• 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.

  • A Great Day in Detroit

    September 1, 2009. Posted by Becca Pulliam.

    WEB Great Day 3

    It's FREE, downtown, outdoors, celebrating thirty consecutive Labor Day weekends, and in 2009 WBGO is all over it. WBGO fan Shanetta Dorsey of Kent State University won the vacation package for two. WBGO's Dorthaan Kirk is going for the music and the chance to see long-time friends. WBGO's Bob Porter will moderate panel discussions on Cannonball Adderley, the Blue Note-New York-Detroit connection, and the Many Sides of Donald Byrd. It's the Detroit International Jazz Festival.

    The 2008 festival theme was the Philly-Detroit Connection. So, to create an image a la the 1958 Great Day in Harlem picture of jazz musicians on a NY stoop, the Festival staged a photo shoot in the vaulted lobby of the Guardian Building, a beautiful old skyscraper. Gerald Wilson, Kenny Burrell, Geri Allen, Yonrico Scott (drummer with Derek Trucks), Professor Dennis Wilson and more represented Detroit. Christian McBride, Randy Brecker, Jimmy and Tootie Heath, and Bootsie Barnes represented Philadelphia. And Steve Turre, who's from neither, chimed in with his pride in the occasion -- "It's a real jazz festival with jazz, not pop music." View the video about the photo, A Great Day in Detroit, below.