A FRIENDLY PLACE
I am still looking in the rear view mirror at memories from last year. Opportunities came along that buoyed my spirit. I met some new people and became aware of the value of old friends. Sometimes they were standing next to each other.
The glue that holds societies and families together is having common experiences and common goals. Detroit counts on this when difficult times come along. It is also what allows us to celebrate when something good happens.
THE YEAR 2016 AT THE DIRTY DOG – OLD FRIENDS
Sometime last year I started noticing a lot of familiar faces that were attentively looking up at the latest band of Dirty Dog jazz musicians. My memory is not my greatest strength so this probably wasn’t the first or second time a lot of these customers had visited the Dirty Dog.
These were the regulars, individuals who can be counted on, the jazz faithfuls. These are folks who support the music and appreciate the effort it takes to make it available. They also like to have a good time, a warm place to go in a Michigan winter and a cool place to go at the end of a hot Michigan summer day. They also, I realized, like to come into a jazz friendly space where like minded people allow themselves to get lost in the music. They seem to know when quiet respect is appropriate yet free to show their unbridled enthusiasm.
Last year many music lovers were attracted to our city. Detroit is changing. Hopefully this will mean a growing interest in live music and the arts that will include an appreciation for all the roots that are the strength of Detroit’s powerful presence in the world’s music.
THE YEAR 2016 AT THE DIRTY DOG -NEW FRIENDS
A lot of folks found their way to the Dirty Dog for the first time. We frequently heard the question ” Dang it, how long has this been here?”. Visitors to the city include their Dirty Dog moment in their vision of Detroit. It was a good year to listen to jazz and watch Detroit grow.
A NEW FRIEND – RON CARTER
This is a follow up to last week’s blog about bassist Ron Carter’s visit to the Dirty Dog.
Ron Carter was 2016 Detroit Jazz Festival’s artist in residence. This honor comes with obligations that this native Detroiter took to heart. Before they could stop him he was scheduled for four gigs at the festival. Ron has been one of the most original, prolific, and influential bassists in jazz, with more than 2,000 albums to his credit.
I had very little contact with Ron Carter in person. I did spend a lot of time with his image in front of me. I painted his portrait for the Detroit Jazz Festival. Ron Carter was the first musician to be recognized by the festival on its poster. This was to be a celebration of not just Ron Carter’s greatness but of Detroit’s glorious process in growing great musicians.
Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan has been a cauldron for America’s jazz musicians. Ron is a graduate of Cass Tech and has lived up to the expectation as an artist and as a man. Here he was nearly 60 years after graduating back in Detroit gently but firmly showing our next generation how a man acts and a jazz man plays.
When I suggested to this imposing figure of a man that as we get old we have less pressure as we have less to prove, he replied: ” Every morning when I wake up I hope that this will be the day that I find a new note.”
MORE THAN JUST ROOTS – A LIVING TREE
I am proud to have been somewhat involved with the and remain in awe of the musicians whose vitality give me inspiration.
The Dirty Dog’s plans to become a 10,000 seat auditorium have been put on hold so it will remain a small intimate venue where one can get to know the artists. This will mean that there will continue to be smile exchanges throughout the place during the meals and during / after the music.
MORE GOOD NEWS
There will be room for everyone including first timers for all of 2017.
COMING TO THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFÉ
PHIL KELLY TRIO – WED 1/18/17 – THURS 1/19/17
KYLE EASTWOOD – FRI 1/2017 – SAT – 1/21/17
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