Detroit Jazz Festival Announces World-Class Lineup for 37th Annual Labor Day Weekend Event

DETROIT – The Detroit Jazz Festival today announced its lineup for the 37th annual Labor Day Weekend Festival that will feature an eclectic array of performers across varied styles and generations from jazz legends, new artists to the scene and those at the height of their careers, once again creating one-of-a-kind performances not seen anywhere else. With Detroit native and jazz legend Ron Carter as artist-in-residence, this year’s festival has a decidedly Detroit flair, with the annual Homecoming Series of performances taking an expanded role. With the backdrop of Detroit’s skyline, the world’s largest free jazz festival will take to the streets of downtown Detroit on Sept. 2-5, 2016 with hundreds of musicians gracing four stages.

“The jazz tradition in Detroit is iconic and known worldwide. Today, it’s a vibrant scene that is constantly evolving and growing and our Festival continues to nurture and support it,” said Gretchen Valade, chair of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation Board of Directors. “With the wonderful Ron Carter as our artist-in-residence, we are taking the music to a new level of Detroit connection. And, once again, we hope the Festival transcends the music itself and gets people downtown to see and experience Detroit’s distinct flavor. We look forward to adding to Detroit’s jazz tradition and another Labor Day weekend to remember.”

Ron Carter

Legendary bassist, Ron Carter – the most-recorded bassist in music history with more than 2,000 recordings to his credit – is the cornerstone of this year’s lineup and will perform four times throughout the weekend including a nonet, trio, quartet and big band sets.

In addition to Carter’s performances, other 2016 Homecoming Series Performances include: Kirk Lightsey and Louis Hayes – Homecoming Band Kenn Cox tribute with Special Guests Stanley Cowell Quintet featuring Billy Harper and Charles Tolliver David Weiss and Point of Departure celebrate the music of Detroit legends Kenn Cox and Charles Moore – MORE – PUBLIQuartet – MIND|THE|GAP Charlie Gabriel Quartet Other 2016 performers include: George Benson John Scofield, Brad Mehldau, Mark Guiliana Roy Hargrove with Strings The RH Factor Freddy Cole and the Detroit Jazz Festival String Orchestra – The Cole Family Legacy – remembering Nat and Natalie Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano Terri Lyne Carrington’s Mosaic Project Chris Potter Underground Orchestra Randy Weston’s African Rhythms & the Wayne State University Big Band – 90th birthday celebration!!! Ms. Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton Jason Moran Bandwagon Trio Roberta Gambarini and Jimmy Heath – Celebrating Jimmy Heath’s 90th Marcus Roberts Modern Jazz Generation Luciana Souza – Speaking in Tongues Alfredo Rodriguez Trio Harold López-Nussa The Soul Rebels John Abercrombie Organ Trio Vanguard Jazz Orchestra: Established by Thad Jones & Mel Lewis Celebrate 50 years at the Village Vanguard Gregoire Maret & the Inner Voice Ensemble Charnée Wade Herlin Riley Quintet United States Air Force Airmen of Note.

To see the full lineup, visit

“Each year, our priority is to create artistic experiences that are representative of the diverse nature of the genre and deliver sonic experimentation and exploration, creating new layers of the jazz landscape,” said Chris Collins, president and artistic director of the Festival. “We are committed to making this Festival a true jazz experience to remember, one that is original, expressive and inimitable. And, this year we’re certainly looking inward to the legacy of Detroit to create musical experiences that are unique to the jazz fans the world over.”

To highlight up-and-coming talent, the Detroit Jazz Festival invites musicians from metro Detroit and across the globe to enter an annual jazz competition. This year’s competition, The 2016 Detroit Jazz Festival Ron Carter National Bass Competition, is open to bassists 35 years of age or younger whose artistry reflects the commitment to tradition and search for originality that are tenants of Ron Carter’s virtuosity.

With the incentive of a performance slot at the Festival and monetary prizes, this year, contestants must submit recordings which will be evaluated on artistic excellence, creativity, group interaction, originality, familiarity with the jazz vocabulary, and stylistic continuity. Applications must be submitted by June 25, 2016 at

Additionally, the Festival is in the process of evaluating local and regional talent through submissions on its web site at Ensembles will be selected for performance slots at the festival based on artistic excellence, creativity, group interaction, soloists, originality and/or timeliness of concept, and stylistic continuity. Applications will be reviewed by regional music professionals and final programming decisions will be made by the president and artistic director, Chris Collins.

The Detroit Jazz Festival not only actively seeks out established and up and coming musicians, but it also participates in education initiatives throughout the year, helping cultivate the jazz culture in Detroit through workshops, student performances and concert showcases.

This Festival takes place in Hart Plaza and Campus Martius in downtown Detroit. Jazz enthusiasts from around the world will be in attendance as these acclaimed artists take over JPMorgan Chase Main Stage, Carhartt Amphitheater Stage, the Waterfront Stage and the Pyramid Stage.

The 37th annual Detroit Jazz Festival’s major corporate sponsors, who continue to keep the festival free, include JPMorgan Chase & Co., Quicken Loans, DTE Energy Foundation, Carhartt, Ford Motor Company, Greektown Casino-Hotel, Absopure, Mack Avenue Records and Comcast. Individuals also can support the Festival through Rhythm Section memberships.

About the Detroit Jazz Festival

The Detroit Jazz Festival is an independent, non-profit organization that presents jazz and educational workshops throughout the year. The Detroit Jazz Festival is the largest free jazz festival in the world and a major tourist attraction for the City of Detroit, with 23 percent of its audience coming from out of state.

The Festival receives grant funding from the Kresge Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Erb Family Foundation, Arts Midwest Touring Fund, Carolyn P. Wanzo and the Detroit Public Schools Foundation. Hundreds of individual donors also contribute to the Festival through membership and donations. Major corporate partners include JPMorgan Chase & Co., Quicken Loans, DTE Energy Foundation, Carhartt, Ford Motor Company, Greektown Casino-Hotel, Absopure, Mack Avenue Records and Comcast. Additional partners include AMTECH International, Central Michigan University, Cliff Bell’s, Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, Detroit 300 Conservancy, Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe, Fathead, Great Lakes Beverage, Merrill Lynch, MGM Grand Detroit, Opportunity Detroit, Pepsi, Plante Moran, PNC Bank, St. John Providence, Wayne State University, Whole Foods Market and Woodward Gallery. Media partners include Fox 2, WJR, WDET-FM, WEMU-FM, WRCJ-FM, DownBeat, JazzTimes and MetroTimes. The Greening of the Detroit Jazz Festival is supported by a generous grant from the DTE Energy Foundation. For more information, visit

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