Detroit Discussions: A Detroit Center Podcast Series

Detroit Discussions brings the concept of mutually enriching University and Detroit communities through education and the exchange of culture to digital audio world. Since 2012, Marketing and Communications Manager Mike Morland has facilitated entertaining, insightful and educational conversations surrounding the topics of music, culture, current events, government and history.

Detroit Discussions continues to build on this solid foundation with access and insight to highly respected professionals from the local and national levels. Wherever you are, Detroit Discussions are just a click away.

For decades jazz has played an integral part in Detroit’s musical scene. From the roaring twenties through the turn of the 21st century, this genre has continuously influenced the city’s evolving landscape. Hear from some of the area's best and brightest discuss the importance of Jazz in a community. Guest speakers from this live event at the U-M Detroit Center on August 27, 2015 include Sean Dobbins, Ian Finklestein and Ralphe Armstrong; moderated by John Penney of 90.9 WRCJ.

In this episode of Detroit Discussions, Mike Morland sits down with Nik from the band, Screw, to discuss their upcoming Concert of Colors performance on the Wolverine Outdoor Stage. Coming together in 2013, Screw consists of Tommy T, HotRod Tusek, Elrod Adams and Nik Savage. Influenced by the classic rock sound of the 1970s and 1980s, Screw makes Rock music fun and exciting once again by returning to the genre’s old school roots.

In this edition of Detroit Discussions, nationally renowned aritst Timothy Orikri talks about his upcoming art exhibiton at the U-M Detroit Center. Topics include his early life and desire to be an artist, the impact Detroit has played on his life, what to expect when experiencing his work, and much more.

In this episode of Detroit Discussions, Mike Morland sits down with singer/songwriter Alyssa Simmons to discuss her upcoming Concert of Colors performance on the Wolverine Outdoor Stage. Alyssa recently released her fourth studio album, "Now Or Never" in November 2014 and has generated more than 230,000 views on YouTube.

In this episode of Detroit Discussions, host Mike Morland sits down with Dyrel Johnson of the band HotSauce to discuss their upcoming performance at the Concert of Colors. Formed in 2001, Detroit R&B band HotSauce was built around the concept of pushing the boundaries of today’s Top 40 sound. Influenced by the legendary band, Earth Wind & Fire and pop superstar Prince, HotSauce serves up inspirational vocals and memorable melodies at shows across the country.

In this episode of Detroit Discussions, host Mike Morland sits down with Joe Kidd and Sheila Burke to discuss their upcoming performance at the Concert of Colors. In the three-year collaboration of Joe Kidd and Sheila Burke, the duo has created a sound that’s powerful and unique in the world of acoustic music. After a recent tour across North America performing at countless festivals and media outlets, the group received their second Detroit Music Award for Outstanding World Music and Songwriters of the Year. Their premiere album, “Everybody Has A Purpose,” is currently in the final stages of production with a highly anticipated 2015 release.

U-M Detroit Center Communications Director Mike Morland sits down with Actor, Musician and Activist Antonio David Lyons to discuss his four week scholar in residence at the University of Michigan. Topics include: Lyons one man show "We Are Here," his experiences in Michigan and Detroit, his upcoming TV project "The Book of Negroes," and how he got his start in acting.

Drummer Sean Dobbins leads this high-energy jazz group with influences that range from Charles Earland to Dr. Lonnie Smith. The group’s repertoire spans from early 1960s hard bop to contemporary jazz. Despite his relatively young age, Dobbins, who teaches and lectures at Oakland University, Michigan State University and the University of Michigan, has traveled across the United States lending his melodic drumming style to luminaries such as Joey Defrancesco, James “Blood” Ulmer, David Fathead Newman, Mose Allison and others. -- music: Cold Funk by Kevin MacLeod (

5th Wall Concept released their first album, “We Broke It” in 2012 and has quickly become one of Detroit's most sought after acts. Taking to the stage with an impressive 63 shows in 2012, the band is injecting high-energy rock into the live music scene -- music: Cold Funk by Kevin MacLeod (

Lola Valley is an all women band conjuring a modern day, evoking a modern super-charged Billie Holiday squeezed through P-Funk and psychedelic rock to make a new Detroit soul. Transcending age, race and musical inclination their aggressive vocals deliver deeply felt lyrics that range from the political to the myriad modern relationships that entangle our lives – no topic goes untouched. Backed by organic music that places the emotion right in your heart, wherever you are coming from Lola Valley knows how to take you home -- music: Cold Funk by Kevin MacLeod (

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