SEPTEMBER IS COMING, LET’S CELEBRATE
For months we have been thinking about how fast the summer is going by. It seems like we just planted those flowers and tomato plants. Michigan strawberries and blueberries can’t be found at Eastern market. It’s OK. we still have September to look forward to. Detroit kicks off September with spirited festivals and parades. We celebrate Labor Day and all those who labor by listening to long speeches , continuing to eat fresh Michigan summer crops and, because we are in Detroit, we will be listening and moving to some great music. Maybe summer was just a prelude.
LET US CELEBRATE the birthday of Gretchen Valade on August 25.
Gretchen is Detroit jazz’s guardian angel. She is also someone who tends to do things well. Her love of music and food means that it will be possible to enjoy the Dirty Dog fare while listening and watching great acts at the Detroit Jazz Festival.
How lucky for us that it was someone of Gretchen’s integrity who took charge. She was determined to keep the festival on course as the people’s festival, a festival for those who work hard and understand hard work. These are folks ready to show their appreciation for good music. Today it remains authentic and free for all to enjoy. It reflects the best side of Detroit’s character.
Gretchen gets things done with grace and authority. The festival is the result of a lot of people doing their best to provide Detroit music lovers the best free Jazz festival in the world. .
Gretchen has made me aware that the festival doesn’t just happen. It takes planning, hard work, attention to details and oversight. It’s not just casual oversight, but oversight that comes with purpose and a respect for the music and the people of Detroit. Good fortune is with us as it is Gretchen who remains on the watch.
AUGUST 30 – SEPTEMBER 2, 2019
THE 40th DETROIT JAZZ FESTIVAL
Now in its 40th year, the festival will celebrate jazz in downtown Detroit from Hart Plaza to Campus Martius . The festival offers educational activities for adults and children, fireworks, late-night jam sessions and rare opportunities to meet the artists. And it’s all FREE.
From all over the world jazz lovers circle the date of the Detroit Jazz Festival. Those who come find jazz of great intelligence, energy and purity. There is little hype and a lot of music. Visitors learn that Detroit can throw a festival, This year’s festival will attract upwards of 750,000 people. We may even get some credit for doing something right. Meanwhile Chef Andre Nemanis and the Dirty Dog staff will be serving some sumptuous savory barbecue to some lucky jazz fans.
THIS SEPTEMBER WE WILL CELEBRATE THE SPIRIT OF DETROIT
A community of like spirits will gather to celebrate the music and good fellowship.
The festival is appropriately held on Labor Day weekend. However, metropolitan Detroit doesn’t take that weekend off. Everyone has a venue to go to and they are all terrific. There is little reason to go out of town, with the absolute jewel being the Detroit Jazz Festival, where our community puts its soul on display. Every year we show off what we do best, exposing the roots of our music, pain, shame, joy, resilience, cleverness and a lot of kindness.
WE WILL CELEBRATE GOOD FELLOWSHIP/MUTUAL RESPECT
The festival brings together so many accomplished musicians with different stories to tell and ways of telling them. This community of like spirits gathers annually to celebrate the music and good fellowship.
This mutual respect is what makes this festival unique. The crowd sitting on hard concrete seats become one with musicians sitting in their more comfortable chairs. They start to move together, everyone swaying, clapping with subtle foot taps, all of this movement synced to the music. I am often aware of the powerful connection between the artists and a Detroit audience.
This is an event which takes the assets that exist in the city and shares these assets among a diverse and deserving following. Downtown Detroit glows with all the mutual respect.
WE WILL CELEBRATE EFFORT
The festival doesn’t happen without serious people planning and industrious people making it happen.
Detroit Jazz Festival Director Chris Collins
Thanks to all the great musicians for coming back and reminding us why you do come back. Thanks to all the staff and the volunteers who are often too busy to enjoy their own efforts.
This year Festival Director Chris Collins has put together a most intriguing lineup. Chris can’t resist a challenge, as he feels that: “Jazz as an art form is not only sophisticated and intelligent, but it also speaks to the organic roots of every human being, every American, every Detroiter.”
This year Chris has scheduled Stanley Clarke.Pat Metheny, Joshua Redman, Terence Blanchard, Dee Dee Bridgewater, The Soul Rebels, Kenny Garrett, Chucho Valdes and many more amazingly talented artists who understand his vision. They will all bring their magic to Hart Plaza.
AND WE WILL CELEBRATE ALL THE REGULARS WHO SHOW UP YEAR AFTER YEAR
For 39 years I have seldom missed a Detroit Jazz Festival. I am a proud REGULAR. I have many reasons to not want to miss this unique Detroit event. One reason is that it is free. It is also close by. Then there is the music and food, which are terrific. But it is the chance to be around the many others like myself who tend to be proud of their town that brings me back time after time. These are the regulars. They can be counted on to know the music and a lot of the musicians. They know why they are there. These are the the familiar faces I want to walk up to and say hi. I don’t know their names, but that doesn’t matter. They are the regulars. They are friends.
THIS LABOR DAY WE WILL CELEBRATE LABOR DAY WITH THOSE WHO WORK HARD
Their presence is a big salute to those who work so hard to keep the festival at such a high level. The Detroit Jazz Festival will give jazz musicians and Detroiters a chance to be part of something special. This could be the time and place where jazz history will be made. The artists are encouraged to flood the air with improvisation and exploration.
We have always known how important jazz is to Detroit and how fragile the health of jazz in Detroit can be. Without vigilant action this free wheeling form of music could easily be lost in the latest musical moment. Once a year we get proof that there are Detroiters who don’t want to see this happen, and there are many of us who benefit from all their work. Let us celebrate all the hard work it takes.
THIS WEEK THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFÉ WILL BE CLOSED AND MOVING TO BE PART OF DETROIT’S GREAT JAZZ FESTIVAL
THE GOOD NEWS IS THE DOG IS ONLY CLOSED FOR ONE WEEK, AUGUST 25 – SEPT 3
Chef Andre Nemanis
Why would the smart gang at the Dirty Dog think of moving the operation? The answer is: they are going to take the operation to where the best jazz in town will be playing. The Dirty Dog is setting up its operation in downtown Detroit, right in the middle of the Detroit Jazz Festival. At the Dirty Dog tent all the staff and the chefs will be rolling up their sleeves to provide a shady place complete with the sound of the music, the smell of barbecue, a smiling staff and a view of the stage.
The Dirty Dog Jazz Café food tent is one of the favorite gathering spots at the Detroit Jazz Festival. It doesn’t get much better than this for good food, prompt service and great jazz, and all amidst the smiles of friends.
The scent of Dirty Dog barbecue will waft its way up Woodward Avenue drawing us in for some chow and a beverage.
This could turn out to be a good move. Enjoy! Celebrate!
COMING NEXT TO THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFE´
September 4- September 5
Gary has a well deserved following who will have a chance to listen to this great pianist in an intimate club.
September 6 – September 7
Singer Michelle Lordi will help us continue to celebrate jazz this September.