Shows & Events

Joe Hertler

Opener: Philip-Michael Scales

The Ark 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

The Rainbow Seekers began their historic quest eight years ago, revolving around the pure, unadulterated songwriting of their fearless leader, Joe Hertler. In the years since, we’ve seen Joe with The Rainbow Seekers at The Ark several times, with a mix of funk, Motown, Americana, and folk. But the same mix is present in Joe Hertler’s songs themselves, and we thought it was time for a Joe Hertler solo show. Joe has appeared at Bonnaroo, Electric Forest, and Summer Camp, and as you'll know if you've seen the band, seeking the proverbial Rainbow is all about the live performance.

$20

Jess Merritt

Special Guest: Dylan Charles

The Ark 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

Jess Merritt’s lyrics and voice evoke emotional resonance for your journey through genre-bending musical performances. Whether on her own or with her band, “The Understorey,” Jess delivers in ways both captivating and raw. From power ballads to velvet keys, soul and rock to blues and pop, you’re headed into a memorable experience by this expansive and versatile artist. 

$20

Feufollet

The Ark 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

The young and vibrant Southwest Louisiana band takes Cajun, honky-tonk, and string-band music as their starting point, and keeps an open mind about where their song craft will lead them. On “Two Universes,” their first studio album in over five years, Feufollet proves their Cajun roots don’t define them as much as propel them forward; whispers of the swamp and its time-honored waltzes trigger a modern and broad musical imagination, one that finds equal expression in blues, old-time, country ballads, rock’n’roll, whatever, all for the sake of the song.

$25

Talisk

Opener: The Trials of Cato

The Ark 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

One of the most talked-about folk bands of the 21st century, Talisk have been tearing apart stereotypes and redefining the genre for almost a decade. With over 15 million streams, 10,000 albums sold worldwide, and sold out shows across five continents, the Scottish trio have amassed a global, die-hard following. Wielding instruments that have rarely seen the likes of their music, Mohsen Amini (concertina), Benedict Morris (violin), and Charlie Galloway (guitar) have stacked up major awards for their explosively energetic sound - including five between BBC Rasio2 and BBC Radio Scotland, and two highly coveted BBC Alba Scots Trad Music Awards. Never afraid to push musical boundaries, or test the live production capabilities of just three people, there's captivating a crowd, and then there's Talisk.

$25

The Ark’s Open Stage

The Ark 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

Whether you're looking for your big break, want to perfect your live performance skills, or just want to perform live for the sheer fun of it, Open Stage nights offer supportive audiences and a terrific space. Twelve performers have eight minutes (or two songs) each to do their thing. Sign-up: doors open at 7:30 p.m. At 7:55 we randomly select the names for the first half, and at 8:30 we draw names for the second half. If your name isn't chosen, bring your raffle ticket with you to the next Open Stage (often the first and third Wednesdays of the month--check our calendar or website, theark.org), and you'll double your chances.

$3, $2 members, seniors, students free with student ID

Darrin James Band

Special Guest: Scotty Karate and Gregory Stovetop

The Ark 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

Darrin James was born in Kentucky, was raised in metro Detroit, and spent a formative decade in New York City before returning to Michigan in 2010. His musical style is as varied as his background, drawing on his love of the blues and folk music of the South, the Motown soul and classic rock and roll rawness of Detroit, and the eclecticism and immediacy of Brooklyn, where he released his 2006 debut album, "Thrones of Gold." The Darrin James Band comes to The Ark with a new album "See Right Through."

$25

The Ark’s 37th Annual Storytelling Festival – Liar’s Contest

The Ark 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

Liars have been around since the snake first hit it off with Eve. By some accounts, contests celebrating liars have been around since the 15th century, but these accounts may be apocryphal. Today, liars contests are held in countries all around the globe. The Second Annual Liar’s Contest at The Ark includes six first-class liars and six celebrity judges. The chaos wrangler and MC will once again be the amazing Amir Baghdadchi, keeping things lively and fun. The judges for the event each have a professional relationship to liars. Karl Fink is a retired District and Circuit court judge, and so has been around liars all his life, and that doesn’t just include the lawyers. Paul Strickland is a national storyteller who fibs for a living. Jennifer Conlin is Michigan State Representative for House District 48. So she’s a politician (mic drop).

$15

The Ark’s 37th Annual Storytelling Festival

The Ark 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

This event offers a mix of spoken word artists that are locally-based, and nationally-known. MC Steve Daut will kick off the evening with a story, with Lyn Ford to follow in the first act. After a short break, LaRon Williams and Paul Strickland will complete the evening. This event offers a range of storytelling styles, with tall tales, original stories, American folklore, and a twisted fairy tale. All in all, this is a night that has something for everyone.

$30

The Ark’s 37th Annual Storytelling Festival – Family Show

The Ark 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

Master storytellers Lyn Ford and Genot Picor deliver an entertaining family-friendly show. These artists keep kids engaged through action, music, fun and funny characters, while celebrating the unique cultures and diversity of our nation.

$15, $10 kids 12 and under

Richard Shindell

The Ark 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

Richard Shindell is a New Yorker living in Argentina: a craftsman and a real wizard of song. He's played for coins in the Paris subway, and he's studied for the priesthood. His gift for profound storytelling songs drew him into the world of folk music. The Valley Advocate in Massachusetts has called Richard Shindell "the thinking man's folk singer," and you're not going to hear better-crafted songs anywhere. Richard announced his retirement several years ago, but he’s back, and we’re glad to be part of his new tour!

$30
Artist Spotlight Series Live and Virtual

Rachael Kilgour

The Ark 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

Rachael Kilgour is a Minnesotan songwriter and performing artist whose sincere, lyric-driven work has been called both brave and humane. The 2015 grand prize winner of the international NewSong Music Performance & Songwriting Competition and winner of the 2017 Kerrville New Folk Contest, Rachael has been featured at NYC’s Lincoln Center, at The Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and by the ASCAP Music Cafe at the Sundance Film Festival.

Free, Donations accepted for Food Gatherers

The Ark’s Open Stage

The Ark 316 S. Main, Ann Arbor, MI, United States

Whether you're looking for your big break, want to perfect your live performance skills, or just want to perform live for the sheer fun of it, Open Stage nights offer supportive audiences and a terrific space. Performers have eight minutes (or two songs) each to do their thing. Doors open at 7:30, and names are drawn at 7:55 and 8:30. If your name isn't chosen, bring your raffle ticket with you next time, and you'll double your chances.

$3, $2 members, seniors, students free with student ID