In keeping with its tradition of assembling a unique, true-to-jazz lineup of artists to headline its signature event, the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation has announced more than 30 performances that will take the stage during Labor Day weekend. Ranging from leading women artists and up-and-comers to legendary artists that play the spectrum of jazz undertones, the impact of the Festival's diverse programming will span generations.
The headliners were announced yesterday during a luncheon at the Detroit Athletic Club, where Quicken Loans also announced it would return as the Detroit Jazz Festival's presenting sponsor for the 2018 and 2019 Festivals. The company began its presenting sponsorship of the world's largest free jazz festival in 2016.
In its 39th year, the Detroit Jazz Festival presented by Quicken Loans, which runs Friday, August 31 through Monday, September 3, 2018 in downtown Detroit, will kick off with performances by Artist-in-Residence Chick Corea and the 2018 inaugural Resident Ensemble, a new addition to the Festival's annual programming. Each year a core ensemble noted for their artistry, connectivity and camaraderie will engage with the Detroit community and prepare multiple performances of varying texture, instrumentation and repertoire for the Festival. This year's Resident Ensemble will feature Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding, who will lead three sets, with one incorporating a technology element. Originally meant to include the late Geri Allen, much of the Ensemble's focus will be inspired by her music.
"Jazz has always been about freedom, communication and individual expression, and there's nothing that encapsulates the depth of the genre better than a diverse lineup like the one we have planned this year," said Chris Collins, president and artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation. "From legends to artists just embarking on their musical careers, to some of the most powerful female artists that have ever touched the genre, the 39th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival presented by Quicken Loans will be free-spirited in nature and offer a unique cultural flair of jazz stylings for all to enjoy."
Corea's varying performances throughout Labor Day weekend; including performances with his Akoustic Band, Elektric Band, and a sextet with the Detroit Jazz Festival Symphony Orchestra; embody several different jazz stylings, setting a precedent for the wide range of performances jazz enthusiasts can expect to see at the Festival. A few other artists blending a variety of jazz tones and elements sure to engage a younger, more diverse audience, include Chris Dave and the Drumhedz, Sasha Masakowski, Marcus Miller, Nicholas Payton and Omar Sosa. Through these artists and others, Festival attendees can anticipate grooving to an array of jazz music incorporating elements of electronic, avant-garde, New Orleans, rock, modern, classical, spiritual and more.
Some of the more influential women artists headlining the Festival, beyond the Resident Ensemble and Masakowski, include Cécile McLorin Salvant, Tia Fuller, the original all-female group Straight Ahead, and Trio of Oz's Rachel Z.
The full Festival schedule will be available at detroitjazzfest.org as the event nears.