The venerated name of Motown is an iconic fixture of pop culture, and undoubtedly one of Detroit's greatest contributions to the world of music. But throughout its history, Detroit has also been a hotbed of blues, rock, punk, hip hop, gospel and jazz, proving the industrial city has made a substantial contribution to the soundtracks of our lives. In addition to being the birthplace of some of our favorite music makers (i.e. Aretha Franklin, Zo!, J Dilla, Slum Village, The Winans Family, The Clark Sisters, Amp Fiddler, Dej Loaf, Black Milk and Karriem Riggins just to name a few), the city also retains bragging rights for the Detroit Jazz Festival, the largest free jazz festival in the world.
Now in its 37th year, the annual festival will take over downtown Detroit on Labor Day Weekend, Friday, September 2nd to Monday, September 5th and boasts an incredible lineup grand marshaled by native son and artist-in-residence, Ron Carter. The jazz legend has the distinction of being the most recorded bassist in history and will perform four times throughout the weekend with a trio, quartet, nonet and big band. Celebrating various styles of jazz, George Benson, Roy Hargove (with Strings), The RH Factor, Terri Lyne Carrington, Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton, Jason Moran & The Bandwagon and Marcus Roberts & The Modern Jazz Generation are among the many notable musicians gracing the festival's four stages. The event's Homecoming Series promises to highlight homegrown artists, while the Ron Carter National Bass Competition will showcase up-and-coming talent.
The official press release adds, "Each year, we make it a priority to create an artist lineup that's representative of the many forms of jazz. The diverse nature of the genre promotes sonic experimentation and exploration, creating a new experience with every song and performance. It's our responsibility to capture this, to make sure we give that thrilling experience of musical discovery to our attendees, and I think our musicians this year will make that happen," said Chris Collins, president of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation Board of Directors and artistic director of the Festival. "We are dedicated to making this a jazz experience to remember, one that is original, expressive and inimitable. We can't wait to share it with Detroit."
And the best part? There are no ticket charges -- this incredible musical weekend is totally free! So don't wait, start making travel arrangements right now. While you're online, head over to the Detroit Jazz Festival's official website for the full lineup and additional details.