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  • Writer's pictureJOHN OSLER'S UPBEAT Admin




is a force drawing someone or something in a particular direction or course of action.

I remember a professor giving  my class an impassioned lecture on how to get ahead in a treacherous world. He stressed the need to buckle down and work hard. To enforce his message of pressing forward he told us to look at the sign on the door as we left the lecture hall.. This word  would remind us of what we will need as we go out into the workforce. The word on the door was PULL. He knew that what was on the door. wasn’t the more positive directive PUSH.

The idea of gaining  an advantage by using friendship is always an option. Few people would acknowledge that is what they are doing. We all want to believe our achievements are all due to our great skills, hard work  and perseverance. That is what I will be trying to say .

I have an admission. I am proud of my friendship with Gretchen Valade. She introduces me “as the guy who takes pictures here”. and allows me to take pictures at the Dirty Dog.    At first I took pictures for reference for my painting. Gretchen decided that the artists deserved to be honored with  photos hung on the walls leading to their green room. This was typical Gretchen who was always thinking about the musicians. This gave me a chance to  be  around the artists at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café . They are all very talented and deserve to be included in this gallery. A by product of the grace extended to me is a chance to  do this blog based on my experiences..  I have tried to take advantage of  the opportunities that Gretchen has made possible to me.  It is the least that I can do.She makes you think that she is the one benefiting from a friendship. That is her magic. All I know is that when I am in her presence I feel I am with a friend. Gretchen is one of the most authentic people I have ever met. You know what she thinks because she will tell you what she thinks. Gretchen has influence but never seeks to have power nor recognition. She continues  to give so much support to the community of jazz musicians who all happen to call her a friend.

Gretchen has pulled Detroit jazz up not just by financial gifts but by example. The same values that cement friendships are the glue that has held jazz together all these years: to be constant, to be genuine, to be willing to change course, to talk straight and to put out your hand and pull someone along. I have had that happen to me, so I guess that I have benefited from some PULL.

While we are on the subject of a good pull you should try the pulled pork or brisket at the Dirty Dog tent at the Detroit Jazz Festival or look for it on the menu at the Dirty Dog.



is to make one’s way with effort or persistence, as against difficulty or opposition.

Gretchen Valade was featured in a special program “Eye On the Future: The Power of Women” on CBS 62honoring five very special women who combined executive success and a spirit of giving back to the community. In her segment Gretchen stayed true to her self and talked about the City of Detroit and its needs. With all she has done and all the progress she stressed that there were still those who had needs  to be met. In her words “we aren’t done yet”

Gretchen is still pushing us to do more and to do better



Get your reservations in early as no one will need to be be pushed or pulled to hear Cliff Monear this Wednesday through Saturday at the Dirty Dog. Cliff is a piano player’s piano player. He will spend four days challenging his rhythm section to keep up. Having players like Cliff is the reason that the Dirty Dog had to spend big bucks for their great Steinway.


Here is Cliff and his likely mates.





#Detroit #DirtyDog #CliffMonear #Jazz #DetroitJazz #DirtyDogJazzCafé #JudyAdams #JazzinDetroit #JAZZMUSIC #RalpheArmstrong #GretchenValade

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