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  • Writer's pictureJOHN OSLER'S UPBEAT Admin



There was a time when a stream of cars would pour out of Southeastern Michigan filled with families, tents and provisions heading to a lake up north. Many still do, but everyone has more choices and more family decisions to make. Heading up North means missing out on a lot of ” not to be missed” events nearer to home, especially in Detroit.

Detroit shows off its musical riches with free outdoor music concerts.downtown almost every weekend until Labor Day, when we will be treated to of the world’s finest music festivals, the Detroit Jazz Festival.

Summer is here and we have plenty to celebrate in Michigan . Crops planted this spring will be harvested and ready to eat.

July in Michigan requires restraint when entering the grocery store and special caution when you come upon a fresh fruit stand. This is loose clothes season in Michigan. Our great local produce starts showing up, and it all goes well at a picnic. At the Dirty Dog Chef Andre and his crew will use Michigan’s rich fresh bounty that is  available only at this time of year. Standing and clapping at all of Michigan’s summer events will help balance out the mouth watering fare.


As a kid growing up in Michigan one of the greatest treats was to lie on your back on a warm summer night and look up at the stars. In the forties you could count on the fact that the northern lights were going to show up if you waited long enough. The sky was so filled with stars that you could walk home using the light from the Milky Way, at least from the edge of our backyard.

Looking up at the stars is habit forming. This past Saturday night I attended an art gallery opening in Detroit. Some of Detroit’s brightest stars’ paintings and sculptures were in full glow mode.


Sometimes when the gas prices soar in summer or your teen-aged kids are in love and don’t want to leave town, you can always get into your air conditioned car and find some art and music in Detroit. Detroit artists and musicians who choose to stay in a city that freezes over for a good part of the year and still has a lot of rust will be happy to show you what they are up to. If it is in Detroit it is going to be interesting. There is something about Detroit that has been ground into us that pops up when we tell a story through our art. Risks are taken and sometimes the results are uneven, but it is always deeply Detroit.

Driving around Detroit is a visual cornucopia. Stepping out of your car and going in to hear some music is just icing on the cake. If you want a break from the traffic I hope that you would consider listening to real jazz at the deeply air conditioned Dirty Dog Jazz Café and stopping at a new art space located at 2439 Fourth St in Detroit. A true patron of the arts has opened a gallery that has opened its arms to Detroit artists. Chuck Duquet has become a hero to those close to the arts in Detroit. Chuck has created a space that is full of energy and opportunity. Our finest artists have responded by placing their work in his hands.

The Collected Detroit Art Gallery

Collected Detroit aims to exhibit the best work by area artists beside celebrated works from around the globe in order to celebrate Detroit’s world-class creativity and to put the spotlight on Detroit as a destination for serious art collectors. Hence the name, Collected Detroit.

Chuck had collected the work of some of America’s finest artists, including many Detroiters . He just needed a place to share and sell his collection.

Charles McGee, "Harvest"

Charles McGee, “Harvest”


Chuck this last week had an opening for a new exhibition he is calling appropriately Deeply Detroit. I am pleased to be part of this show which includes many friends. The art can be seen at the gallery until August 31, 2019 The gallery hours are Wed. through Fri. 11AM – 4PM Sat. 11AM – 4PM

The artists include Artis Lane – Hubert Massey – Henry Heading _ Richard Bennett – Dennis K Smith – Michael Horner – Judy Bowman – John Osler – Ijania Cortez

Each artist is worth a lengthy introduction , but for now here are some snapshots of their work.

Michael Horner

Dennis K Smith

Henry Heading

Artis Lane

Hubert Massey

John Osler

Judy Bowman

Judy Bowman and Henry Heading each created  paintings for the exhibit DEEPLY DETROIT honoring one of Detroit’s brightest stars, the great Aretha Franklin. Aretha was given a musical tribute at the opening reception for the show.

Artist: Judy Bowman

Artist: Henry Heading

Last summer we lost Aretha Franklin. Aretha Franklin was deeply Detroit. Every time I heard Aretha I wondered why she took so much risk. There was always a feeling I had that maybe she was reaching too high. She took us with her out onto musical limbs, then she would leap up to higher scarier limbs and then she would soar into new previously unknown places.  When she took us on her journeys, I found great relief and joy when she landed. She was remarkable. Luckily she shared her gifts with the world.

Most of the tributes talked about her roots being in gospel and in Detroit, about how she also drew on jazz, the blues, rock and, later, opera, about how her unique and majestic swoops and squeals combined the improvisation of jazz, the hurt of the blues and the force of rock. 

Not everybody can be from Detroit. Everyone can appreciate what it means to be deeply Detroit.

John Osler



July 17 – July 20


Drummer Gene Dunlap will be at the Dog this week.  Gene has a long history of playing jazz in Detroit with a lot of great players. There is a reason. Watch him at work. He remains one the most likable and respected artists in jazz

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