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When Detroit-based electronic producer, Shigeto, performs as a part of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s (DSO) Mix @ The Max Concert Series on Wednesday, June 7th, you will have the opportunity to hear a part of Detroit’s electronic music scene first-hand.

Mix @ The Max utilizes the Peter D. and Julie F. Cummings Cube, located within the atrium of the world-renowned Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center. The Cube, as it has come to be known, is the contemporary performance space where the majority of the DSO’s non-classical music offerings take place. 

The Cube is designed to provide “curated, urban, boundless experiences,” explains Managing Director and Curator @ The Max, Chris Harrington. “With some of the exciting things happening in the city right now, we definitely want to play our part in strengthening the cultural fabric of Detroit,” he says. With that, a show at The Cube typically integrates food, artwork, fashion displays and musical performances that “show what makes Detroit cool and hip.”The Cube Red BaraatRed Baraat performing at The Cube in 2016.

For Harrington, the main objective is to use The Cube to host outstanding events and find “artists that are unique and that will bring something different and innovative into the Cube space.” 

Two-and-a-half years ago, Shigeto performed in front of a sold-out crowd in The Cube. “That was one of the greatest shows of my life,” Shigeto recalls fondly. Normally, he performs by himself, combining electronic sounds with live drums. With a background as a jazz drummer, Shigeto expertly combines the precision of a complex percussion recital with the insatiable grooves of an epic dance party. For his DSO debut in 2014, he took a different approach. 

Shigeto 2014 Show in the CubeShigeto at The Cube in 2014.Instead of performing on his own, Shigeto enlisted the help of a live ensemble, which consisted of close friends and musicians he’s played with for a long time. “[Two years ago], the idea was to try and eliminate the computer,” he explains. This brought a completely different feel to his electronically-composed songs. 

For his upcoming performance, the plan is to combine the live aspect with a bit more technology. “It’s not going to be an electronic set, per se, but I think it will be a little bit more integrated, rather than just having the acoustic instruments,” Shigeto says eagerly. While Shigeto has performed at the DSO before, the fact that this show came together is significant. 

It’s not a stretch to say Shigeto’s past six months have been extremely busy. He has multiple albums on the way and is putting the finishing touches on Portage Garage Sounds, a studio and imprint in Hamtramk he started with his brother. Signed to the Ghostly International label, Shigeto also performs spot dates and festivals all over the world on a regular basis. While Shigeto has become known for electronic music that draws from components of hip hop, house music and jazz, he has his hands in many different projects and styles of music.

“[Shigeto] is very busy and tours the world,” Harrington explains. “We’re very fortunate to be able to have him. Plus, we get a chance to showcase his musicianship for a second time,” he says happily.  

For Shigeto, performing as a part of the Mix @ The Max series is a chance for people to get a better sense of who he is as a musician. “Whether I’m making electronic or ambient music, DJing or playing jazz with other people, there’s a lot of different places I find myself in,” he says. “I want people to see that side of me and that side of my friends.” 

The performance at The Cube is also an opportunity for education, which is directly related to the purpose behind Mix @ The Max events. “I want people to experience spontaneity, improvisation and a mix of all the rich musical history and culture that comes from Michigan,” says Shigeto vehemently. 

All photos courtesy of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

For more information, or to purchase tickets for Mix @ The Max, click here.

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