[JPL] Detroit jazz fest announces lineup to connect past, future
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
. A tribute to Silver, an innovative hard bop composer and pianist, by
pianist Michael Weiss' Quintet featuring Silver alumnus Randy Brecker on
. 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 Operations
Oak Park, MI 48237
TEXT "HAITI: TO 90999
Dr. Jazz Operations
Oak Park, MI 48237
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