News and Media
April 18, 2017The Oakland PressSean Blackman hosts reggae music concert with singer Meta Dia
Musician Sean Blackman has done it again — created a world music concert designed to attract Southeast Michigan music fans from all cultures and ethnicities.
The upbeat, celebratory evening is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at the Garden Theatre in Midtown Detroit.
The concert is a mini world-music festival, featuring nearly 15 musicians and dancers from around the world and major names in the reggae music genre including singer Meta Dia.
Blackman, an award-winning composer and world music guitarist from Clawson, hosts the In Transit Global Music Concert on the fourth Thursday of every month, mashing Detroit funk and jazz with music from a different region of the world.
The April 27 reggae show is co-produced by Blackman with Reggae sensation Winfred Julien and Detroit guitarist Steve Caldwell. Blackman is also sharing the stage with other Reggae music names including King Mellowman of Detroit, a music historian, multi-instrumentalist and singer.
Dia, originally of Senegal but who now resides in the Netherlands, is a Reggae traditionalist and focuses his lyrics on tolerance of all religions. Dia, who recorded the song “My Beloved Africa” with Damien Marley, is intolerant only of intolerance. His music represents peace.
“Meta and I share the same work and vision toward tolerance, peace and building cultural bridges, which is why we have collaborated so well together over the years,” Blackman said. “Every musician on that stage shares those values, and it comes through in the passion of the music.”
The concert is more of a monthly world music festival than just a show. A mini shopping bazaar featuring Caribbean paintings, jewelry and other artisan pieces plus Caribbean-inspired cuisine surrounds the dance floor that’s always packed with guests.
“From the moment people walk through the doors, the show is entirely interactive with food, music, art, shopping, drink and people from all over Michigan getting to know each other,” Blackman said. “If people want to sit comfortably and just watch the show they can and do, but the guests are so lively and friendly they bring their own energy to the show.
“The dance floor is usually packed with guests of all ages who are dancing together with big smiles on their faces. The band loves to watch the audience while they’re performing to enjoy that exchange of emotion.”
After years of hosting sold-out concerts at varying venues throughout the metro Detroit, Blackman, an acoustic nylon string guitarist, began producing the monthly In Transit Detroit Concert Series at the spacious Garden Theater in Midtown Detroit.
Blackman, who has dedicated his life to introducing world music to large audiences in the U.S., selects the most talented and celebrated international artists to share his stage. He also is a recipient of The Spirit of Detroit Award by the Detroit City Council for his work fulfilling a cultural void in the city’s performing arts arena.
The cross-cultural approach to his shows make them accessible to large audiences from millennials to gen-Xers and baby boomers including cultural leaders, professionals and Detroit’s creative community, he said.
“We are committed to providing a public platform that supports the best international performers — both established and emerging artists — in a beautiful theater that offers a comfortable, safe, family atmosphere,” Blackman said. “Through this we build a culturally inclusive community that encourages social awareness, justice and more equal opportunity. It’s all set in the spirit and celebration of our diverse Detroit and how we can shine a light on inclusion through the performing arts.”
Past In Transit World Music concerts have included music of France, India, Mexico, Brazil and the Arab world.
• Sean Blackman’s In Transit Detroit — Reggae Detroit Fusion is 8 p.m. Thursday, April 27 at The Garden Theater, 3929 Woodward Ave, Midtown Detroit. Tickets in advance are $20, $30 per person VIP table; at the door $25; $35 per person VIP table. Visit seanblackman.com/live .