The 31st Annual Detroit International Jazz Festival | Sept 3rd – Sept. 6th, 2010

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Detroit International Jazz Festival
 2010 Edition of the Labor Day Weekend Classic
 to Celebrate
Flame Keepers

Allen Toussaint, Take 6, Branford Marsalis, Mulgrew Miller,
Haynes, Manhattan Transfer,
Kirk Whalum, and Mambo Legends Orchestra
on tap


Today, festival organizers
announced the lineup for the 31st Detroit International Jazz Festival
(DJF), Friday, September 3 through Monday, September 6, in downtown
Subtitled “Flame Keepers – Carrying the Torch for
Modern Jazz,” the Detroit Jazz Fest will feature a veritable “dean’s
list” of alumni who passed through the “schools” of Art Blakey, Horace
Silver, Betty Carter, Ray Brown, Miles Davis and Gil Evans.  “2010
artists Mulgrew Miller, Bobby Watson, Branford Marsalis, Terence
Blanchard, Randy Brecker, and Benny Green were all in Blakey’s band at
one time or another,” says festival director Terri Pontremoli. “These
musicians went on to develop their own bands, explore new territory and
nurture a new generation of flame keepers,” she added.  “In jazz, a lot
of press is given to the veterans or to the young lions. I am happy to
focus this year on these “middle men” who are in the peak of their
creative and technical powers, making significant music in our time.”
the 2010 artist in residence, pianist Mulgrew Miller will be featured
on several stages throughout the weekend. On opening night, his trio
will be joined by Take 6, and his other appearances include a duo piano
session with Kenny Barron, a performance with his own band Wingspan, and
a project with Detroit-based artists Karriem Riggins and Bob Hurst.
Watson will reunite HORIZON with Terell Stafford, Victor Lewis, Edward
Simon and Essiet Essiet. Michael Weiss’s quintet will feature Randy
Brecker in a tribute to Horace Silver, and Benny Green, along with
Christian McBride and Greg Hutchinson will pay homage to Ray
Brown. Maria Schneider, a clear disciple of composer/arranger Gil Evans,
will bring her entire orchestra to town. In recognition of the 100th
birthday of Django Reinhardt, the Hot Club of Detroit will perform.
“Brownie Speaks” will feature 20-somethings Dominick Farinacci and
Jonathan Batiste remembering Clifford Brown.  A special tribute to
Detroit’s Pepper Adams will feature the great baritone saxophonist Gary
Smulyan with another Detroit hero, pianist Barry Harris. “Defenders of
the Groove” with vocalist Ernie Andrews, Detroit’s Louis Hayes, Donald
Harrison, Eddie Henderson, and Melvin Sparks are sure to tear it up. 
Vocalists this season include Grammy-winner Kurt Elling with special
guest Ernie Watts, and Tierney Sutton.  The Manhattan Transfer will
perform some of their recent Chick Corea material and then swing
standards with the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra, under the direction
of Dennis Wilson. 
Other artists include pianist Danilo Perez,
saxophonist Tia Fuller, Freddy Cole Trio, Scott Kinsey Quartet, Poogie
Bell Band with Victor Bailey, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. Newly
signed Mack Avenue artist Kirk Whalum, joined by Lalah Hathaway and
Robert Randolph, will perform the music of Donny Hathaway. Pumping the
B3 in a Saturday night fish fry will be Pat Bianchi Trio and Mike
LeDonne Quartet.
The legendary Roy Haynes will appear with his
Fountain of Youth band, and drummer extraordinaire Matt Wilson will
present Trio M with pianist Myra Melford and bassist Mark Dresser in an
adventurous set.
The Detroit International Jazz Festival will
continue to encourage young talent not only by inviting college and high
school ensembles to showcase on the Meijer Education Stage, but by
giving them opportunities to perform with jazz veterans.  The Wayne
State University Big Band will perform Terence Blanchard’s Jazz &
Film project with Terence Blanchard and the Michigan State University
Big Band will perform a tribute to Horace Silver with Silver alum Randy
Brecker. Other visiting schools include the Berklee (Boston) Jazz
Ensemble, the Juilliard Jazz Ensemble, William Paterson Jazz Ensemble,
and the Brubeck Institute Jazz Quartet.  Jazz Fest continues to showcase
outstanding Michigan high school jazz ensembles. And back by popular
demand is the KidBop area for the wee-boppers and their parents, with
stories, songs, tap dancing and other fun activities.
The Pepsi
Jazz Talk Tent will be full of laughs and stories, with national artists
and writers.  Topics will range from remembering Art Blakey to
discussing the genius of Betty Carter, Gil Evans and the unique voice of
Art Pepper.
“As is always the case with this festival, the
music will be burnin’, and the ever-hip and amazing Detroit audience
will respond in their uniquely enthusiastic and respectful way.” 
its 30th anniversary in 2009, the festival initiated a year-long
series, “Another Great Day in Detroit.”  Through collaborations with the
Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit
Symphony Orchestra, Wayne State University, Detroit Institute of Arts,
the Guardian Building, The Arts League of Michigan the Rowland Café, and
area jazz clubs, the series will continue to please Detroit music
lovers, showcasing Detroit musicians, and building momentum toward Labor
Day Weekend.
The Detroit International Jazz Festival is the
largest free jazz festival in North America. It has become a major
tourist attraction, with 23% of its audience coming from out of state.
It has a $90M economic impact on Detroit and showcases the city in its
most positive light.  In 2010, the festival has received support from
the National Endowment for the Arts, the Erb Foundation and the Kresge
Foundation. Major corporate sponsors include Chase, Carhartt, Absopure,
Mack Avenue Records, DTE Energy, Meijer, Budweiser, Pepsi, Comcast and
Fox 2.  In addition, there is a growing base of individual support.
 Fans are encouraged to become Rhythm Section members by making
donations of any size on line over the next few months, as
philanthropist Gretchen Valade will match any gift by 50% to help
sustain the festival as a free event.  “We are extremely grateful to
have the support of these institutions and individuals,” adds
Pontremoli. “They are our life blood.”
Nightly after-hour jam
sessions will be held at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center,
the official festival hotel.
The festival is entering Phase II
of a Greening Program sponsored by DTE Energy and the Detroit Jazz Fest
Cruise on the Ovations Yacht, is scheduled for August 19.  
more information, including festival updates and details on how you can
help “Carry the Torch,” visit

DL Media

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