We’re Turning 70. Come Celebrate at the WDET and DSO Summer Street Party

Local musicians like JOHNYCE, Will Sessions, Muruga Booker and Osvaldo Rivera take the stage for a night of community and music

In 1949, the United Automobile Workers (UAW) began a radio station to broadcast public service programming for its membership and the general public. A lot has happened in the 70 years since then to shape WDET into the station it is today: The station was sold for $1 to Wayne State University (then Wayne University), moved locations three times, joined the newly formed National Public Radio network and survived a fire that consumed nearly one-quarter of the record library. 

Through all of that, WDET has remained steadfast in its commitment to providing high-quality content to the community it serves.

We’re proud of our history. But we’re even more excited about what the next 70 years will bring! To celebrate where we’ve been and where we’re going, we’re throwing a street party in conjunction with the DSO. Come enjoy community, food, and most importantly, local music. We hope to see you there!

Event Info

6-10 PM, Wednesday, July 10, 2019
DSO Sosnick Courtyard @ Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center
3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 48201



The WDET music hosts juried the Michigan entries to the 2019 NPR Tiny Desk Contest and the public voted for the opening act of the WDET and DSO Summer Street Party. Over 3,000 voters made JOHNYCE the fan favorite. Johnyce was born and raised on the west side of Detroit. She discovered her love of music at 3-years-old. Her musical inspirations include Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Jasmine Sullivan and Beyoncé. Johnyce has performed on many stages and has opened for many great names such as The Jackson’s, Dru Hill, Eric Benet, Morris Day, Avery Sunshine, Vivian Green and Maimouna Youssef (MuMu Fresh).

7:00 PM – Ismael Ahmed & The Earth Island Drummers with Lana Mini’s Bellydancers

Ismael Ahmed

The host of WDET’s This Island Earth, Ismael Ahmed, will spin dance music from across the globe accompanied by several of Detroit’s most legendary percussionists. These include; Muruga Booker, who has played with John Lee Hooker, Jerry Garcia, George Clinton, Weather Report and many others. Marwan Amen-Ra, one of the finest African Drummers and teachers in the country Osvaldo Rivera is considered by many to be the father of the Detroit Latin music. He is the Orchestra leader and drummer of La Inspiracion and one of the city’s finest Latin drummers. Margaret King Ahmed has played with Detroit’s anarchist rock band the Layabouts, supergroup Earth Island Orchestra and Onyx. She has also been a back-up vocalist with the Don Was All Star Revue working with Thornetta Davis, Question Mark and the Mysterians and many others. Special Guest Lana Mini and her troupe are considered one of Regions finest bellydance ensembles.

8:30 PM – Will Sessions with Dames Brown

Will Sessions

Detroit funk outfit Will Sessions is joining forces with Dames Brown, a vocal ensemble from Detroit who puts on an electrifying performance. Together, the eleven-piece group performs music from their latest collaborative LP, “The One”. The album has roots that go deep into late 70’s progressive funk and boogie, using production techniques that pull from the golden era. With hard-hitting live drums, funky synth and slap bass lines, outlined with a tight horn section, all accompanied by the vocal stylings of Dames Brown, this performance is sure to have you getting down and is not to be missed. Since their inception in 2007, Will Sessions have established themselves as one of Detroit’s must-see live bands, with a work ethic and varied musical output that reflects their city’s roots.


  • Meta Stange
    Meta Stange is the Digital Content and Engagement Manager for 101.9 WDET, overseeing the station's digital editorial content. She enjoys reading, making bad jokes, and hanging out with her dog, Salmon.