A CLASS ACT
TWO CLASS ACTS ARE COMING TO A PLACE WITH CLASS
This week two jazz artists with class will be coming to the Dirty Dog Jazz Café.
I have always been uncomfortable with the word classy which implies something stylish, superior, high -toned and and exclusive. Some people wrongfully define class as based only on outward appearance. Long ago when I was growing up it was often used to describe something sophisticated, shallow and aloof. The classy restaurant that was special to my parents felt stuffy and served strange food. My best friends were never referred to as being classy. With time I have come across both places and people that had a lot of class without trying. Living in Detroit I have learned what a class act is. It comes effortlessly to the many hard working and thoughtful people. Class that is found in Detroit has less to do with wealth or material assets and more to do with having moral values, having a good work ethic, having empathy for others, sharing with others, being considerate of others, making do with what you have and appreciating what you do have
Having class means having a willingness to help others who truly need your help, being respectful of others, being discreet, being honest, being reliable, being trustworthy, being sincere, and being respectful.
I HAVE FOUND CLASS ALL AROUND ME
I find class in watching an older artist applaud the efforts of a young artist at the Detroit Fine Arts Breakfast Club and in the crowds that sometimes overflow the venues at Detroit’s Jazz Festival, even when they have to stand out of view of the stage they remain uncomplaining out of respect for the music. I find it in watching a young woman standing in line at Kroger give her place to an older customer and in friends who remain friends through the years. I find it in the Eastern Market farmer who lets you know when you have overpaid and in photographers who don’t use flash. Class can be found when a stranger wishes you a good day, when an executive’s purpose is to retain workers rather than profits, when leaders respect their critics as well as their followers, and when teachers learn from their students while they teach. We see a lot of class when winners and losers get a beer together at the local bar after the game.
“Classy” didn’t always leap to mind when I thought of jazz artists or jazz clubs. That was true until I started to hang out at places where I could hear musicians with good manners, upright bearing, deportment, ease with strangers, self depreciation, talent, effortless grace, tact and humility play the highest class of jazz, surrounded by a respectful audience.
CLASS ACTS at the Dirty Dog
“Classy” didn’t always leap to mind when I thought of jazz artists or jazz clubs. That was true until I started to hang out at places where I could hear musicians with good manners, upright bearing, deportment, ease with strangers, talent, effortless grace, tact and humility play the highest class of jazz, surrounded by a respectful audience.
This included all the musicians, staff and management who make an honest effort with good cheer. Examples seen at the Dirty Dog include any Detroit bassist laying down a pocket for another artist / everything about Marion Hayden has class, even her hair that dances when she nods her head to the beat, Dirty Dog manager Willie Jones’ gently nudging a glass to a better place on a table and his hand on one of the staff’s shoulder as he listens with a slight smile, Ralphe Armstrong when he talks with pride about Detroit, Gayelynn McKinney listening to Ralphe one more time, Chef Andre remaining unseen, smiling at the diners, Gretchen Valade taking accolades with grace and humility, Freddie Cole’s warm soul and voice, Carl being Carl, which means being alert to the needs of those around him, all the other jazz artists who show up in support of other artists, all the Detroit master artists who like Rodney Whitaker for no matter how important they become they don’t forget how they got there and all the artists that bring with them their high quality of talent, good cheer and selfless high character.
Coming To The Dirty Dog Jazz Café
TWO ARTISTS WHO DEFINE CLASS
November 1 – 2
Ian is a Detroit based pianist, composer, producer and educator. He’ll be playing a mix of Jazz standards and his own compositions. In past gigs at the Dirty Dog Ian has created and played an original piece for the occasion. Ian is a class act.
Nicole Henry has established herself as one of the jazz world’s most acclaimed vocalists, possessing a potent combination of dynamic vocal abilities, impeccable phrasing, and powerful emotional resonance.
Nicole Henry tells her stories through repertoire from the American Songbook, classic and contemporary jazz, contemporary standards, blues and originals.
She will add even more class to the weekend at the Dirty Dog.
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