GRiZMAS Has Arrived to Keep Detroit’s Holiday Season Lit

Featured photo by Chris Taylor

‘Twas the night before GRiZMAS, and all through Detroit, everyone stood in line for a legal preroll joint…

Detroit has a lot more to celebrate this month beyond the long-awaited arrival of recreational marijuana sales (although that’s a pretty big one). The city is right in the middle of the 12 Days of GRiZMAS, or a dozen special philanthropic events curated by a local musician who just wants to give the kids in his hometown access to life-changing music education.

After five successful GRiZMAS seasons, GRiZ is continuing the fundraising traditions again this year. 100% of the proceeds raised this season go to Seven Mile, an organization that provides after school programs and summer camps to teach children music, arts and coding for free. Events from Dec. 3-12 ranged from pop-up shops, cocktail parties and a dodgeball tournament to yoga, an intimate jazz caroling singalong and a “Serve Our Community” volunteering day.

The GRiZMAS team gets more and more creative with their fundraising events each year, but the last two days are always reserved for the grand finale. A partridge in a pear tree has got nothing on this man and his sexy sax in Detroit’s Masonic Temple surrounded by his friends.

If you caught GRiZ at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado this past August, these sets are going to look pretty familiar to you.

Friday, Dec. 13 kicks off the two-day special event with a ’10-’17 set that’s guaranteed to be stuffed like a stocking with throwbacks and GRiZ’s best-known staples. Soul-infused producer Flamingosis and a special disco set from Miami duo The Sponges will set the tone for a night of funky classic tracks like “A Fine Way to Die” and “Good Times Roll,” at least we hope. Six studio albums, two mixtapes and handfuls of singles are all up for grabs for the first night’s setlist. 

After hosting an entire night to celebrate the music that got him where he is, GRiZ’s second night on Dec. 14 will be a mind-bending lucid dream into his latest creation, fresh off a cross-country tour: The Imaginuarium. Saturday night will feature music from his latest studio album, Ride Waves, and the Bangerz[1-4].zip mixtapes.

Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers are slated to warm-up the crowd for this dream to come. The seven-piece outfit has local origins in Lansing, Michigan, and has deemed their sound “Post-Motown Folk Rock.” Elements of soul and funk blend into The Rainbow Seekers’ Americana jams. These guys will be the only opener: is it safe to assume that the Imaginarium set will be longer than the ’10-’17 set?

 In an official statement and video release in September, GRiZ called the Imaginarium “a show to set free your imagination. To fascinate your mind. A lucid awakening.” A blend of booty-shakin’ beats, smile-inducing visuals and more colors than can be explained by the human eye will take over the Masonic Temple as GRiZ, Muzzy Bear and friends fill the air with temporary synesthesia. That yellow light feels like happiness, doesn’t it?

Tickets to the sixth annual GRiZMAS special are sold out. If you were on Santa’s nice list, maybe you snagged a couple—but now it’s time to get naughty. See you tomorrow night, GRiZfam!  

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