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Jazz 14/01/2020

From Detroit To Panama, Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation Bridges Cultural Divide With Music

From Detroit To Panama, Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation Bridges Cultural Divide With Music

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts / Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation) The Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation is expanding its international outreach this month with performances and workshops at the world-renowned Panama Jazz Festival.

The Latin American trip is part of the Detroit foundation's ongoing Latino outreach initiative — designed to foster collaborative partnerships with top global talent while engaging diverse American audiences through rich multicultural programming.

"This trip represents a global footprint for the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation," said Chris Collins, the foundation's president and artistic director. "The members of our All-Star Generations Band will serve as ambassadors of Detroit culture and music, sharing a sense of who we are as a city. This trip is an opportunity for Detroit musicians to learn more about Panamanian traditions and create music that is truly born from both sides: a cultural fusion."

The Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation All-Star Generations Band will perform in Panama's City of Knowledge on Jan. 13 before leading a series of workshops on Detroit's unique sounds and jazz traditions. Breakout sessions focused on individual instruments will be led by four Detroit artists: Chris Collins (saxophone), Marion Hayden Gardner (bass), Nate Winn (drums) and Wesley Reynoso (piano).

Collins will then travel to Cuba on Jan. 15 as a guest of the Havana Jazz Festival to continue planning for an upcoming collaboration and yearlong engagement. This past November, the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation All-Star Generations Band performed in Japan at the Tottori Jazz Festival and in jazz clubs.

"These initiatives have the power to break down barriers," Collins said. "In this day and age, it's easy to become jaded or even prejudiced toward people based on assumptions. Art and music can be the bridges that connect people, even in the face of political differences. There's an overarching message here that goes beyond music: We are all one, and we share many more commonalities than differences."

The Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation has been engaged in an ongoing cultural exchange with Panama since 2013, when the organization first teamed with Danilo Perez, a Panamanian-born pianist and humanitarian. Since then, artists and students from both countries have collaborated on workshops, exchange programs and international performances.

Jazz fans can expect to see the fruits of that labor this Labor Day weekend at the 41st annual Detroit Jazz Festival, a free four-day event that is expected to attract 300,000 people.

About the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation:
The Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation is an independent nonprofit organization that presents jazz and educational workshops throughout the year. The Foundation produces the Detroit Jazz Festival presented by Quicken Loans, which is the largest free jazz festival in the world and a major tourist attraction for the city of Detroit. Twenty-six percent of the audience comes from out of state. For more information, visit

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