The International Detroit Jazz festival got it's start on Labor Day weekend in 1980! It has, since then become a huge staple in Detroit history. Not only is this Jazz festival 100% free to attend, it is also the largest Jazz festival that is free to attend. Every year since it's start in 1980 the Detroit Jazz festival has brought people from all over the world to patron and enjoy the event. It's an amazing place to be, and a fun time is had by everyone who attends. Robert McCabe and the Detroit Renaissance, the founders of the Detroit Jazz festival wanted nothing more then to bring people from all over the world together to appreciate and enjoy Jazz music! It didn't take long for the festival to become a tradition every Labor Day at Hart Plaza, in front of Detroit's beautiful River Front. Until the year 2000, however, the festival was known as the Montreux-Detroit Jazz festival. Detroit Jazz festivals mission is to present a world class event that makes Detroit a tourist destination, foster the history and the development of Jazz music, perpetuate Detroit's Jazz legacy through collaborative and educational opportunities assessable to all Detroiters. This festival accomplishes this and more every year it takes place in the 'Hart” of Detroit!
The 2014 Detroit Jazz Festival had an absolutely breathtaking line up of Jazz musicians. If you missed out on the festival, we feel bad for you! So many Jazz musicians graced the festival. Sean Jones Quartet, who is an amazing trumpeter and composer is making his mark on today's Jazz scene. Sean has apprenticed with some of the greats such as Gerald Wilson, Jimmy Heath, Frank Foster and Nancy Wilson. Sean was also lead trumpeter with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra from 2004-2010. In 2011, he went on an international tour with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, the tour was known as “Tribute to Miles”. Diane Schuur was also at the 2014 Jazz festival. Diane, also known by her nickname, “Deedles” was born blind and taught her self how to play the piano by ear. Diane was gifted with the ability to teach her self how to play the piano and perfect pitch, Deedles is also an amazing lead vocalist. During her career, she has earned herself 2 Grammy's, collaborated with B.B. King, Ray Charles, Barry Manilow and Jose Felliciano and countless others. She has preformed on PBS, Sesame Street and she has been invited to the White House multiple times to preform for the president. She continues to tour to this day, and grace the world with her beautiful music.
Pharoah Sanders Quartet also preformed at the 2014 Jazz festival with William Henderson and Joseph Farnsworth on piano, Nat Reeves on bass and the great Pharoah Sanders on the saxophone. Sanders obtains one of the most distinct and beautiful tenor saxophone sounds, when you hear him play, your soul is at peace. Rich with heavy overtones, Sander's sound is one that can be abrasive and raw as a saxophonist can get. Despite this fact, Sander's is highly regarded by many Jazz fans as a delight in the Jazz world. Astounding violinist Regina Carter graced the 2014 festival with her unbelievable talents on the violin. Regina can do everything on that violin! She does classical, funk, jazz, Motown, swing and world music. In her Sony Masterworks debut Southern Comfort, Carter takes you on a journey throughout her family history and the music of her grandfather. This master piece is Carters way to take you on a journey of her roots through a modern lens. Regina is a knockout! Tome Harrell a youthful 67 year old man who is at the top of his game. While everyone else his age is going into retirement, he is just getting started. Tom preformed at the 2014 Detroit Jazz festival, along side his band, Johnathan Blake (drums), Wayne Escoffery (tenor sax), Jaleel Shaw (alto sax), Ugonna Okegwo (bass) and Esperanza Spalding (bass and vocal). Tom and his band provided sounds of harmony, clarity and melodies. His band and their music have an avant-garde feel and sound to them. Toms goal was to have a band with both young and old so they could provide a modern sound to their audience. They accomplished that at the Detroit Jazz festival in 2014, and gained a larger fan base because of it. The Detroit Jazz festival is an amazing time for people of all ages. Allow the beautifully crafted, harmonically correct and unbelievable sounds of the festival grace your ears and take you on a musical journey. You won't be sorry you spent your Labor Day weekend at the Detroit Jazz festival!