[JPL] Detroit International Jazz Festival thoughts
ftapache1 at sbcglobal.net
Wed Sep 6 00:42:17 EDT 2006
Hi Blaise and everyone on JPL,
It was great to see you and your co-worker in Detroit! What a fabulous
festival! Frank Malfitano, Terri Pontremoli, Dr. Jazz and the rest were
wonderful hosts and it always seems that Detroit puts on its best
face!during Labor Day. Despite some inclimate weather on Saturday I just
thought to myself, "a rainy day at the Detroit International Jazz Festival
beats a sunny day in Cleveland or just about anywhere for that matter any
day of the year." First of all, it is impossible to see everything but I
was on my horse with my family the entire time I was there (and sore every
morning from all the walking :-)
I missed Friday nights acts with the Funk Brothers and Temptations due to a
major accident that backed up traffic for miles on I-90 heading to the Motor
City but I made up for that for the remainder of my time there. We started
Saturday morning with Blaise, Howard Mandel and his daughter Rosie, WWOZ's
Dwayne Brashears and his co-worker Chris to head to the Motown Museum. Very
special trip and well worth the visit for those who are Motown records fans.
It drizzled most of the day (the first time that's really happened in all
the years I've gone) but it did little to dampen my spirits. It was good to
hang out with Rodney Whitaker and family, Marion Hayden and family,
Warmdaddy Anderson and family, Bob Bobbing (Jaco Pastorious' childhood
friend), Bill Milkowski, Linda Yohn, The Good Dr., Dorthaan Kirk, Lois
Gilbert, Shahida and family, Sean Jones, Gretchen Valade, Denny and Ken from
Mack Avenue, Dr. Lonnie "The Turbanator" Smith, Lou Donaldson, Jeff Bersen,
Dave Love and family, Ilona Knopfler and I know I'm going to leave someone
off this list (sorry) The hang was as important as the music as many of you
know about attending these festivals.
The fact that it was all free (100 acts over seven stages and a riverboat)
makes this festival especially great. Everyone is welcome and the cross
section of people was amazing to witness as well. I saw nothing but smiles
all weekend. There was an instrument petting zoo where kids could have some
hands on experience, there was a talk tent where musicians such as Mose
Allison were interviewed (BTW, great job Tony Mowatt!) and Detroit music
history was shared and discussed by local historians. Food vendors and
booths selling artifacts of every description made for a very vibrant and
festive downtown Detroit. There was even an event where the Food Network was
Personal highlights musically for me began with The Brazil stage which was
off the hook! Sergio Mendes was a burst of Sunshine that evening along
with Shahida Nurullah (thanks for the shout out from the stage Shahida!),
Brasil Brasil and Oscar Castro-Neves. The fireworks display was perhaps the
finest and certainly the longest I've ever seen in my life! It would
crescendo like it was going to end and then it started all over again. Wow!
Fans of big bands were treated to amazing performances by Gerald Wilson's
big band, Jaco Pastorius Big Band conducted by Peter Graves and featuring
two wild men in Will Lee and his twin brother Hiram Bullock (smile), the
Detroit Princess riverboat was rocking as it went up and down the Detroit
River w/ Rodney Whitaker's students orchestra from Michigan State. Sean
Jones was not only eloquent with his horn but also with his impassioned
words from the stage. It really put the proper spin and perspective on his
latest Mack Avenue recording. He serenaded Gretchen Valade from the stage
with happy birthday which indeed was worthy of calling a highlight of the
evening. Ahmad Jamal.............would you have me say more? I caught part
of Pucho and His Latin Soul Brothers which brought back fond memories of the
sounds I heard coming up in my hometown of The "Boogie Down" Bronx.
Thank you Dr. Jazz for the great brunch on Sunday at Alexander Zonjic's
restaurant in the Marriott "Seldom Blues." Between you and Frank Malfitano
there have not been a better host.
Finally, I'd like to say something about Carhartt clothing heiress Gretchen
Valade. Last year she saved the festival when she took over the place of
Ford Motor company as the festivals title sponsor through her Mack Avenue
records label. She upped the ante with her gift of 10 million dollars to
the festival. I had the opportunity to interview her this year. The thing
I realize about Gretchen and her family is that they have always been in
service of regular working class people from 1890 when her grandfather
created durable work clothing for farmers, railroad and steel workers to the
hip hop youth of today who adorn themselves with their line of clothing
world wide. The symbiosis is remarkable and notable. Here she is in 2006
supporting a music that basically originated from working class people. It
is an uncommon act that has great nobility. She will be quick to tell you
that the festival belongs to the people of Detroit, but it wouldn't exist
without her gracious benevolence. I know she realizes her fortunes are
directly tied to regular working class people. She has given much to the
city of Detroit by championing its jazz community in a big way. It would be
great to see others with her resources step up to the plate and contribute.
Living in Cleveland and seeing how we struggle to keep jazz alive I can't
help but think about the people like Peter B. Lewis among others who could
do the same easily. Detroit is lucky to have her and she is lucky to have
Detroit. It's a beautiful thing. I am a witness.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Blaise Lantana" <blaise.lantana at riomail.maricopa.edu>
To: "'Jazz Programmers Mailing List'" <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
Sent: Tuesday, September 05, 2006 9:36 PM
Subject: RE: [JPL] Diana Krall/Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra???
> This week's sponsor: Dare2 and Sunnyside Records
> The Jazz Programmers Mailing List is a free service provided by JazzWeek.
> For more information visit us at http://www.jazzweek.com/jpl
> To become a sponsor contact Ed Trefzger
> at ed.trefzger at jazzweek.com or 866-453-6401.
> It seems to me that I always have my magnifying glass out to see who is
> playing what on what cut on a CD. And I think my tired old eyes are only
> part of the problem. Promotion has always focused on the "star" or front
> guys from pop to jazz. I just got back from Detroit and the Motown museum
> and thought about how long it took before any of the players, like the
> Brothers, got recognition for the work they did creating that sound.
> Just as a suggestion, if anyone wanted to add a radio friendly sticker or
> insert for programmers with who is playing what, that would be a nice
> gesture and including the cut number and time is of course always useful.
> don't expect radio to be the main priority of a release, but it's nice
> the label or promoter considers our needs and gives us a little help.
> way I can give out some of that info when I play the tune.
> Magical magnifying,
> Blaise Lantana
> Music Director
> KJZZ Phoenix
> 91.5 Fm
> This week's sponsor: Dare2 and Sunnyside Records
> Following up his Grammy award-winning album Overtime, DAVE HOLLAND returns
> with CRITICAL MASS, the first new studio album in five years from his
> highly acclaimed quintet featuring CHRIS POTTER (tenor and soprano), STEVE
> NELSON (vibes), ROBIN EUBANKS (trombone), and NATE SMITH (drums).
> CRITICAL MASS features eight road-tested, original compositions on record
> for the first time and, of course, masterful performances by a jazz group
> that has become a trademark for excellence in music.
> ON YOUR DESKS NOW!
> GOING FOR ADDS: 8/28 and 8/29
> IN STORES: 8/29
> FALL TOUR DATES, UPDATED BIO, PRESS RELEASE, PHOTOS and more, please visit
> Rock Paper Scissors's OPK at: http://tinyurl.com/fkfls
> LIMITED TIME ONLY!!! -- 100 MP3 free copies of a new version Dave's
> classic tune Dream of the Elders (recorded during the Critical Mass
> sessions) are available for download here: http://tinyurl.com/nf5hn
> For more information, interviews, etc. -- please contact:
> garrett at sunnysiderecords.com
> Send jazzproglist mailing list submissions to
> jazzproglist at jazzweek.com
> To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web, visit
> or, via email, send a message with subject or body 'help' to
> jazzproglist-request at jazzweek.com
> You can reach the person managing the list at
> jazzproglist-owner at jazzweek.com
More information about the jazzproglist