Locals, Legends Sign On For Detroit Jazz Fest
Jimmy Smith, James Carter, Bennie Maupin, and Tommy Flanagan are among the confirmed performers for the 22nd Annual Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival, to be held in the city's downtown Hart PlaJimmy Smith, James Carter, Bennie Maupin, and Tommy Flanagan are among the confirmed performers for the 22nd Annual Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival, to be held in the city's downtown Hart Plaza over Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 3.
The festival, the largest of its kind in North America, will feature 100 sets -- 80 of which will be performed by local artists -- over the course of the four days. Other participating acts include Marcus Belgrave, Freddy Cole, Claude "Fiddler" Williams, Toshiko Akiyoshi & Lew Tabackin, Herbie Mann & Dave Valentin, the Jazz Crusaders, and the Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen.
New festival artistic director Frank Malfitano says this year's event will be bigger than its past incarnations. "This is also definitely a 'festival' in the truest sense, because we'll be featuring a number of 'festive' groups that are fun and entertaining and can only be seen in a showcase of this magnitude," he said in a statement.
The festival celebrates the local jazz heritage in Detroit, and, besides the wealth of local professional musicians performing, will feature a number of performances by area scholastic jazz ensembles. 770,000 people attended last year's festival. For more information, including a full list of performers and times, visit the festival's official Web site.