Coronavirus: Detroit Jazz Festival says show will go 'full steam ahead', all artists onboard so far

The world's largest free jazz festival will take place during Labor Day weekend from September 4 to September 7 in downtown Detroit


                            Coronavirus: Detroit Jazz Festival says show will go 'full steam ahead', all artists onboard so far
Dee Dee Bridgewater (Getty Images)

Despite the coronavirus pandemic that the world faces, with many other music events being postponed or canceled, the 41st Detroit Jazz Festival has announced they are proceeding "full steam ahead", according to reports.

The world's largest free jazz festival will take place during Labor Day weekend from September 4 to September 7 in downtown Detroit. Herbie Hancock, Robert Glasper, Pharoah Sanders, Bob James, the Manhattan Transfer, Take 6 and artist-in-residence Dee Dee Bridgewater are among the big names that will play at the event.

Bridgewater will perform each day and her sets will include the Woodshed Network Ladies and Bill Charlap and will close the festival leading an all-female big band. Additionally, the American 'How Insensitive' singer will be part of Kurt Elling's 'Big Blind' which is a narrative two-hour piece that will also feature Ben Vereen and more.

According to Billboard, the DJF president and artistic director Chris Collins said, "We ARE a jazz festival; Everything falls from the jazz tree, from the jazz perspective. Everything is very much based on the history and language of jazz and the community sensibilities of sophisticated improvisation". He adds, "But it's also about evolution, which is a tenant of jazz music itself. It's an ever-evolving, living, breathing art form. Every year we try to reflect that in the programming."

Collins also said that DJF organizers are "keeping a very close eye on and reacting to" developments in the pandemic but feel the best course of action is to proceed on pace. No artists have canceled their appearances for the festival and Collins additionally raised the possibility that performers who lost gigs at North American and European festivals due to the pandemic may also be added to DJF. He says, "I'm looking forward to this as a shining light at the end of the summer and a challenging time, and one where we all gather around together to celebrate the beauty of the music, the city, the artistry. I think joyous information needs to get out there -- especially after some challenging information".

The Detroit Jazz Festival Live app will begin webcasting performances starting this week from March 24 onwards till March 26 at least for this week and possibly longer. 

Check the full Detroit Jazz Festival lineup below.

September 4:

2020 Artist-in-Residence Dee Dee Bridgewater and the Woodshed Network Ladies
Herbie Hancock

September 5:

Matthew Whitaker Quartet
Kenny Barron Trio
Alicia Olatuja – “Intuition: Songs From The Minds of Women”
Etienne Charles – Creole Soul
David Binney Angeleno Quartet
Keyon Harrold presents Jazz and the Birth of Hip Hop with special guests “Elzi”, Georgia Anne Muldrow and Chris “Daddy” Dave
Pharoah Sanders: Icon
The Summit: The Manhattan Transfer Meets Take 6
Kurt Elling’s Big Blind; featuring Kurt Elling, 2020 Artist-in-Residence Dee Dee Bridgewater, Broadway Legend Ben Vereen and others

September 6:

Michael Mayo Quartet
Roberto Fonseca (100%) – YESUN (70%)
Alfredo Rodriguez & Richard Bona Sextet
2020 Artist-in-Residence Dee Dee Bridgewater and Bill Charlap
Abdullah Ibrahim and the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra
Anat Cohen Tentet/Musical Director, Oded Lev-Ari
Sean Jones: “Dizzy Spellz”
The Dave Brubeck 100th Anniversary Tribute; featuring the Brubeck Brothers, Jerry Bergonzi, the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra and Choir, and others
Fly Higher: Charlie [email protected] Co Music directors: Rudresh Mahanthappa & Terri Lyne Carrington
Gregory Porter

September 7:

Abdullah Ibrahim & Ekaya
Joey Alexander Trio
Jimmy Greene Quintet
Eddie Daniels and Bob James; Exploring New Worlds
Omar Sosa & Marialy Pacheco Piano Duo
Robert Glasper
2020 Artist-in-Residence Dee Dee Bridgewater and her all-female big band

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