The Detroit Jazz Festival: “Bringing you the World”

Yusef Lateef at the Detroit Jazz Fest 2007

Yusef Lateef at the Detroit Jazz Fest 2007

Guest post by: 
Terri Pontremoli, Artistic Director

In our country, jazz can often be dismissed as a “niche” art form.  It can be perceived as being not enough in the mainstream and sometimes too far out and retrospective.  Every now and then, we need to remind ourselves about its impact on the world and how it shines as a symbol of freedom and democracy to people everywhere.  My intent in “bringing you the world” this year at the Detroit Jazz Festival was not to present “world music,” but instead to share global interpretations of jazz and to experience the influence it has had on musicians from other cultures.

What better place to do that than inDetroiton Labor Day Weekend? Detroitis a city whose musicians have wielded such influence that it has been a formidable world stage for jazz through the clubs, radio stations and this festival. And we’re proud that Detroit Jazz Festival was named one of the top three jazz festivals inNorth Americain JazzTimes’ Reader’s and Critic’s polls in 2010.

My heartfelt thanks go out to everyone who helped make it possible, including the Detroit Jazz Festival staff, board and volunteers, corporate, media and cultural partners and especially Gretchen Valade.  I invite you to celebrate with me as we listen to Artist in Residence, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Dianne Reeves, Angelique Kidjo, Lizz Wright, Toots Thielemans, Ivan Lins, Dave Holland, Anat Cohen, Amina Figarova, Paquito D’Rivera and the hundreds of musicians from around the globe – and even other planets, like the Sun Ra Arkestra!  Labor Day Weekend will offer numerous opportunities to experience music both familiar and exotic at HartPlaza and Campus Martius inDetroit,Michigan.

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