DETROIT, MI. (Top40 Charts/ Detroit International Jazz Festival) - Today, festival organizers announced the complete lineup and sponsors for the 30th Anniversary of the Detroit International Jazz Festival (DJF), Friday, September
4 through Monday, September
7, in downtown Detroit.
Subtitled "Keepin' Up with the Joneses," the 2009 Detroit Jazz Fest will celebrate Thad, Elvin and Hank Jones and other great jazz families, including The Clayton Brothers, the Brubecks, John & Bucky Pizzarelli, Larry & Julian Coryell, the Heath Brothers, Pete & Juan Escovedo, Brian, Karma & Savannah Auger, Detroit's McKinneys, and the Clark Sisters. Homecomings include visits by Sheila Jordan, Geri Allen, Louis Hayes, Charles McPherson, Bennie Maupin, Karriem Riggins and Dee Dee Bridgewater. "It's a combination of a family reunion and special homecoming for Detroit jazz greats," says executive director Terri Pontremoli.
Fans will not want to miss the opening night festivities. Starting with a rare appearance by Hank Jones in the Pepsi Talk Tent at 4:15pm, the festival will "beat the drum" with the Alma College 36-member Percussion Ensemble on the Chase Stage at 4:30pm; look back 30 years through a reunion of the Northwestern High School 1980 Alumni Band on the Meijer Education Stage at 5:30, and move the crowds through a second-line by the Nicky Boy Band and the Cleveland Museum of Art DIVA puppets. Performances by the Hank Jones Trio and Chick Corea's Trio with Stanley Clarke and Lenny White will top off the evening. "We urge the public to come early not only to get a seat, but to witness special presentations and a celebratory opening night video," says Terri Pontremoli.
The festival will premiere two major works on its 30th anniversary: "Detroit" - a six movement work for jazz orchestra by Detroiter Gerald Wilson; and "T H E Family, Detroit," a three-movement work dedicated to Thad, Hank and Elvin Jones, by 2009 artist in residence John Clayton. The "concerto grosso," funded by the Joyce Foundation, will be performed on closing night by the Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra and the Clayton Brothers Quintet. "It is thrilling to me that both composers have championed Detroit and its rich jazz legacy through their music," says festival director Terri Pontremoli. "Now that I've heard the pieces, I can't wait to see the audience reaction. They're both awesome and unique."
Two tributes to important Detroit jazz musicians include: A treatment of Detroit trumpeter Donald Byrd's jazz-gospel recording A New Perspective - which also gives a festival nod to Blue Note on their 70th and showcases Mack Avenue artists Sean Jones, Tia Fuller, Ron Blake and Rodney Whitaker. They'll be joined by Perry Hughes, Rick Roe, Chris Kodish, Randy Gelispie, Chris Karlic, and a 16-piece gospel choir. The performance will be a part of the festival's traditional Come Monday gospel programming. Detroit's incomparable Lyman Woodard will also be tributed in a B3 blow out with Chris Codish, Ron English and Leonard King.
Debuts include the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra with special guests Janis Siegel, Jimmy Heath and Ron Blake; and the Midwest debut of Bennie Maupin's Dolphyana, with Billy Hart, Jay Hoggard and Nester Torres.
Other one-of-a-kind presentations include a 100th birthday celebration for Benny Goodman by clarinetist extraordinaire Eddie Daniels and the WSU Big Band; Bottoms Up!, a "superbass" performance by John Clayton, Christian McBride and Rodney Whitaker; DJ Pete Rock with Karriem Riggins; and tap dancer Maurice Chestnut as a fourth instrument in Geri Allen's quartet. Outside of jazz, audiences will be treated to appearances by soul queen Irma Thomas, Booker T, Detroit's own gospel sister act, The Clark Sisters, and Motown's very own Contours featuring Sylvester Potts.
Emerging artists in 2009 include vocalist Gretchen Parlato (2004 Thelonious Monk award winner); Alfredo Rodriquez, the stellar pianist recently discovered by Quincy Jones; vocalist Sachal Vasadani; and vocalist Jose James, who blew the audience away in 2008 as a special guest in the Marvin Gaye tribute.
DJF continues to encourage young talent not only by presenting college and high school ensembles, but by having them perform with jazz veterans. The Wayne State Big Band will be joined by clarinetist Eddie Daniels, and Michigan State University Jazz Orchestra will perform with Dee Dee Bridgewater. The Detroit Symphony's Civic Jazz Orchestra will play with Christian McBride, the Brubeck Institute will be joined by Gerald Clayton, and through a grant from the Erb Foundation, Gerald Clayton and Sean Dobbins have worked with the Detroit School of Arts Jazz Ensemble throughout the summer and will perform with them at the festival. Western Michigan University's jazz ensemble will team up with vibraphonist Stefon Harris. Visiting colleges include the Berklee (Boston) College of Music, North Carolina Central University, Eastern Michigan University, Central Michigan University and Juilliard. Detroit Jazz Fest continues its partnership with MSBOA by showcasing outstanding Michigan high school jazz ensembles. And back by popular demand is the KidBop area, presented by Meijer and Nintendo Wii, for the wee-boppers and their parents, with stories, songs and yes, a tap dancer!
The Pepsi Jazz Talk Tent will be full of laughs and stories, but with two historic additions: one session with Wayne Shorter and his biographer Michelle Mercer, and a live DownBeat Blindfold Test hosted by Dan Ouellette with Charles McPherson in the hot seat. There is a great deal of pressure on the artist for the Blindfold Test, but it is great fun for the audience. Other guests in the talk tent include Christian McBride, Bennie Maupin, Louis Hayes, TS Monk, Eddie Daniels and Sheila Jordan. Topics will range from remembering Cannonball to discussing the genius of Elvin Jones, Eric Dolphy, Donald Byrd, and the special piano trademark of Detroit.
Fundraising and Special Programs
Being socially and environmentally conscious, Detroit Jazz Fest is beginning a greening program through the auspices of DTE Energy, which allows the festival to have 20 recycling bins for guests to easily recycle plastic bottles and aluminum cans and bottles. Due to the growing need for food, a food drive is also being made possible by Meijer to benefit Gleaners Community Food Bank. "We hope that each and every fan will donate canned goods at the festival - this will really make a difference for those in need," says Scott Seling, group vice president of operations for Meijer's East Region.
Perhaps some of the most exciting news is the building momentum in fundraising and sponsorships. In one of the toughest economic climates, the festival has exceeded its goals for '09 and broken past fundraising records. "The Jazz Guardian Campaign (the festival's first annual giving campaign), and the Rhythm Section membership drive are demonstrating that individuals recognize the significance of the festival more than ever and are willing to step up to the plate to ensure its future as a free event," says Pontremoli.
Further, the festival has garnered a record-breaking number of sponsors from $2,500 to $100,000. Returning major sponsors include: Chase, Mack Ave. Records, Absopure, Carhartt, Budweiser, Pepsi, DTE Energy Foundation, Fox 2, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit and V98.7FM. New sponsors include Meijer, Nintendo Wii, Citizens Bank, DTE Energy, Delta Sky Miles, Baja Smoothies, Solaire, Seldom Blues and others.
In addition, the festival has been recognized by national foundations: the National Endowment for the Arts, NEA Jazz Masters Live, and the Joyce Foundation. The festival is at the end of a three-year grant from the Kresge Foundation, and has been newly granted by the Erb Foundation. Michigan Council on Arts and Cultural Affairs has supported the festival for the past two years.
"I believe the reasons for financial growth are many," says Terri Pontremoli. "We have only been an independent non-profit since 2006, and it takes time to nurture and develop relationships. Our integrity and product is solid, and public relations professional Peggy Goodwin takes really good care of our sponsors and donors. Our local, national and international reputation is great. The fans - all those happy listeners we see year after year - are beginning to understand the notion of grass roots support and being part-owners of this really special festival."
The festival has been celebrating its 30th anniversary since February through its 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, Midsummer Nights in Midtown, the Guardian Building, the Rowland Cafe, Baker's and Cliff Bells, the festival has been treating Detroit music lovers, showcasing Detroit musicians, teaching youngsters and building momentum toward the blow-out Labor Day Weekend.
For more information, including festival updates and details on how to become a Jazz Fest guardian or member of the Rhythm Section, visit www.detroitjazzfest.com.
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. The festival has received support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA), the Joyce Foundation, the Kresge Foundation and the Erb Family Foundation. Major corporate sponsors include Chase, Mack Avenue Records, Absopure, Carhartt, DTE Energy Foundation, Meijer, Citizens Bank, Delta Sky Miles, MGM Grand Detroit, Jackson's Five Star Catering, Detroit Medical Center, Solaire, Pepsi, Wayne County, Saturn, Budweiser, Nintendo Wii, Baja Smoothies, Greater Detroit Landscape Co., Splendid Plates, Detroit Free Press, Damon's Grill, Compuware, American Laser Centers, Great Lakes Fireworks, Seldom Blues, Comcast and Fox 2. Media sponsors include WDET, WEMU, WRCJ, WBGO, AM580, Smooth Jazz V98.7, CBS Outdoor, Hour Detroit/dBusiness, Jacobs Media, MetroTimes, Jazztimes Magazine, Downbeat Magazine, Jazzcorner.com. In addition, there is a growing base of individual support.