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  • Writer's pictureJOHN OSLER'S UPBEAT Admin


In my last blog of 2017 I recalled my thoughts of the past year that included:

Carl’s smile and Willie saying: DIRRRRTY DAWG!!!



In response to this  blog, I received a comment from Bettye Wright.

Bettye’s brother, Gene Dunlap, is a drummer, a bandleader and is one of Detroit’s great jazz men. Bettye’s comment takes us far beyond just jazz and this one jazz club, albeit the Dirty Dog is possibly one of the world’s finest jazz clubs. It talked about the kindness and thoughtfulness that comes from being part of an extended family.

Here is her comment:


I needed to tell you how much I enjoy reading your blog. You are so correct. Carl is so personable, Willie is incredible and consistent, ( he) does not ever seem to have an off day. We were recently there when my brother, Gene Dunlap, was playing.  This month is bittersweet for our family. The staff of the Dirty Dog played such a critical role in Gene’s life

( back in 2016). The love, affection and support ( that was provided ) to Gene when he lost his only child, Brianna, in 2016 was awesome, to use one word .

Thank you Gretchen and everyone at the Dirty Dog,

Bettye Wright

In Bettye’s comment she talked about something that I have observed ever since I first stopped in for a beer and some jazz 6 years ago. The Dog is an authentically friendly place. Everyone is treated as family. Families need a place to talk things out.

Thank you Bettye for sharing your thoughts. It got me to thinking about the wealth of upbeat stories that exist in our community and that this space can help bring them forward.


Bettye Wright’s comment made me realize how important it is to have positive conversations.

This year I would like to start an upbeat conversation in this blog about Detroit, jazz, food, art, and sometimes the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe

The Dirty Dog because of a history of excellence and a philosophy of respect for the music and the listener has been by any measure a success. The Dirty Dog has earned a solid reputation and has attracted customers who have  an interest in jazz and know a good thing when they have it.


Some possible regular features could include the following:

Guest bloggers would discuss jazz and art in Detroit. These bloggers could include jazz musicians and our knowledgeable customers.

My personal insight into what makes the Detroit and the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe click.

There will be a lot to talk about about in 2018 with so much dynamic growth in jazz and Detroit.

We will make it easy to join in the conversation and look forward to an upbeat new year.

The new year at the the Dirty Dog will begin by presenting




Wendell was born in Detroit, Michigan.He studied with one of our great pianist Barry Harris. He began playing clarinet at age seven. He switched to tenor saxophone at 14 when he first performed professionally. His early gigs included backing up Marvin Gaye


In 1971, Wendell returned from New York and reconnected with Marcus Belgrave, Harold McKinney and trombonist Phil Ranelin. Together they.formed the Tribe record label and artist collective.The group also included drummer and composer Doug Hammond, pianist Kenny Cox, trumpeter Charles Moore, pianist David Durrah, and bassist Ron Brooks. These Detroit stalwarts in Tribe started a new dialog in the jazz community and didn’t hesitate to address social change. The jazz community still has a lot to say.

Let’s keep the conversation going.

John Osler

#MarcusEliot #Detroit #WendellHarrison #AguankoLatinMusicCubaCubanjazz #DetroitJazz #DirtyDogJazzCafé #JudyAdams #JazzinDetroit #GretchenValade #SeanDobbinsQuintet #IanFinkelstein

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