Don Was Talks Concert of Colors and 10 Greatest Songs in Detroit History

Laura Weber Davis, WDET

The 24th annual Concert of Colors kicks off tonight at the Arab-American Museum. The event runs until Sunday and will feature artists from the area and around the globe. There will be free events inside and outside at participating venues on and around Woodward.

We’re about a quarter century old and we’ve been about the same things all this time, which is bringing the different communities across this region together, people of all backgrounds, colors, ideas, cultures,” says Concert of Colors founder and host of This Island Earth on WDET, Ishmael Ahmed. “The aim is to build a united Detroit, and culture is really important to that.”

The event also features the Don Was Review, courtesy of Don Was, the acclaimed producer who grew up in Detroit and has worked with the likes of Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. Detroit has remained innovative because it puts the merging of cultures at a premium, he says.

I grew up here in the ‘60s, and you could hear every kind of music,” says Was, “Mainly because every kind of person was coming here to work in the auto factories. You had this incredible palate to draw from.”

Was says he will be presenting the top ten of the Detroit Free Press’s “Detroit’s 100 Greatest Songs” on Saturday at 8:00p.m. For more information on the Concert of Colors, including the complete lineup and band videos, visit

To hear more of the conversation with Ishmael Ahmed and Don Was, click on the audio link above.  

Image credit: Laura Weber Davis, WDET

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