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  • Writer's pictureJOHN OSLER'S UPBEAT Admin


Global warming has become a sexy subject

There is a lot of talk about rising temperatures and the effect that this will have on our planet. I know global warming and our local weather are separate subjects. All I know is that in Michigan we would like a little more local warming and less weather.

Spring is almost here. However, nobody has told the weatherman.

It looks like Detroit will have temperatures in the twenties to the sixties this coming week, Your car and house windows may have an icy glaze that will scatter the sun’s rays,  if we ever get sunlight in March.

There is some good news for our jazz community because Kimmie Horne will be coming  to warm things up in the the Dirty Dog Jazz Café. To get some relief from the heat she generates one can step outside the club into our Michigan spring, but only for a moment as it will still be cold outside. This dog took too long a break outside the Dirty Dog during last year’s Michigan springtime. Be careful.

It is officially still winter, and too much winter can be depressing.

Polar bear

Bears gather up some stuff and climb into holes for the winter.

Polar bear 2

Being holed up can make all of us grumpy.

We do have some better choices. We are an active people and being holed up usually doesn’t fit our nature.


We need to get out. We don’t like being grumpy and feeling hemmed in, but we need a pretty good reason to leave our warm homes and navigate the icy roads. We need to find a place that will get our juices flowing again. We need to get warm to our bones.


Just yards from where your car is left for the Dirty Dog Jazz Café’s complimentary valet parking  is one of the warmest places in town. The warmth comes from the heating system, the music, the food, the pub-like atmosphere and most of all it comes from a genuinely pleasant  staff.

The Dirty Dog has assembled a staff that has rid themselves of any winter blahs.  On these cold evenings these are the folks who will welcome their guests into a serene and uplifting experience. This process begins long before any patrons shows up. The management sets the tone with their respect and good-natured work ethic. It is contagious.


I often have a chance to watch the staff prepare for an evening’s upbeat event. They go about their tasks with a great deal of independence and purpose. The service at the Dirty Dog is a team effort and so is the preparation. This kind of service is not an easy task, and success is not an  accident.  Gretchen, Tom, André, Willie and all the staff seem to like being around each other. The Dirty Dog is a warm place even before the guests arrive.


Once they get settled visitors to the Dirty Dog Jazz Café often find a smile sneaking across their faces, especially this week with Kimmie Horne’s music.


Starting Wednesday of this week Detroit’s own Kimmie Horne will bring her alto to the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe. Kimmie’s voice is a powerful thawing device.

Kimmie may be home grown, but she isn’t a secret to to her jazz and R&B fans around the world. This local girl is an internationally acclaimed artist and puts in her share of time away from home. When she returns home she shows her love of her hometown, and nowhere is she more at home than when she plays the Dirty Dog. She knows she will get lost in the warm embrace of family and friends. It happens every time she shows up.


You will get a chance to hear Kimmie’s voice,

Kimmie was well into a career in R&B when Betty Carter inspired her to include jazz standards in her vocabulary. Kimmie says “ She encouraged me to know what the song’s story is and approach it as if it were mine.”  Kimmie has been a good student, letting her natural gifts soar.

You will get a chance to get connected to our jazz heritage,

When Kimmie  acknowledges her debt to Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Ella and, of course, Lena Horne.

“These five ladies exude vocal richness, clarity in telling a story through warm, beautiful, heartfelt tones and impeccable phrasing that still leaves me breathless,” Kimmie Horne.

You will get a chance to meet Kimmie’s band,

It is going to be like a family affair as Kimmie and the musicians around her all speak the same language. Kimmie has immersed herself in studying all facets of jazz including most of the great horn players. In her voice we can hear the phasing and tone of these masters. When she and her friends take off together on a tune they are starting from the same platform. This band of musicians are indeed friends, this allows them to be a little playful.

 You will get a chance to smile,

The band’s friendship is contagious. Even though some of the tunes are soulful stories and you can feel the blues origins, you end the evening feeling good.

You will get a chance to thank Gretchen Valade for all she has done, and you will get a chance to support live music, while having the time of your life.

John Osler


March 13 – 16


A small club gives the musicians a chance to Interact with the audience. Kimmie takes full advantage. She sings and talks directly to each night’s guests. Everyone leaves friends.

Here are a few of the photographs I have taken of Kimmie in past years at the Dirty Dog


#Detroit #DirtyDog #DetroitJazzFestival #KimmieHorne #RodneyWhitaker #DetroitJazz #DirtyDogJazzCafé #JudyAdams #JazzinDetroit #GergeBenson #DaveBennett #musicDirtyDogJazzCafe

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