• Hitsville USA

    September 4, 2010. Posted by Joshua Jackson.


    800 bucks from your parents and a dream.  This is Motown Studio A, formerly a garage.



    But first you had to get past the receptionist.

  • Cool temps and hot jazz at DJF

    September 4, 2010. Posted by David Tallacksen.

    Cool temps didn't stop the crowd for Mulgrew Miller and Take 6, including one Barry Harris in the front row. One vendor capitalized on the 50-degree temperature, selling hot chocolate!

    Mulgrew Miller and Take 6, along with the classic sounds of Tower of Power warmed the festival crowd for the opening night concerts.

    More photos on our flickr stream!

  • Mulgrew Miller Keeps the Flame Alive

    September 4, 2010. Posted by Joshua Jackson.


    Mulgrew Miller is this year's Artist in Residence at the Detroit Jazz Festival.  Last night, he opened the ceremonies from the Chase Main Stage.  Mulgrew's trio, with bassist Ivan Taylor and drummer Rodney Green, played a quick set - "If I Should Lose You," Miller's "When I Get There," and Charlie Parker's "Relaxin' at Camarillo."  The vocalese combo, Take 6, joined the trio for a lot of Miles Davis material.

    This year's festival theme is "Keepers of the Flame."  One could argue that Mulgrew Miller is long overdue for such an honor.  We will hear much more from him - guesting with his William Paterson University ensemble, in duo with pianist Kenny Barron, and something I'm looking forward to - his pacesetting ensemble, Wingspan.  More to come.

  • The Detroit Jazz Festival is on TV

    September 4, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Check out the live music and more (incl musician interviews by WBGO's own Rhonda and Josh) at jazzplanet.tv. There was red carpet coverage of last night's opening party, and Christian McBride and Fest Exec Dir Terri Pontremoli made like Sports Desk interviewing Mayor Dave Bing (former Detroit Piston).

    1916 Labor Day Parade on Woodward Ave, now the promenade of the Jazz Fest

    Detroit is a cradle of the labor movement, had its first strike in 1837 (carpenters for $2 for a 10-hr day) and historic, even bloody confrontations with Henry Ford and the auto industry throughout the 1930s (1/3 were unemployed). After WWII, Presidential candidates Truman, Stevenson, JFK and LBJ launched their campaigns here with speeches to massive crowds on Labor Day.

    This photo is part of the turbulent story on the Detroit News site, here. Read (or scroll) to the very end for my favorite picture - a 1937 waitress strike at Woolworth's.

    It's ironic but this year's Labor Day Parade will be led by musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, whose contract has expired with no talks scheduled, story here.

  • WBGO Going to Detroit

    September 2, 2010. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    Detroit International Jazz Festival_MulgrewMonday, September 6, from 2-6pm, Rhonda Hamilton hosts a Labor Day special from the Detroit Jazz Festival, where Mulgrew Miller is Artist in Residence and the theme is Flamekeepers: Carrying the Torch for Modern Jazz. See more about Mulgrew here.

    Downtown, outdoors, free, with five stages rolling for three days from noon to 11pm or so, Detroit is a jazz lover's dream.  That's why we partner with the Festival.  Josh Jackson will blog and bring home music for The Checkout.  Bob Porter is moderating a session on the career of Ray Brown and contributing to other panels in the Talk Tent.  Dorthaan Kirk always makes the trip to hear music and see friends.  And contest winner and WBGO member Jim DiFeo of Union, NJ, is bringing his 25-year-old son with him.  David Tallacksen will post photos -- musical and non- --  like these two from last year . . .