burgh Historical Park, at the corner of Civic Center Drive and Berg Road.

Residents are encouraged to pack a picnic dinner and lawn chairs to take in the free concerts, the first of which will be held 7-8:30 p.m. July 9. Recreation on the Move will also be at the Burgh, providing kids with free activities.

For a second year in a row, the Rhythm and Rhymes Festival will take over the front lawn of the Southfield Municipal Complex, 26000 Evergreen Road, July 20.

The Rhythm and Rhymes Festival is a collaboration between the cities of Southfield and Oak Park, and the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Department. It will feature various rhythm and blues, jazz, funk, gospel, soul and blues acts.

Residents are invited to listen to the sounds, visit local vendors and enjoy various food trucks noon-9 p.m.

Attendees are asked to bring their own lawn chairs and coolers, but alcohol is prohibited.

The event debuted last year with much success, Parks and Recreation Director Terry Fields said.

“This is in collaboration with Oakland County Parks and the city of Oak Park. The three of us have come together for the second year in a row,” Fields said. “Last year, unfortunately, we had a bit of damp weather, but we brought it inside and had about 3,500 people.”

Rhythm and Rhymes Artistic Director Alexander Zonjic said officials are still nailing down the lineup, but it will pack a big punch.

“We have a great lineup, and you have a great city,” Zonjic told the Southfield City Council recently. “And you can’t beat the price — it’s free.”