A PRETTY GOOD YEAR
How do we follow a year of positive change like the last few years? Street lights have come back on. Building cranes can be seen where only hope lived before. Ideas have started to be listened to and financing is becoming more generally available. Detroiters allow themselves some time to enjoy the good things that have always been here. New shiny things have been added, and music can be heard coming out of newly occupied buildings.
Wayne Shorter in his role as artist in residence played four gigs at the Detroit Jazz Festival last Labor day weekend. The crowds who are known for being the worlds most knowledgeable group of fans in jazz were predictably enthusiastic. Despite large crowds there was no complaining, only appreciation and respect. That was the kind of year it was in Detroit.
We continue to appreciate what we have and we are starting to see our recent good fortune bring a glimmer of hope to all our neighborhoods.
It was a year of change. For many, things were getting better. For others there was the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, a place that doesn’t chance, a place you can count on , a place where you can get lost in the music, a place where there is always a parade of great musicians and satisfied customers, a place where smiles and laughter were up this past year with pure joy trending in the right direction.
Detroit continued to find new energy, and the music in the city picked up on it. In our expanding environment we felt confident to take more risk and also to pause and enjoy life. There were transitions as we lost some notables and welcomed in some new voices.
All in all, it was a pretty good year
Here are some things that helped to make 2017 memorable for me:
The Dirty Dog’s remarkably good natured staff
The stream of young players who have benefited from a chance to try out their chops at the Dirty Dog.
All the times I have watched Detroit jazz fans listen with so much appreciation, knowledge and respect.
All the times that I have heard Willie saying: DIRRRRTY DAWG!!!
Willie gently coaxes everyone at the Dog to do their best.
2018 A NEW CHALLENGE AND OPPORTUNITY
Every once in a while we get a chance to start over. We get a fresh start, January 2018 could be that moment.. We have a less wobbly base to set out from and more tools available to reach our goals, It is a good time not to be sitting on our hands while remembering to hold on to the good things that we already have. In this blog I am looking forward to having conversations about the coming year and the positive events as they happen. I hope to talk to and photograph those who will be helping to make Detroit a better place to live.
In 2018 music and particularly jazz will continue to show us the way in. A couple of years ago, Barry Harris said, after completing a remarkable set at the Detroit Jazz Festival, “Isn’t jazz beautiful?”, and it was, Detroiters seem to know that they we can be part part of something special. That spirit will likely continue. There will be new challenges to be faced and new energy to be tapped. We will have new stories to tell about the upbeat happenings all around us.
BLOGGING IN THE NEW YEAR
In 2018 there will be Dirty Dog blogs about food. Chef André and Chef Eli will help us better understand their approach to preparing the special fare served at the Dirty Dog. They will share with us techniques, processes and recipes.
We will explore the reasons that musicians and fans make the claim that the Dirty Dog Jazz Café is the best jazz club in America.
The creative process in the arts and music will be discussed with other artists. We will also meet many of the staff and musicians that provide such a perfect environment for all that jazz. We will continue the search to find what makes it tick.
An important ongoing story will be the growth of jazz and the incredible programs and teachers in our schools. Each month we will feature one of these teachers..The folks at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe will continue to do what they can to bring the story of jazz and its force to the communities. Jazz will be in good hands in 2018
Our community has passed through some systemic stress and we now sit at a crossroads. We have an opportunity to define our future. Jazz musicians have a sense of vision mixed with a solid foundation that comes from their roots. I will ask Detroit artists what their vision is for Detroit and its music.
The Dirty Dog we will be celebrating the resurgence of live music with innovative programs and adventurous menus. The Dirty Dog will continue to be the place to unwind, to celebrate and to be reinvigorated.
The Dirty Dog is looking forward to being part of your New Year in 2017 and wishing that you may have warm words on a cold evening, a full moon on a dark night, and the road downhill all the way to your door.
Happy New Year,
December 27 – December 30 + New Year’s Eve
ALL WEEK ANTHONY STANCO WILL BRING SOME REMARKABLE JAZZ TO THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFÉ TO PROPERLY FINISH UP 2017