Shows & Events

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The Wailin’ Jennys

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

The Wailin' Jennys are neither a reggae group nor an all-female Waylon Jennings tribute band. Three extraordinary voices with one singular vision: The Wailin' Jennys continue to evolve into far more than the melodious sum of their individual talents years after blowing in on a fresh acoustic breeze from Canada's midwestern heartland. Canadians Nicky Mehta, and Ruth Moody and New Yorker Heather Masse were all well-established talents individually, and their collaboration is an example of how exciting it can be when performers with distinct outlooks find ways of working together. Each member of the trio contributes distinctive original songs to the mix, which ranges from folk-rock to Celtic to traditional song. This trio has won fans for its incredible harmonies at venues ranging from "A Prairie Home Companion" (multiple times) to the small-town parks and festivals in Manitoba that gave them their start.

$45

California Guitar Trio

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

The universe of guitar knows no boundaries for The California Guitar Trio. Since 1991, the group has enthralled listeners with a singular sound that fearlessly crisscrosses genres. The trio’s questing spirit drives it to explore the intersections between rock, jazz, classical, and world music. It even throws in the occasional surf or spaghetti Western tune for good measure. 31 years and 2000+ gigs later, the CGT remains intensely committed to explore, evolve and communicate a wide-ranging musical worldview.

$25

Erin Zindle & The Ragbirds

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

​​Since 2005 when Erin Zindle first created The Ragbirds, the band has gathered and maintained a passionate, grassroots fan base by continually reinventing themselves with an ever-evolving sound, while remaining rooted in the high-energy, world-inspired folk-rock that they have become known for. With a change of cast in 2019, the band is shifting its weight and focusing more on the melodic components. The rhythms of their new sound leave room for the songs to breathe and for the vocals to take on the spotlight. Now equipped with four vocalists, the band is diving into the textures they can create with vocal harmonies and exploring the newly-created space with instrumental curiosity, adding more improvisational elements into the otherwise-tight arrangements. Touring for nearly 15 years from their home-base of Ann Arbor, MI, Erin Zindle & The Ragbirds have developed a well-deserved reputation as one of the most dynamic, hard-working, high-spirited live bands in roots music.

$25
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Darlingside

Opener: Field Guide

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

With four distinct voices clustered around a single microphone, Darlingside effortlessly draws audiences into their lush musical world. David Fricke of Rolling Stone describes them as "a quartet with a rich line in acoustic textures and chamber-rock dynamics." The band's sound, with classical strings, tight vocal arrangements, bluegrass and rock instrumentation, and smart lyricism, is the product of complete collaboration among the four close friends. The group has no frontman; instead, lead vocals are traded from moment to moment, and each song features a new combination of instruments and textures, pulling heavily from folk, retro-pop, barbershop, and chamber music. The music Darlingside plays is serious, cinematic, and deeply moving. Darlingside has been featured on NPR's World Cafe and in Paste magazine, and they come to Michigan with a new album, “Eliza I See.”

$35

Lonesome Ace Stringband

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

Masters of their trade, The Lonesome Ace Stringband bring grit, skill and abandon to Americana music, bridging old-time, bluegrass and folk traditions into a seamless hybrid of original material that is at once fresh and timeless.

Instrumentation alone sets this Toronto-based trio’s sound apart: consisting simply of fiddle (John Showman), clawhammer banjo (Chris Coole), and upright bass (Max Heineman). The spine-tingling harmonies and interchanging lead vocals only bring more magic to the equation. They’re releasing their fifth album, a feisty and mighty all-original collection (Try To Make It Fly Oct 2023) and touring it to Canada, the US and Europe.

$20

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.

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

Tartan Terrors

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

Tartan Terrors are not a band but, in the words of the organizers, "North America's premiere Celtic event, featuring the best in music, comedy and dance." Amazed by the blistering chops of a two-time world champion bagpiper, the driving tones of drums from around the world, and a guitar played unlike any you've ever heard, standing-room-only audiences come to understand why Dig This magazine declares Tartan Terrors "one act to keep an eye on!" Combine all the music with championship-caliber Highland Dancers and internationally recognized comedic performers, and this Celtic group goes beyond the ordinary. Members of Tartan Terrors have performed on four different continents; in some of the most prestigious festivals, Highland Games, and theaters in North America, for a U.S. president and Britain's Queen, and on Good Morning America. Experience the phenomenon of Tartan Terrors and see why Celtic Beat hails them as "the heirs apparent to the mayhem"!

$20

Judy Banker Band

Opener: Annie Bacon

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

Americana and Alt-Country artist Judy Banker returns to The Ark with her all-star band for a birthday concert that also celebrates the release of her fourth studio album, “Bona Fide.” With this newest release, Judy’s songwriting—rife with melodic hooks and raw, poetic lyrics set to layered, innovative arrangements—has evolved, crossing over and blending jazz, R&B, and rock to create something that feels at once familiar and wholly original. Judy and her band—David Roof, John Sperendi, Tony Pace, Alan Pagliere & Brian Williams—will be performing “Bona Fide” cover to cover as well as favorite selections from Judy’s other records.

$25

Mipso

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

Chapel Hill’s indie Americana quartet Mipso—Jacob Sharp (mandolin, vocals), Wood Robinson (bass, vocals), Joseph Terrell (guitar, vocals), and Libby Rodenbough (fiddle, vocals)—just keeps growing in reach and was recently signed to the longtime New England folk label Rounder. Influenced by the contradiction of its progressive home and the surrounding rural southern landscapes, Mipso has been hailed as "hewing surprisingly close to gospel and folk while still sounding modern and secular" (Acoustic Guitar) and was recently recognized by Rolling Stone as an "Artist You Need to Know." The band brings a unique sound, full of wistful beauty, hopeful undercurrents, and panoramic soundscapes. Venturing ever further from its string-band pedigree to discover a broader Americana where classic folk-rock and modern alt-country sounds mingle easily with Appalachian tradition, Mipso’s music is lush and forward moving, with lyrics that sear and salve in turn.

$25
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Victor Wooten and The Wooten Brothers

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

Hailed as the most influential bassist since Jaco Pastorius, Victor Wooten is known for his solo recordings and tours, and as a founding member of the Grammy-winning supergroup Bela Fleck & The Flecktones. He is an innovator on the bass guitar, as well as a talented composer, arranger, producer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist. Continuing the tradition of virtuosity forged by James Brown, Funkadelic, and Prince, Victor will make you wonder how he could possibly be creating his incredible bass effects in real time. His show is a high-wire act on low-pitched strings that owes some of its inspiration to another Wooten mentor, the inimitable Bootsy Collins. A multiple-time winner of Bass Player magazine's Bass Player of the Year award and a five-time Grammy winner, Victor Wooten is a musical experience not to be missed! Tonight Victor appears with brothers Joseph, Roy, and Regi Wooten.

$45

Bonnie Raitt Birthday Tribute

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

The music of Bonnie Raitt crosses boundaries between blues, folk, rock, and country, and she found a deep common denominator. It’s perhaps for that reason that Bonnie continues to be listened to and to influence younger musicians. Tonight’s show features Michigan artists who come together to honor Bonnie Raitt on her 74th.

$25

Antje Duvekot & Joe Crookston

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

A former Artist-in-Residence at Folk Alliance International, Joe Crookston of Ithaca, New York, is a writer, singer, guitar picker, painter, clawhammer banjo player, and believer in all things possible. You’ll be pulled in by the magic and musical world he creates, and you’ll end up in the moment, humming and buzzing with the rest of the crowd.

$25