top of page
  • Writer's pictureJOHN OSLER'S UPBEAT Admin




Last week Marcus Elliot, Cécille Salvant and Freddie Cole all had a chance to play to an audience that understood how lucky they were to be there. These were people who were privileged to hear world class music in a world class joint.  Sometimes at the Dirty Dog there isn’t room for everyone who wants to grab the magic. Those lucky enough to have been there can be thankful that a place like this is around.



Cécille McLorin Salvant, Freddie Cole and Marcus Elliot at the Dirty Dog


The Dirty Dog Jazz Café is a confluence of music, food, service, acoustics, lighting, place  and respect. It is the culmination of hard work, good planning and follow through. But from the very beginning it is mostly the result of a fierce commitment from one person, Gretchen Valade. Some people dream about what could be while others complain about what isn’t. Gretchen had an idea that it would be nice to have a place for Detroit jazz to be heard and it wasn’t going to be just any old second rate dive. She took charge and there is little doubt that the future of our jazz music, which  has been integral to Detroit’s recovery, was in good hands. Gretchen has been a force.

Gretchen stepped in when Detroit’s defining music was at a crossroads following an exodus of businesses, jobs and people from our city. This was a time that one of Detroit’s greatest assets, its jazz, was as powerful and robust as ever with many young artists ready to carry on, but Detroit was reeling. However, Detroit is a city where even in tough times we keep showing up and showing up. Sure enough, when we needed it most, someone showed up, stood tall and helped save one the world’s great treasures, Detroit jazz. Gretchen Valade’s love of the music carried the day . With help she founded Mack Avenue Records, saved from extinction the Detroit Jazz Festival, and made sure that the Dirty Dog Jazz Café opened its doors and thrived.


Documenting The Legacy Of Gretchen Valade

JAZZ BOOK cover4

Cover photo of Will Austin at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café

If you ever want to be reminded of this great story of jazz and Detroit in photographs, you might consider picking up the book, DETROIT JAZZ  Documenting the legacy of Gretchen Valade. The book is a collection of my photographs of Detroit’s great jazz artists shot at venues that have been made possible by the generous acts of Gretchen Valade. It is my  attempt to document the results of one woman’s dream,  I wanted the world to know that Detroit’s jazz community has never faltered.The photos are witness.

I hope that the book respects and honors all of the artists, Detroit and Gretchen.

When you come by the Dirty Dog, ask to see the book, They will be pleased to show you the book and give you a chance to get a first edition copy. The book makes a great gift to anyone who likes jazz, Detroit or photography.

John Osler

You can also order the book online at You can also get the book at bookstores and on Amazon. For a signed copy please contact us at or call John at 313.886.4728, and we will get books out to you.

Here are some pages from the book




detroit Jazz 10 0414
detroit Jazz 10 0458
detroit Jazz 10 0416
detroit Jazz 10 0413
detroit Jazz 10 0431
detroit Jazz 10 0422
detroit Jazz 10 0432
detroit Jazz 10 0441
detroit Jazz 10 0445
detroit Jazz 10 0450
detroit Jazz 10 0429
detroit Jazz 10 0420
detroit Jazz 10 0426

#Detroit #CécilleMcLorinSalvant #DetroitJazz #MarcusElliot #JAZZMUSIC #FreddieCole

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page