Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Check out Jazz Fest this Labor Day weekend

Sticking around town this Labor Day weekend?

If so, consider checking out
Detroit's 26th annual International Jazz Festival: it's a free, annual music festival complete with great tunes, excellent food, a street fair and lots of fun.

Campus Martius Park joins this year's festival, along with the area near the Spirit of Detroit

The festival, which is produced by Music Hall, is considered by many as the country's largest free jazz festival; attendance topped 600,000 last year.

Thanks in large part to Mack Avenue Records of Grosse Pointe - this year's main sponsor - the event will once again fill the streets of downtown Detroit with a variety of sounds from a number of different musical genres.

Although festivities will once again take place at Hart Plaza, the waterfront area beyond the intersection of Woodward and Jefferson avenues won't be the only place to see the local and visiting jazz masters; new stage locations at both Campus Martius Park and on Woodward near the Spirit of Detroit will play host to jazz-spawned genres including roots, R&B and blues.

Musical highlights of the 2005 Jazz Fest - which runs from Friday, September 2 through Monday, September 5 - include performances by T.S. Monk, McCuy Tyner (former pianist of John Coltrane Quartet), the Regal Brass Band of New Orleans, bebop legend Charles McPherson, and a tribute to Ray Charles by David "Fathead" Newman.

In addition to the big names, there are many other national and local musicians representing modern jazz, big band, post-bop, soul/funk, soul-bop, R & B and roots. The
Southeastern Michigan Jazz Association's website has a nice synopsis on the musicians representing each of these genres.

Lastly, make sure to check out at least one of the nightly after-parties at Bert's on Broadway; local jazz musicians will face-off with visiting musicians in old-fashioned jam sessions that are sure to be a blast.

For a complete schedule of performances and stage locations, please click

Visit the
Jazz Fest website or call Music Hall at 313.887.8501 for more information.

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