LABOR DAY WEEKEND IN DETROIT
Back in the day when hard work was celebrated, Detroit had a grand Labor Day parade with stirring speeches. Detroit had plenty of hard work that needed to be done. The ones that did the hard work were appreciated, were well paid and were ensured a good retirement. They helped win a war and became part of America’s vibrant middle class. They worked hard and they played hard. They took time to dine and dance and that meant that music was needed which would match the spirit and vitality of the city’s residents.. Detroit attracted musicians into a growing market, and Detroit became a great town for jazz. It still is, but it hasn’t been easy.
When the jobs disappeared so did the dancing, and and many of our jazz musicians left for greener pastures. Enough stayed and passed on the tradition, so that today Detroit continues to have a thriving jazz community.
In 2017 we seem to have less reason to celebrate the value of hard work. Today when one Googles Labor Day weekend events in Detroit, our traditional Labor Day parades are seldom mentioned. There are plenty of parades and speeches, but there seem to be more events that celebrate the good life that comes from working. There are fewer that celebrate hard work and hard workers.
The Detroit Jazz Festival celebrates the tradition of hard work, and our ability to enjoy life after working hours is still honored by the festival.
THIS WEEK IN DETROIT:
A community of like spirits will gather to celebrate good fellowship.
THE 38th DETROIT JAZZ FESTIVAL SEPT 1 – SEPT 4, 2017
Now in its 38th year, the festival will take place from Hart Plaza to Campus Martius in downtown Detroit. After all these years it remains an authentic jazz event.
Certainly what we are used to hearing at the festival is a robust explosion of appreciation of life with all its hardships and joys. In Martin Luther King’s words, “Jazz speaks for life”. It is what you would expect from Detroit and its musical heritage.
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 Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Danilo Pérez:, Benny Golson, Regina Carter, Stanley Clarke, Kamasi Washington and so many more amazingly talented artists who understand his vision. They will bring their magic to Hart Plaza.
THE JAZZ FESTIVAL IS A YEAR LONG EFFORT
People know that Detroit’s festival is special. From all over the world jazz lovers circle the date of the Detroit Jazz Festival. Those that 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, and will again show its ability to do something right. This year’s festival will attract upwards of 750,000 people, who will leave refreshed and ready to spread the good word about Detroit.
Throughout the year and without much fanfare the Detroit Jazz Festival offers educational activities for adults and children, late-night jam sessions, rare opportunities to meet the artists and much more. And it’s all FREE.
Then for four days at the end of each summer, the best of Detroit can be experienced in our downtown. The world’s most knowledgeable group of jazz fans will be treated to great jazz. Nothing is done all year that doesn’t have these fans in mind. Crowds will drift from venue to venue, while behind the public view crews will be taking care of all the details that that will make the 2017 Detroit Jazz Festival a glorious success. All the hard work and planning will pay off.
Gretchen Valade is Detroit jazz’s guardian angel. She is also someone who defends her right to do things well. Her love of music and food means that Detroit’s jazz festival is always at the highest level.
She gets things done with grace and authority. The festival is the result of the right people doing their best to provide Detroit music lovers the best free jazz festival in the world. Gretchen continues to think ahead of many of us and doesn’t skip out on the job.
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
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 WEEK THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFÉ WILL BE CLOSED FOR THE JAZZ FESTIVAL.
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 LABOR DAY CELEBRATE LABOR DAY WITH THOSE WHO CELEBRATE HARD WORK
The Detroit Jazz Festival will give the 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. With so much good stuff going on, trying not to miss a moment will be the challenge. We are so lucky it is in our town.
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