• Jazz Lives in Detroit

    September 4, 2009. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    Whether you're here in Detroit or joining us virtually, it's easier then ever to share your love of live jazz. The Jazz Lives campaign - brainchild of writer and producer Howard Mandel - encourages anyone to share their experience with live jazz. We've got an interview with Howard on WBGO's new show, The Checkout. And follow along  - and join in with your tweets - with the Jazz Lives tweets right here on the blog (find it in the right column).

    And while we're on the Facebook-Twitter-iPhone-web2.0-social media thing, the fine folks at the Detroit Jazz Festival have made it easy to find your way around the 5 stages of music with none other than an iPhone app. It has a complete listing of concerts, maps, directions and more. Find out more about it here.

  • Detroit Architecture at the Detroit Jazz Festival

    September 4, 2009. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    Our introduction to Detroit, travelling from the airport into the heart of the city, was what one might expect: driving past an eight-story tire, talk with our hosts of favorite cars ("I'm a Ford girl..."  "I'm a Pontiac guy, well, I was...") and sports. But as we we neared Downtown, we were taken in by the architecture. The Guardian building, in particular, stands out among several beautiful buildings. And since the building is at the edge of the Detroit Jazz Festival grounds, we walked over for a peek. Check out photos of The Guardian as well as the nearby Penobscot building (where we were treated, thanks to a generous security guard, to rooftop views) below:

    We'll continue posting photos from the Detroit Jazz Festival all weekend long, so follow along with us here at the blog and at our flickr page.

  • Terry Pontremoli, Artistic and Executive Director of the Detroit Jazz Festival

    September 4, 2009. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    The Detroit Jazz Festival this year celebrates its 30th year. As WBGO begins our coverage of the Festival - keep it tuned right here to the blog all Labor Day Weekend, and listen for 5 hours of music on Labor Day beginning at 2pm ET - our own Rhonda Hamilton sat down with Artistic and Executive Director Terry Pontremoli to talk about the challenges of running a completely free jazz festival, and some of the great things to look forward to, including two world premieres.

    Listen to the interview:

  • What to see, eat and do in Detroit

    September 3, 2009. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Portion of Diego Rivera Mural of Industry in Detroit
    Part of a Diego Rivera Mural of Industry in Detroit

    SEE:  Go to the Detroit Institute of the Arts ("the Diego Rivera murals are stupendous" says Terri Pontremoli, Artistic & Executive Director of the DIJF)... go to MOCAD, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit... go to The Guardian Building on the Festival's footprint at 500 Griswold right off Woodward Ave

    CLICK TO READ:  NPR story about the Rivera murals in Detroit

    EAT:  Bob Porter recommends Carl’s Chop House (check to see if this restaurant is still in business)... Gary Walker recommends fudge from Sanders Candy as a childhood delight!... Terri Pontremoli highly recommends and briefly characterizes Vincente's - Cuban; Roast - Michael Simon restaurant; El Barzon - Half Mexican, half Italian (I know it sounds impossible, but its wonderful); Atlas Global Bistro - chic restaurant in the cultural neighborhood; Cliff Bell's - jazz club and good food for after the festival hours, nice hang; Greektown - restaurants, fun vibe... Rhonda Hamilton asked her 20's-something nieces and they like Mosaic Restaurant in the Greektown Casino, Fishbone's in St. Clair (outdoor seating, heaters if it's chilly), Detroit Fish Market on Randolph Street, Seldom Blues right here in the Marriott Hotel... I'm getting hungry

    DO:  Go to Baker's Keyboard Lounge, "the world's oldest jazz club," with a gospel jam on Sunday... walk the Riverwalk, ride the People Mover... go to historic Belle Isle, America's largest city-owned island park... go to Motown Records

    Please! Add your own recommendations below

  • WBGO in Detroit: A Preview from Rhonda

    September 2, 2009. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Rhonda Hamilton hosts the WBGO in Detroit special on Labor Day from 2-7. Watch the blog for updates between now and then. Here's a preview (as told to a scribe) .. I'm in Detroit now with family. The weather is absolutely gorgeous, and the forecast for the weekend is sunshine, mid 70s, each day a little warmer.  Our hotel room has a great view facing the Detroit River, looking into Canada and the Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casino. There are at least three casinos on the Detroit side too, it looks like Las Vegas. Today I'm golfing at a public course, Rouge Park -- eighteen holes today, yesterday and the day before. On the plaza, the Festival has started setting up stages and tents! I'm excited.