Detroit Today: Techno legend Kevin Saunderson reflects on legacy, Movement Fest, more

Saunderson will headline Movement’s Star Gate stage this Sunday at Hart Plaza.

Kevin Saunderson

This Memorial Day weekend gives music fans around the world the opportunity to celebrate another culturally significant sound born in Detroit. That’s because this weekend marks the 2023 edition of Movement, the annual music festival that celebrates Detroit, electronic music and its heritage as the birthplace of techno.

Inspired by futurist ideals, a generation of creators and musical pioneers in Detroit used the technology they could get their hands on to invent an electro-infused danceable sound that inspired a new genre of music.

Kevin Saunderson — along with fellow Belleville Three members Juan Atkins and Derrick May — is credited with pioneering the Detroit Techno sound. The cultural icon joined Stephen Henderson and Nick Austin on Detroit Today to take a look back on his career, his upcoming performance at Movement this weekend and more.

Listen: Why Detroit’s Movement music fest is a global cultural gathering


Kevin Saunderson is a DJ and record producer known as one of the pioneers of techno, a particular style of EDM originating in Detroit. He says music changed significantly because of the changes in technology over the last 40 years.

“Technology is really what drove this scene, and without it, we wouldn’t be here today,” says Saunderson.

Jason Huvaere is the festival director for Movement and principal of Paxahau. He says this has become an “annual gathering of sorts” in order to honor Detroit.

“When the festival here in Detroit was finally launched…you had a lot of support in other areas that was happy to come here and be a part of this event,” says Huvaere.

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  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.