The 37th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival | September 2nd-5th, 2016

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Detroit Jazz Fest - 2016


Detroit Jazz Festival Announces World-Class 
Lineup for 37th Annual Labor Day Weekend Event


The Detroit Jazz Festival today announced its lineup for the 37th annual Labor Day Weekend Festival that will feature an eclectic array of performers across varied styles and generations from jazz legends, new artists to the scene and those at the height of their careers, once again creating one-of-a-kind performances not seen anywhere else. With Detroit native and jazz legend Ron Carter as artist-in-residence, this year’s festival has a decidedly Detroit flair, with the annual Homecoming Series of performances taking an expanded role. With the backdrop of Detroit’s skyline, the world’s largest free jazz festival will take to the streets of downtown Detroit on September 2nd through 5th, 2016 with hundreds of musicians gracing four stages.
“The jazz tradition in Detroit is iconic and known worldwide. Today, it’s a vibrant scene that is constantly evolving and growing and our Festival, continues to nurture and support it,” said Gretchen Valade, chair of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation Board of Directors. “With the wonderful Ron Carter as our artist-in-residence, we are taking the music to a new level with the Detroit connection. And, once again, we hope the Festival transcends the music itself and gets people downtown to see and experience Detroit’s distinct flavor. We look forward to adding to Detroit’s jazz tradition and another Labor Day weekend to remember.”
Legendary bassist, Ron Carter–the most-recorded bassist in music history with more than 2,000 to his credit–is the cornerstone of this year’s lineup and will perform four times throughout the weekend including a nonet, trio, quartet and big band sets.
In addition to Carter’s performances, other 2016 Homecoming Series Performances include:
  • David Weiss and Point of Departure celebrate the music of Detroit legends Kenn Cox and Charles Moore
  • Kenn Cox tribute with Special Guests
  • Stanley Cowell Quintet featuring Billy Harper and Charles Tolliver
  • Kirk Lightsey and Louis Hayes – Homecoming Band
  • Charlie Gabriel Quartet
Other 2016 performers include:
  • George Benson
  • John Scofield, Brad Mehldau, Mark Guiliana
  • Roy Hargrove with Strings
  • The RH Factor
  • Freddy Cole and the Detroit Jazz Festival String Orchestra – The Cole Family Legacy – remembering Nat and Natalie
  • Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano
  • Terri Lyne Carrington’s Mosaic Project
  • Chris Potter Underground Orchestra
  • Randy Weston’s African Rhythms & the Wayne State University Big Band – 90th birthday celebration
  • Ms. Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton
  • Jason Moran Bandwagon Trio
  • Roberta Gambarini and Jimmy Heath – Celebrating Jimmy Heath’s 90th
  • Marcus Roberts Modern Jazz Generation
  • Luciana Souza – Speaking in Tongues
  • Alfredo Rodríguez Trio
  • Harold López-Nussa
  • The Soul Rebels
  • John Abercrombie Organ Trio
  • Vanguard Jazz Orchestra: Established by Thad Jones & Mel Lewis Celebrate 50 years at the Village Vanguard
  • Gregoire Maret & the Inner Voice Ensemble
  • Charnée Wade
  • Herlin Riley Quintet
  • United States Air Force Airmen of Note
To see the full lineup, visit
“Each year, we make it a priority to create an artist lineup that’s representative of the many forms of jazz. The diverse nature of the genre promotes sonic experimentation and exploration, creating a new experience with every song and performance. It’s our responsibility to capture this, to make sure we give that thrilling experience of musical discovery to our attendees, and I think our musicians this year will make that happen,” said Chris Collins, president of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation Board of Directors and artistic director of the Festival. “We are dedicated to making this a jazz experience to remember, one that is original, expressive and inimitable. We can’t wait to share it with Detroit.”
To highlight up-and-coming talent, the Detroit Jazz Festival invites musicians from metro Detroit and across the globe to enter an annual jazz competition. This year’s competition, The 2016 Detroit Jazz Festival Ron Carter National Bass Competition, is open to bassists 35 years of age or younger whose artistry reflects the commitment to tradition and search for originality that are tenants of Ron Carter’s virtuosity.
With the incentive of a performance slot at the Festival and monetary prizes, this year, contestants will submit recordings which will be evaluated on artistic excellence, creativity, group interaction, originality, familiarity with the jazz vocabulary, and stylistic continuity. Applications must be submitted by June 25, 2016 at
The Detroit Jazz Festival not only actively seeks out established and up and coming musicians, but it also participates in education initiatives throughout the year, helping cultivate the jazz culture in Detroit through workshops, student performances and concert showcases. The Festival also has a positive impact on economic activity with weekend activities, performances and initiatives–bringing masses of people to downtown Detroit.
This Labor Day weekend festival will take place in Hart Plaza and Campus Martius, downtown Detroit. Jazz enthusiasts from around the world will be in attendance as these acclaimed artists take over JPMorgan Chase Main Stage, Carhartt Amphitheater Stage, the Waterfront Stage and the Pyramid Stage.
The 37th annual Detroit Jazz Festival’s major corporate sponsors, who continue to keep the festival free, include JPMorgan Chase & Co., Quicken Loans, DTE Energy Foundation, Carhartt, Ford Motor Company, Greektown Casino-Hotel, Absopure, Mack Avenue Records and Comcast. Individuals also can support the Festival through Rhythm Section memberships.
About the Detroit Jazz Festival
The Detroit Jazz Festival is an independent, non-profit organization that presents jazz and educational workshops throughout the year. The Detroit Jazz Festival is the largest free jazz festival in the world and a major tourist attraction for the City of Detroit, with 23% of its audience coming from out of state.
The Festival receives grant funding from the Kresge Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Erb Family Foundation, Arts Midwest Touring Fund, Carolyn P. Wanzo and the Detroit Public Schools Foundation. Hundreds of individual donors also contribute to the Festival through membership and donations. Major corporate partners include JPMorgan Chase & Co., Quicken Loans, DTE Energy Foundation, Carhartt, Ford Motor Company, Greektown Casino-Hotel, Absopure, Mack Avenue Records and Comcast. Additional partners include AMTECH International, Central Michigan University, Cliff Bell’s, Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, Detroit 300 Conservancy, Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe, Fathead, Great Lakes Beverage, Merrill Lynch, MGM Grand Detroit, Opportunity Detroit, Pepsi, Plante Moran, PNC Bank, St. John Providence, Wayne State University, Whole Foods Market and Woodward Gallery. Media partners include Fox 2, WJR, WDET-FM, WEMU-FM, WRCJ-FM, DownBeat, JazzTimes andMetro Times. The Greening of the Detroit Jazz Festival is supported by a generous grant from the DTE Energy Foundation.
For more information, visit
DL Media

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