JAZZY DAYS AND JAZZY NIGHTS IN ‘THE D’

    Comments:  | Leave A Comment

    jazzOne of the surest signs in the Motor City that summer is winding down and fall is on the horizon is the Detroit International Jazz Festival, now in its 32nd year. It will start on Friday, Sept. 2, and conclude on Monday, Sept. 5 (Labor Day).
        Founded by Robert McCabe and the Detroit Renaissance, the jazz festival, like the Detroit Grand Prix and the International Freedom Festival, was developed as a vehicle for bringing people to the great but often troubled city of Detroit.
    What better way to do than offer a plethora of world class entertainment, and at no charge? Every Labor Day weekend thousands make the journey downtown, from Detroit, nearby suburbs, faraway Michigan cities and other states as well as Canada.
          Originally, the Detroit jazz festival was presented in conjunction with the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Switzerland. The two festivals shared artists and poster art was commissioned. The association lasted to 1991.
        That same year the decision was made to merge the jazz festival with the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts. That partnership concluded in 2005.
        New sponsorship was needed, and Gretchen Valade, philanthropist and Mack Avenue Records chairperson, stepped up to the plate as a major sponsor.
    WITH THAT welcome development and additional support from The Knight Foundation, the Detroit International Jazz Festival physically and programmatically expanded.
    The festival now covered three blocks of Woodward Avenue, north to Campus Martius Park, which made two additional stages possible as well as more space for food vendors and various activities.The festival was, hence, revitalized and attendance increased to record levels. Another change was forthcoming. In early 2006, The Detroit International Jazz Festival Foundation was created by Valade. The foundation took over production and management of the festival. In addition, Valade committed  $10 million for the establishment of an endowment that would provide      One of the surest signs in the Motor City that summer is winding down and fall is on the horizon is the Detroit International Jazz Festival, now in its 32nd year. It will start on Friday, Sept. 2, and conclude on Monday, Sept. 5 (Labor Day).
        Founded by Robert McCabe and the Detroit Renaissance, the jazz festival, like the Detroit Grand Prix and the International Freedom Festival, was developed as a vehicle for bringing people to the great but often troubled city of Detroit.
    What better way to do than offer a plethora of world class entertainment, and at no charge? Every Labor Day weekend thousands make the journey downtown, from Detroit, nearby suburbs, faraway Michigan cities and other states as well as Canada.
          Originally, the Detroit jazz festival was presented in conjunction with the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Switzerland. The two festivals shared artists and poster art was commissioned. The association lasted to 1991.
        That same year the decision was made to merge the jazz festival with the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts. That partnership concluded in 2005.
        New sponsorship was needed, and Gretchen Valade, philanthropist and Mack Avenue Records chairperson, stepped up to the plate as a major sponsor.
    WITH THAT welcome development and additional support from The Knight Foundation, the Detroit International Jazz Festival physically and programmatically expanded.
    The festival now covered three blocks of Woodward Avenue, north to Campus Martius Park, which made two additional stages possible as well as more space for food vendors and various activities.
    The festival was, hence, revitalized and attendance increased to record levels.
    Another change was forthcoming. In early 2006, The Detroit International Jazz Festival Foundation was created by Valade. The foundation took over production and management of the festival. In addition, Valade committed  $10 million for the establishment of an endowment that would provide seed money for festival operations.
    This year organizers say the Detroit International Jazz Festival is “bringing you the world.” The festival will “celebrate world influences on jazz and jazz influence on the world.” And is always the case, there will be special focus on homegrown talent — Detroit’s jazz legacy.
    The performing schedule is subject to change, although the information presented here is up-to-date as of the time this story is being written. For more information, including, performance times, changes and  an thorough list of activities, it is suggested that you visit detroitjazzfest.com.
    FRIDAY, SEPT. 2
    A production honoring the great women of jazz, R&B, folk and blues will feature Dianne Reeves, Angelique Kidjo and Lizz Wright.
    Jeff “Tain” Watts, the festival’s artist in residence, will heat things up with Drum Club featuring Joe Locke, Susie Lbarra, Horacio Hernandez, Tony Allen and Pedro Martinez.
    The Soul Rebels Brass Band will serve up their unique and skillful take on brass band music.
    SATURDAY, SEPT. 3
    Rayse Biggs & Friends, longtime Detroit favorites, will show why they have remained so popular.
    Derrick Gardner & the Jazz Prophets are sure to please.
    The Dave Holland Octet, led by the bassist/composer, will play “all of it.”
    Chuck Jackson, the famed R&B hitmaker from the 1960s who hasn’t performed in Detroit in many years, will do his biggest hits, including “I Don’t Want to Cry” and  his signature song, “Any Day Now”
    The Sean Jones Quintet, from Mack Avenue Records, is sure to be a crowd favorite.
    Curtis Fuller will blow his horn loud, long and sweet.
    Gerard Gibb & (the Return of) ORGANized Crime have something special planned for festival-goers.
    Kimmie Horne started in R&B but has since evolved into a consummate jazz artist.
    The Deacon Jones Blues Revue: What’s the festival without blues? Jones served as bandleader for the legendary John Lee Hooker.
    The Russ Miller Quartet can’t wait for the public to hear what they have prepared.
    Mandrill emerged in the 1970s with their world music sounds and is still vital.
    Jason Moran & the Bandwagon: Moran has been described as “a risk taker and an innovator.”
    The Sun Ra Arkestra. This is a unique ensemble with a long history.
        Vertical-Engine:             Ja­pan­ese sounds presented with love and a belief in culture sharing.
    SUNDAY, SEPT. 4
    Johnnie Bassett with special guest Thornetta Davis. Like Little Milton said, “Hey! Hey! The blues is all right!”
    Regina Carter’s Reverse Thread. A first class act is sure to give a first class performance.
    The Aaron Diehl Quintet. This act from Chicago will be made to feel at home in Detroit.
    Josh Duffee and His Orchestra prove that big band music is here to stay.
    Amina Figarove is a globetrotter and music is a reflection of that.
    Walt Szymanki — Tribute to J.C. Heard. The bandleader, like so many others, has great respect for the late J.C. Heard.
    Tony Monaco has beaten the odds to become a success.
    Luciana Souza with Romero Lubambo: The sounds of Brazil in D-Town.
    Toots Thielemans has been called “one of the greatest musicians of our time” by none other than Quincy Jones.
    Warren WolF & WOLFPAC. Wolf got his first break playing with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
    Vinicius Cantuária will bring more Brazilian sounds.
    The Anat Cohen Quartet. She has been a described as “a joy to listen to.”
    The Pauito D’Rivera Quintet. This Cuban music is the real thing.
    Richie Goo
    ds and Nuclear Fusion: Electric bass, electric power.
    Sammy Figueroa & the Latin Jazz Explosion. This is going to be exciting. A percussion delight.
    Hot Club of Detroit with special guest Cyrille Aimée. Music tailor-made for the festival.
    The V-jay Iyer Trio combines Indian and contemporary classical music.
    Los Gatos is a favorite band in Ann Arbor.
    Rahsaan Patterson, a unique artist, will include selections from his brand new album.
    The U.S. Air Force Airman of Note with Joe Locke are celebrating their 61st anniversary.
    Jeff “Tain” Watts is one of the jazz world’s best and most diverse. Fans are looking forward to his presentation.
    MONDAY, SEPT. 5
    Kevin Eubanks, The “Tonight Show” bandleader for many years, is going to do it right for Detroit.
    Alex Graham makes the alto saxophone sing.
    The Oblivion Project has attracted a lot of attention and continue to gather fans.
    The Karriem Riggins Ensemble featuring Common. One does not expect to hear a drummer performing alongside a rap star, but it is  happening.
    Rafael Ricky Statin, saxophonist, attended schools in Detroit and Sterling Heights.
    The Ivan Lius Quartet. When the quartet plays, audiences feel as though they are in South America.
    Joe Lovano Us Five. He is known as “a hard swinging tenor player.”
    Dave Sharp’s Secret Seven transcends musical, national and ethnic boundaries.
    Keith Vreeland and Bad Dog. He has been on the Michigan jazz scene for many years.
    Steve Wilson & Wilsonian’s Grain. Their music is as interesting as their name.
    Larry Callahan and Selected of God have won “Best Choir” honors in numerous gospel competitions.
    Champian Fulton, from Oklahoma, has been in a jazz environment his entire life.
    Kathy Kosins. This vocalist from metro Detroit has a solid fan base.
    Lowell Pye, like so many other gospel singers, honed his skills singing in church.
        The Second Ebenezer Majestic Voices, founded by Bishop Edgar L. Vann II, epitomize excellence in song.
        The Steeles, a family gospel group from Gary, Indiana, look forward to singing here.
        Helen Sung & Sung With Words. She is the winner of the Kennedy Center Mary Lou Williams Piano Competition.
        The Anthony Wilson Trio. He is known for imagination, depth and maturity.
        Sachel Vasandani: A superb vocalist from Chicago.
    The Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra Plays the Music of Christian McBride with special guest Ernie Ernie Andrews will be the festival finale.
    Many high school bands will also be featured.
    All this is in addition to outreach and education components — including the Artist in Residence Program, the Poetry Slam Series, the Jazz Talk Tent, “Kid Bop,” the Summer Jazz Institute, Jazz Week @ Wayne and so much more.
    Again, for additional, more detailed information, visit detroitjazzfest.com.

    Comments

    blog comments powered by Disqus
    Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

    Join 210 other followers