[JPL] Fwd: [New post] Russ Davis-Day One @ the 31st Detroit Jazz Fest

Russell Davis davispro at nyc.rr.com
Fri Sep 3 23:24:09 EDT 2010


Yep...I've set up shop in the Motor City for the second year in a row and a splendid time is on tap...

> Russ Davis
> MOJA Radio/VOA 
> 105 East 16th Street
> # 7 South
> New York, NY 10003
> russ at mojaradio.com
> 		jazz-america at voa.gov

> 
> 	
> Russ Davis-Day One @ the 31st Detroit Jazz Fest
> russdavis | September 4, 2010 at 3:07 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: http://wp.me/pQ1OF-2l
> Russ Davis reports on day one from the 31st Detroit International Jazz Festival.
> 
> My good friend, Lauren Versel, is a film producer whose last film, "City Island," was just brilliant. I mention this in a blog about being here for the Detroit Jazz Festival because she's shooting another film, a comedy titled "Vamps," here in Detroit. She tells me that they were looking for some rough and ready sets where vampires might hang out and the rougher side of Detroit was just perfect. That's probably what a lot of people think of Detroit…a burned out inner city where vampires would feel comfortable. An economically depressed area where manufacturing is down, GM is on its last legs and the city's glory days are long over. I beg to differ!
> 
> As I arrived this Friday afternoon on a beautiful, breezy cool day I saw sparkling buildings including the shiny GM building overlooking an industry that's on the rebound, streets filled with smiling, friendly, jazz-loving people…stages all set to welcome some of the greats of jazz today with a special theme of "Flame Keepers" or in other words, the artists with a connection to greats of the past that carry on the tradition of excellence in jazz. So for me to run into the director of the festival, the vivacious Terri Pontremoli, and the # 1 "Flame Keeper" and artist in residence for this year's festival, the great pianist Mulgrew Miller together at the opening day press event and then have a great conversation with them which I of course recorded to use on air, well that's the best start I could imagine. That and a meal of fried catfish, cheddar grits, cornbread and collard greens and I'm as ready to go as I could possibly be.
> 
> Mulgrew is one of those proud and noble talents who has risen to his current status with lots of hard work and dues paying. He's also been lucky enough to learn his craft working with some of the greats, incuding two of the greatest drummers, Art Blakey and Tony Williams. He's been with Woody Shaw, Betty Carter, Johnny Griffin and been in bands with Terence Blanchard, Donald Harrison and Detroit native Kenny Garrett. He brings the music of the Mississippi Delta where he was born with roots in Blues and Gospel. He brings sophistication and swing from many nights on the bandstand in many different settings and he'll need it all for the various performances he'll be part of at the 31st edition of the DJF.
> 
> The Friday schedule for the festival began in the afternoon with some of the incredibly talented bands from various Detroit-area schools, followed in the night with Mulgrew and the great vocal group Take 6 doing vocal versions of songs from the MIles classic "Kind Of Blue," followed by some good ol' East Bay Funk from the ultimate funky party band Tower of Power. It's a great way to start what will be another wonderful Labor Day holiday weekend spent with tens of thousands of happy music lovers cheering on the current crop of jazz "Flame Keepers" in a beautiful setting…a proud city with a wonderful heritage and a magnificent present. As a lover of jazz there's no place I'd rather be than right here in Detroit!
> 
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