Jacksonville: Big City, Big Band, Big Plans
The thirtieth annual Detroit Jazz Festival will be held September 4-7, 2009 in the downtown area of the Motor City. This year's event will celebrate Family Jazz Dynasties and the Detroit Jazz Legacy, with bassist John Clayton as artist-in-residence. "Family guys" to set to perform include 91-year-old pianist Hank Jones (the last surviving member of a family that includes brothers Elvin and Thad), the Clayton brothers (John and Jeff), Dave Brubeck and sons, the Heath brothers (Jimmy and Tootie), John and Bucky Pizzarelli, Larry and Julian Coryell, Pete and Juan Escovedo, and Brian Auger and his family. The "heirs" (those with strong family traditions) include T.S. Monk and Chuchito Valdes, son and grandson of pianists Chucho and Bebo Valdes.
Among those coming "home" to perform are vocalists Sheila Jordan and Dee Dee Bridgewater (from nearby Flint), pianist Geri Allen, drummer Louis Hayes, saxophonists Charles McPherson and Benny Maupin, bassist Rodney Whitaker, drummer Karriem Riggins, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave and last but not least, bandleader Gerald Wilson who will conduct a work commissioned especially for the Festival's thirtieth anniversary celebration.
But that's not all. Concertgoers will also have a chance to see and hear the Chick Corea Trio, saxophonist Wayne Shorter with bassist John Patitucci, drummer Brian Blade and pianist Danilo Perez, vibraphonist Stefon Harris and bassist Christian McBride's quintet, Inside Straight. Other presentations include a 100th anniversary tribute to Benny Goodman by clarinetist Eddie Daniels and the Wayne State University Big Band, and a piano salute to Hank Jones, Tommy Flanagan, Barry Harris and Milt Jackson by pianist Antonio Ciacca. The Michigan State University Big Band will perform works by John Clayton. Other big bands set to appear are those from Boston's Berklee School of Music and North Carolina Central University. For more information, phone Matt Lee, Festival publicist, at 248-931-2443, or e-mail Mleibow412@aol.com
On October 8-11, the Los Angeles Jazz Institute returns with another Ken Poston event, "Artistry in Rhythm: A Stan Kenton Alumni Reunion," at the LAX Sheraton Four Points Hotel. The lineup is typically awesome, with performances of Bob Graettinger's "City of Glass," Innovations in Modern Music, Contemporary Concepts directed by Al Porcino, 7.5 on the Richter Scale: Kenton in the 1970s, Rugolomania: The Music of Pete Rugolo, the music of Frank Rosolino played by trombonist Andy Martin, the music of Bill Russo, a tribute to June Christy, the Art of Pepper (Art Pepper, of course), the Bud Brisbois Big Band directed by Bobby Shew, the Shorty Rogers Big Band: Cool and Crazy, the Maynard Ferguson Dream Band directed by Don Menza, Shelly Manne's Men, Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars performing arrangements by Bob Cooper, a presentation of Progressive Jazz, special salutes to Brisbois, Bud Shank, John Park and Anita O'Day, and appearances by the Bill Holman and Mike Vax Big Bands. All that in addition to the usual films, panel discussions and noon poolside concerts by area college ensembles. For information phone 562-985-7065.