Rock the River Cuban-style

GrupoAyeFrom staff reports

On the Summer Solstice, Friday, June 21 at 7 p.m., the Cuban salsa band Grupo Aye will perform on the banks of the Crystal River at the Leelanau School, north of Glen Arbor. After entertaining an enthusiastic crowd of all ages there last June, Grupo Aye will return this year to “Rock the River”.

One of the most unique bands in the Midwest, Grupo Aye has crafted its own cultural identity by incorporating genres including Latin jazz, merengue and mambo. Taqueria TC Latino will serve authentic Mexican tacos and drinks for purchase, and concertgoers are welcome to bring their own beverages as well as lawn chairs. After the concert, the festivities will continue with storytelling, songs and poems around the Beach Bards’ bonfire, and conclude with a world famous Lake Michigan sunset on the beachfront property of the Leelanau School.

The event is a fundraiser for student scholarships at the Leelanau School, a private boarding/day school with a strength-based experiential curriculum for boys and girls in grades 9-12 who simply learn differently, especially those with dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, and similar learning differences. The school also runs summer programs for students and families.

“Rock the River” is sponsored by the Friends of the Leelanau School, John and Pam DePuy, and local businesses Art’s Tavern and Michigan Mechanical North. Tickets are available at the door for $20 a person, or on the school’s website at There is no charge for children 12 and younger. For more information about “Rock the River” or the Leelanau School, contact development director Joe Blondia at jblondia AT Leelanau DOT org or call (231) 334-5848.