[JPL] Detroit jazz fest announces lineup to connect past, future

Dr. Jazz drjazz at drjazz.com
Thu Apr 29 09:39:48 EDT 2010


Posted: April 28, 2010
Detroit jazz fest announces lineup to connect past, future

BY MARK STRYKER
FREE PRESS MUSIC WRITER

The Detroit International Jazz Festival is taking a broader, conceptual 
approach to programming in 2010. Rather than focus on a particular city 
or musicians as it has in the past -- say Detroit, Chicago, Philadelphia 
or the Jones brothers of Pontiac -- the festival has honed in on a 
powerful theme that speaks to the heart of the jazz tradition: Flame 
Keepers -- Carrying the Torch for Modern Jazz.

Announced today, the full slate of national acts for the 31st annual 
Labor Day weekend festival includes the always surprising pianist Danilo 
Perez (who appeared at last year's festival with Wayne Shorter), the 
Detroit-born bebop guru and pianist Barry Harris, versatile post-bop 
trumpeter Randy Brecker, Grammy-winning vocalist Kurt Elling and the 
charismatic Trio M, a free jazz collective with pianist Myra Melford, 
bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Matt Wilson.

They join a starry group of previously announced headliners, including 
the peerless 85-year-old drummer Roy Haynes, saxophonist Branford 
Marsalis, trumpeter and film composer Terence Blanchard, pianist and 
festival artist-in-residence Mulgrew Miller and composer and big band 
leader Maria Schneider, best known for her exquisitely orchestrated 
large ensemble works.

These players are reminders that jazz is all about legacy. Nearly all 
apprenticed with such influential bandleaders and stylists such as Art 
Blakey, Betty Carter, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Gil Evans and 
Horace Silver. Many have become mentors and influential in their own 
right, and several, including Brecker and Miller, represent the kind of 
inspired midcareer players whose hard-won individuality and 
craftsmanship are often overlooked.

Watching over the festival like a spiritual godfather is Haynes, a 
relentlessly innovative force since the late '40s, who has played with a 
dizzying array of heroes, from Charlie Parker and Lester Young to John 
Coltrane and Chick Corea. Still playing with superhuman vigor in his 
80s, Haynes will be leading his appropriately named Fountain of Youth 
band at the festival. That's how it goes in jazz: Each generation builds 
on the victories of the past, before handing the baton to the next wave 
arriving on the scene.

The festival is to be held Sept. 3-6 on five major stages stretching 
from Hart Plaza up to Campus Martius and Cadillac Square. It remains the 
largest free jazz festival in North America. The performance schedule 
and lineup of local bands will be announced this summer.

Here are more details about acts and tributes planned for the festival:

. A tribute to the Detroit-born baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams with 
his stylistic heir, baritone saxophonist Gary Smulyan, and pianist Barry 
Harris.

. A tribute to Silver, an innovative hard bop composer and pianist, by 
pianist Michael Weiss' Quintet featuring Silver alumnus Randy Brecker on 
trumpet.

. Alto saxophonist and Blakey alum Bobby Watson's Horizon reunion with 
trumpeter Terell Stafford, pianist Ed Simon, bassist Essiet Essiet and 
drummer Victor Lewis.

. An homage to bassist Ray Brown with pianist Benny Green, bassist 
Christian McBride and drummer Greg Hutchinson.

. Miller, 54, one of the most in-demand and versatile pianists in 
contemporary jazz, who earned his stripes with Blakey, Shaw and drummer 
Tony Williams, will appear at least four times as artist-in-residence -- 
as part of opening night Friday with the gospel ensemble Take Six, in a 
two-piano duet with Kenny Barron, with his regular working band Wingspan 
and with a trio with bassist Bob Hurst and drummer Karriem Riggins.

. Trumpeter Blanchard will appear with the Wayne State University Big 
Band in a Jazz & Film project. Brecker will also play Silver's music 
with the Michigan State University Big Band.

. Saxophonist Ernie Watts will appear with the Kurt Elling Quartet.

. Pop jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum, Lalah Hathaway and Robert Randolph 
will perform the music of Donny Hathaway.

. Other headliners include Mike LeDonne Quartet with the leader on 
organ; pianist-songwriter Allen Toussaint; Hot Club of Detroit (in a 
100th birthday tribute to Django Reinhardt); saxophonist Tia Fuller; 
Defenders of the Groove with Ernie Andrews, Donald Harrison, Eddie 
Henderson, Melvin Sparks and Detroit-born drummer Louis Hayes; vocalist 
Tierney Sutton; the Manhattan Transfer with the Detroit Jazz Festival 
Orchestra; Freddy Cole Trio; Poogie Bell Band with Victor Bailey, and 
the Fabulous Thunderbirds.

Contact MARK STRYKER: 313-222-6459 or mstryker at freepress.com

Dr. Jazz
Dr. Jazz Operations
24270 Eastwood
Oak Park, MI  48237
(248) 542-7888
www.drjazz.com <http://www.drjazz.com>

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-- 
Dr. Jazz
Dr. Jazz Operations
24270 Eastwood
Oak Park, MI  48237
(248) 542-7888
http://www.drjazz.com
SKYPE:  drjazz99



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