July 21, 2024

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Chick Corea named 2018 Detroit jazz festival artist-in-residence: Photos, Video

Chick Corea helped create jazz fusion style. Famed pianist and composer has won 22 Grammy Awards. Musician to lead several performances during 39th annual Labor Day.

Famed pianist and composer Chick Corea has been named the 2018 Detroit Jazz Festival artist-in-residence.

Chick Corea, a 22-time Grammy-winning piano virtuoso and composer, has been named the 2018 Detroit Jazz Festival artist-in-residence.

Corea will lead several performances at the 39th annual Labor Day weekend festival in downtown Detroit, according to a news release from festival organizers. The announcement was made Thursday night during the Straight Ahead 25th Anniversary Reunion performance at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, which is owned by Carhartt heir and prominent jazz fest booster Gretchen Valade.

Corea played alongside Miles Davis in the late 1960s and participated in the birth of jazz fusion. He is a Downbeat Hall of Famer and is an NEA Jazz Master – the nation’s highest honor for jazz artists.

“Chick Corea is a flawless fit as the ambassador of our Festival and will set a uniquely high standard for the vastly diverse, purely jazz performances leading up to and during Labor Day weekend,” Chris Collins, president and artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation, said in the release.

Labor Day weekend is upon us, which means the Detroit Jazz Festival is back. The lineup always includes artists from all over the country and the world, as well musicians native to Detroit. The artist in residence this year is Chick Corea.

Chris Collins, the president and artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to preview the weekend’s entertainment.

In its 39th year, the festival “has something for everybody,” says Collins. “The beauty of jazz is that it’s not in a box,” he adds.

“Jazz is an open-ended entity. The artform has always welcomed cultures from around the world and integrated generations. (Jazz music) really is the basis of American music.”

The Aug. 31-Sept. 3, the jazz fest is among the largest and most cherished events in the city of Detroit. Top-level musicians from around the world descend on the city to deliver performances in a variety of genres from jazz fusion and swing to blues and soul.

This year’s lineup has yet to be announced. Last year, the artist-in-residence was Wayne Shorter, a decorated saxophonist and composer.

Detroit Public TV kicks off the Fall arts season with a live concert with acclaimed saxophonist Ravi Coltrane from the Jazz Fest stage, as part of its year-round Ticket to the Arts Initiative

The world’s largest free jazz festival kicks off this weekend, and Detroit Public Television for the first time will be broadcasting live from the Detroit Jazz Festival in a 90-minute program hosted by our own Fred Nahhat and Jazz Fest President Chris Collins.

It will feature a live performance from famed saxophonist Ravi Coltrane along with other festival highlights. Coltrane has a strong jazz lineage, as the son of the legendary John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane, a native of Detroit and a jazz stalwart in her own right. A critically acclaimed Grammy-nominated saxophonist, bandleader and composer, Ravi Coltrane has released six albums and worked as a sideman on many other noteworthy recordings.

This jazz special kicks off our year-long celebration of arts and culture, the bread and butter of Detroit Public TV and its sister radio station, WRJC 90.9 FM. Throughout the coming months, our Ticket to Arts initiative will herald a full spectrum of arts content and coverage.

There will be remarkable national programming from PBS, like Great Performances, Masterpiece dramas and American Masters. And there will be close-to-home culture gems, such as DPTV’s weekly arts program, Detroit Performs, and WRCJ’s live broadcasts of the DSO and MOT and its regular schedule of classical music during the day and jazz at night.

Your Ticket to the Arts begins this Labor Day weekend with the 39th Detroit Jazz Festival, a global showcase of America’s music. This year’s artist-in-residence is Chick Corea, who will perform a wide range of sets with his Akoustic Band, Elektric Band and the Detroit Jazz Festival Symphony Orchestra. Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding will lead the inaugural Resident Ensemble, which will focus on the music of Geri Allen, a Pontiac native who died last year.

The festival runs from Friday, Aug. 31, through Labor Day Monday, Sept. 3, in Hart Plaza and at other venues downtown.

Be sure to stop by the WRCJ 90.9 FM tent, where you’ll find the station’s jazz hosts, Maxine Michaels and John Penney if they’re not serving as emcees on the music stages.

Cécile McLorin Salvant: Carhartt Amphitheater Stage: 4:30-5:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 3

A modern-day Billie Holiday, Salvant’s latest album Dreams and Daggers came out on Mack Avenue just last year. A mix of standards and originals, it’s a stunner from top to bottom, earning her a third Grammy nomination and second Grammy award for best jazz vocal album thanks to Salvant’s crystal clear vocals. A playful, transformative sensibility informs Salvant’s take on the standards, while her originals are breathy pieces of moody poetry. This performance is sure to bring all this gorgeous energy to the stage.

Alex Harding and Organ Nation: Absopure Water Front Stage
2-3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 2

Has baritone saxophone been missing from your life? Not to worry, as Detroit native Alex Harding is bringing his rich, expressive bari sax playing to Jazz Fest with his trio Organ Nation. Joined by Djallo Djakate on drums and Jim Alfredson on organ, the group presents a sonic exploration of jazz through its blues origins, funk fusions, and swinging styles.

Hubtones: Freddie Hubbard 80th Birthday Celebration JPMorgan Chase Main Stage: 4-5:15 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 2

For the old-school among us is a birthday celebration that takes its name from one of trumpeter Freddie Hubbard’s classic ’60s Blue Note albums. In honor of what would have been his 80th birthday, four prominent trumpeters are coming together to breathe new life into Hubbard’s swinging, swaggering tunes.

Joan Belgrave: You’re My Everything — Songs of Love & Life
Wayne State University Pyramid Stage: 2-3 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 2

The wife of late local luminary trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, Joan is a force to be reckoned with. Known for her vivid melodies and vocal flexibility, to listen to Belgrave is a soothing emotional experience. She fills the air around her with an atmosphere of romance and warmth. From jazz to blues to gospel to soul, Belgrave does it all with heart and style.

Karriem Riggins with the Detroit Jazz Fest Alumni Band and guests: JPMorgan Chase Main Stage: 2-3:15 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 2

In the center of the Venn diagram for jazz and hip-hop is Karriem Riggins. Yet another Detroit native on the lineup, Riggins began studying music in the sixth grade under none other than Marcus Belgrave. Two years later he switched to drums — on a set that Belgrave actually gave him — and never looked back. As a drummer, he has recorded and performed with everyone from fellow Detroit native trumpeter Donald Byrd to vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson to pianist Norah Jones. At the hip-hop end of his musical spectrum, Riggins has done production work for Slum Village, Erykah Badu, and Common, among many more. Common is a part of Riggins’ most recent project too, a new group called August Greene that thoughtfully blends hip-hop, soul, and jazz (Robert Glasper is also a member). It should be a pleasure to see what Riggins has in store with the Detroit Jazz Fest Alumni Band and who the special guests will be!

Mind’s Eye: Carhartt Amphitheater Stage: 1:30-2:30 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 2

The music of Mind’s Eye has been compared to Miles Davis’ mid-1960s quintet — that alone is reason enough to catch this quartet. Based out of Grand Rapids, the group formed in the early ’90s to present original music in their own modern jazz style. At Jazz Fest they will premiere brand new works composed specifically for this appearance.

Senri Oe: Wayne State University Pyramid Stage: 3:45-4:45 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 2

For 25 years, 57-year-old Senri Oe was a pop star and actor in his native Japan. His career was massively prolific and successful, resulting in over 40 singles and nearly 20 albums. One day, when he was in his 40s, he caught sight of his own face in the reflection of a store window. He wasn’t smiling, and that troubled him. He realized that he needed to chase his childhood dream: becoming a jazz pianist. Shortly after, he quit the pop world and immersed himself in jazz piano. His music is delightful and dramatic, moving and melodious, and a true testament to the fact that it is never too late to follow your heart.

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