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A Perfectly Tuned Evening Every Time...
Opened in 2008, The Dirty Dog is one of the premiere destinations in the United States for world class Jazz and cuisine. It combines the charm of an English-style pub with intimacy and meticulous attention to detail and hospitality.
THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFE BLOG
The Dirty Dog brings together the musicians and guests in a way that creates a lasting impression and desire to come back.
September 18, 2019

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An appreciative audience at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe  /  Photo by John Osler

 

Welcome to part six of our continuing series on the “art of listening to Jazz”.    Jazz is attracting new fans every day. It’s one of the few genres that keeps growing and  has stayed in “style”  for several decades,  since the late 19th century!

 

 

Listening to Jazz can be quite different than most other styles of music. The music is usually more complex. There’s so much to listen for and like other art forms, the more you understand its history, content and structure, the more there is to appreciate. On the other hand, all that really matters is if you like it or not – if it “inspires” you in some way, or you feel emotionally moved by it.

 

 

Over the years, many people have told me they’d like to listen to more Jazz but they don’t “understand it”.  Others said they feel awkward in live Jazz situations because they don’t know “how to act” or when to applaud a musicians’ solos.

 

 

 

AppreciativeDetroitJazzFestivalAudience for StanleyClarek2019: DetoitNews

 

An attentive audience enjoying the music of  bassist Stanley Clarke  and his band at the 2019 Detroit Jazz Festival

photo: Detroit News

 

 

As we listen to Jazz it’s helpful to listen carefully to its compositional elements such as its complex harmonies, intricate rhythms, creative arrangements and other elements. And, we also become aware of its spontaneous nature, and use of improvisation by skilled musicians, which is why Jazz is so exciting, especially when performed live.

 

 

This is because live Jazz really encourages the audience to be attentive and concentrate on what they’re hearing to fully appreciate what’s being created in the moment. It’s the spontaneity that keeps Jazz fresh and why no two performances of the same piece are alike.

 

 

Although Jazz is very “free” and encourages individual interpretation, the music for the most part is built upon the following basic structure. Most pieces start with an introduction, followed by the theme or “head”. Then each musician will take turns with their solos, reinterpreting the melody, harmonies and rhythms of the theme.

 

 

Sometimes just the “melodic” instruments, such as the saxophone, trumpet, flute, etc., will solo. Other times they’ll include the rhythm section, comprised of the piano/keyboards, bass and drums/percussion. After this “developmental” section of solos, the theme or “head” returns to close out the piece.

 

 

Saxophonist Diego Rivera and bassist Rodney Whitaker trading solos at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe. Mr. Rivera is performing with his group at the Dirty Dog October 30-November 2. For more information go to the website DirtyDogJazz.com or call 313-882-5299.

 

 

 

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Photo by John Osler

 

 

It is in the solos where we hear the most significant artistry in Jazz and that is the use of improvisation. No two solos are identical because the musicians are composing “on the spot”, usually staying true to and playing off of the basic melodic, harmonic and rhythmic structure of the piece.

 

 

This is why it’s important to be an attentive listener. If not, you miss the true essence of the music. This is also why there is a certain code of listening behavior with live Jazz.

 

 

As we mentioned earlier, listeners show appreciation and feel free to applaud after each solo within the piece itself. They generally keep their conversations to a minimum out of respect for other audience members and for the musicians themselves who are spontaneously playing, composing and communicating with each other and with the audience.

 

 

Musicians have often said how much they love playing at the Dirty Dog. They say it’s because it’s “all about the music”. It respects the art of listening to Jazz by creating the perfect listening environment. Listeners keep their conversations to a minimum much like they would in a Classical music setting. It’s all about concentrating on the music itself, while appreciating the art of the performance.

 

 

 

Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a trained pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM.

 

 

 

 

 

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September 17, 2019

As I am getting a little older, I find myself contemplating more and planning actual tasks less.I am more comfortable bringing back good memories than looking ahead at those things that might require an effort. Any reminder of how good life has been will carry me for a while. Sometimes when we are looking in the rear view mirror we catch a glimpse of an image that causes us to smile and sometimes it reminds us of a forgotten challenge.

 

HERE IS ONE OF THOSE MEMORIES

 

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RECALLING A SUMMER DAY WITH RON CARTER & RUSSELL MALONE

 

Ron Carter; Musician, Legend and Cass Tech Graduate

 

Ron Carter is among the most original, prolific, and influential bassists in jazz. With more than 2,000 albums to his credit, he has recorded with many of music’s greats. He is a Detroiter and has that built in empathy for others that makes him a good teacher and collaborator.

 

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Ron is a graduate of Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan which has been a cauldron for America’s greatest jazz musicians. He  has lived up to all the expectation as an artist and as a man. When I caught up with him, it was nearly 60 years since he graduated from Cass Tech.

He was at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café where he  was  gently but firmly showing our next generation how a man acts and a jazz man plays.

 

LOOKING BACK

 

It was a beautiful summer day and I had a lot of outdoor projects lined up. In the morning of a near perfect day I learned that the jazz legend Ron Carter was going to be at the Dirty dog Jazz Café. He was in town and had offered to spend some time with fortunate local high school students from the Detroit Jazz Festival Program. Reluctantly I said goodbye to the warm sun filled backyard. I packed up my camera,  I ventured out into the sunshine to the Dirty Dog and into one of my most soul enriching experiences.

 

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The students had arrived and set up to play some music. There was some youthful jabbering until Ron Carter arrived. Ron Carter looks as good in person as he does on his CD covers, only taller and even more elegant. He introduced himself to a suddenly very quiet group of young jazz musicians. He asked them to play and soon with some gentle nudges a relaxed band entered into a shared learning experience. Here was a player of jazz music who has had an entire  lifetime at the top of his craft listening carefully to some Detroit kids starting out. His taking the time didn’t go unnoticed.

 

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The next day I returned to the Dirty Dog knowing that Ron Carter was setting up for an evening gig. He was scheduled to join his pal the great guitarist Russell Malone for a special evening honoring the supporters of the Detroit Jazz Festival. I figured that they would do a quick sound check and leave. The staff was busy setting up for the guests. Tables were being arranged and covered. In the middle of this activity were two artists making music for themselves. I set my camera down as I knew that it was too loud for the occasion. Imagine being in the room with these two great artists who were spending some time quietly facing each other for almost an hour, musically surprising each other and grinning just like a couple of kids, a couple of really talented kids. It seemed as though they were happily transferring a lot of knowledge. I will carry this experience with me for some time.

 

THE TRUTH IS THAT THIS IS HAPPENING MOST DAYS IN THE CITY OF DETROIT

 

Ron Carter and Russell Malone are familiar names, and it was a privilege to be in their presence. However this was just one of what is a common occurrence in Detroit’s jazz world. I have so many brilliant memories of watching musicians share and care.

At some point I suggested to Ron Carter that I felt that we had reached an age when we had little we had to prove to anyone and inferred that we could rest on our handlebars like we did as kids after a long ride. He looked at me as as if I just stepped on his bass.

 

He said something like :

 

“Every morning when I first get up I hope that this will be the day when I find that new note that I have been looking for.”

 

Zing went the arrow of reason into my weak lazy heart. This was a better way to begin a day rather than starting on cruise control. On days when I am up to it I try to follow Ron’s directive. That new note is still out there.

 

LOOKING AHEAD

 

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This fall I will be looking for that new note

 

One place that I will look for that new note will be on the third floor of the Devries Cheese Store in the Eastern Market

 

 

This store is deeply Detroit. This family owned store has been in the business of selling cheese and just about everything else that will start a conversation on your patio. On the top floor of Devries Cheese I go to paint in a loft that overlooks the market and Detroit.

 

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I have some space where I can paint and store my work.. It is a magical space above Vivios Restaurant in Detroit’s Eastern Market. The space is only accessible by going to the third floor of Devries Cheese Shop and then passing through Luis Resto’s music loft. Luis could be anywhere, but he chooses to create his art in the top floor of this very old building. He is here because of the sound he gets in this place with its high ceiling and  wood trusses. Luis is a genuinely nice guy. He is exceptionally generous with his time, except when it is his time to create some music. He goes deep into his creative cocoon  and is completely unaware of anything or anyone around him. I know to walk quietly through his space and not disturb him when he is lost in his music. He will never look up. His concentration on his craft is inspiring to other artists.

 

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LUIS RESTO: A REALLY GOOD LISTENER AND A FINE MAN

 

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On Saturdays when he is in town he opens up his loft to allows musicians and shoppers at Devries Cheese Shop to play / hear some music. The public is welcome. Many folks wander in not knowing Luis and not really expecting what will likely happen next. If they choose to grab an instrument or a mike and join in, Luis will listen to their contribution and go with it. This is who Luis is: a sound sponge. Luis really listens. Luis is very honest when he talks about how important these encounters are with these Saturday compatriots. He thrives on the diverse approaches to music from his fellow professionals to the kids banging on the drum set. He will listen, file it and maybe use it in his next tune. Nothing is dismissed as not being worthy. When something falls on the floor the sound is picked up and used.

 

The way Luis has created music is explored in a short film created by Evan Gulock.

 

https://youtu.be/vFSjYLlb_ek

 

 

This past week Luis’s loft was packed to celebrate Evan’s new film.

In Evan’s words, ” I have put together Luis’s story: his life, his inspirations, his insights into making soul-driven music and living a heart-driven life.”

 

  

 

Here’s how Evan described his subject:
“Luis Resto is a multi-talented, Oscar and Grammy award-winning Detroit-based musician with the spirit of a humble genius and an affinity for giving back to his community. He has collaborated with a wildly diverse collection of accomplished artists, from Eminem to Willie Nelson. He is a microcosm of the thriving music world in Detroit. It is a city that has a sound unlike any other; it always has – from Motown to rock to jazz. As Resto says, “It’s got stank.”

 

To begin the evening Ann Delisi sat down with Don Was, Luis and David McMurray for a public chat. It gave us an insight into how free they were to take risks. They sure seemed to enjoy looking backwards. We then viewed Evan’s film, followed by live music that propelled us forward. All the life inside of Luis’s music came bursting out when the veterans were joined by Ian Finkelstein, Raphael Statin and Salar Ansari.

 

Music in Detroit may pause to look back but is quick to find the fast forward button again.

 

        

 

I will be looking forward and back at the Dirty Dog.

 

Dave Bennett will honor America’s jazz history this week, by adding to it. He will bring some cohorts with him to help him explore new ways to play familiar tunes. For all four nights the place will be packed. It will be jammed with those who have an appreciation of jazz’s roots. They will be treated to being only a few feet away from musicians who share their love of jazz and will be playing it about as well as anybody could. They will unabashedly play music that makes one feel good to be alive. We all can look forward to Dave looking back.

 

John Osler

 

COMING THIS WEEK TO THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFÉ

 

September 18 -21

 

 

DAVE BENNETT

 

Expect the unexpected along with the expected when Dave Bennett brings his band to the Dirty Dog this week.

 

 

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September 11, 2019

PaulKeller. GrandHotel.com

 

Bassist Paul Keller / Photo: GrandHotel.com

 

 

 

This week, our Jazz Notes blog presents a Detroit Jazz Profile of multi-award winning bassist Paul Keller. Mr. Keller is one of he most prominent and in-demand bassists in South Eastern Michigan and beyond. You’ll be able to hear him in person this week at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café as he performs with his band, Wednesday, September 11 through Saturday, September 14.

 

 

His skills are very diverse, allowing him to provide the perfect accompaniment for any performance. Whether it’s an intimate Jazz Trio or a large big band, such as the 15-piece Paul Keller orchestra,  Keller knows exacting what to do.

 

 

I first met Paul when he was performing with the late pianist and composer, Bess Bonnier, who I studied piano with many years ago. She told me a lot about him and what a great musician he was, etc. Since then I have heard Paul play many times at the Dirty Dog and elsewhere, and have always been impressed.

 

PaulKellerOrchestra: PaulKellerJazz.com

 

The Paul Keller Orchestra / photo by the PaulKellerOrchestra.com

 

Besides being a true master of the bass, Paul Keller is a well-rounded musician who is well-respected as a composer, band leader, arranger, educator, and much more. He is known for his arrangements and renditions of pieces from the Great American Song Book as well as Jazz from all of its many eras.

 

 

His lengthy career has afforded him many wonderful opportunities as an artist. This includes being invited to play not only with prestigious groups here in Michigan but all over the world. As you may remember from our recent “Jazz Notes” series on a the Jazz bass, Detroit is known  world-wide for its great bassists. And, Paul Keller is one of our very best. Judge for yourself and make a reservation to catch one of his sets this week at the Dirty Dog.

 

 

For tickets and information call the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe at  313-882-5299.

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September 9, 2019

 

There are a number of cities that have made important contributions to America’s greatest gift to music, jazz. Many have had a moment when musicians have been drawn to their city by conditions that inspired them or by offers of well paying gigs. Musicians really listen to each other, and as new players drifted into town the local sound influenced the skilled newcomers giving the city’s music its unique sound. St Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, LA, etc. all have had their time in the spotlight. Meanwhile Detroit has always relentlessly and steadily provided the artists that know how to play the music. Detroit’s sound has been clomp clomp of the footsteps of in-demand jazz musicians heading out of town and then often back into town. Is there something in the water of Detroit that for decade after decade has produced so many of the worlds greatest jazz musicians?

 

 

The answer could be in the river that  forcefully runs through Detroit bringing products, jobs and energy to the city.

 

DETROIT’S CULTURE

 

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Detroit is uniquely located on a fast moving river with land that spreads out into rich farmland, Detroit has attracted all kinds of new arrivals to our city. Fortunately, for all of us who followed them, many of the arrivals and settlers were clever . They brought ideas while they  sought opportunity. Inventors came because in Detroit they could see that their ideas could become reality. Workers came because things were being made and there were jobs. We made stoves, railroad cars and eventually became the auto capital of the world by 1910. Many others came because it was a good place to live. They called their relatives and described a city that had  good individual housing, good schools, parks, churches and places to go on Saturday night. They were told that all you had to do was show up to your job on time and work hard.  Detroit became a magnet for many that lived in overcrowded cities and changing rural communities.

 

They often worked shoulder to shoulder but played and lived separately. Detroit had Irish, Italian, Polish, Chinese, African American and Hungarian neighborhoods. Each enclave brought its culture. They had the best of their old world along with this new place of opportunity. Everyone did share the parks and many of the places of entertainment. We had radio stations that only played country, others played just ethnic, and most importantly Detroit had stations that gave us a stream of jazz and R&B.

 

  

 

It was not hard to find a place to go dancing. We had all kinds of  clubs to hear music. Being a musician in Detroit was a possible occupation. Good musicians hung around. The idea that you could succeed if you worked hard and the abundance of jobs created a rich culture of excellence in music in the city of Detroit. We had a great deal of structural segregation which, for a while,  limited  the city’s embrace of all its music.

 

 

The syncopated music coming up from New Orleans eventually became universally accepted and still is. This rich trove of music has remained embedded in the culture of all of Detroit. Always at the center of our music has been our  jazz.

 

 

 

 

One summer I was given an insight into Detroit’s jazz culture.

 

 

LJ Lai by John Beresford

Photo by John Beresford

I was showing my art in Ann Arbor when I met Ling- Ju Lai. Ling-Ju was taking a serious look through my book, Detroit Jazz.   She looked up at me and said ” I really admire these guys”.  As a classical piano soloist Ling -Ju has had an opportunity to hear all kinds of music around the world.  She offered that when on her travels she can usually tell when a player is from Detroit.  I asked her what tipped her off. I  wish now that I had written her words down, but she talked about a strength, a persistent force that drives a group.  She felt that this came from their roots in Detroit.  Their life experience teaches them to persevere.   We may not have the easy sway of the gentle warm sea breezes of the Caribbean, but Detroit and its musicians possess a unique quality that pushes the music to greater heights.

  

 

Ling -Ju later sent me these words:

 

“Detroit jazz musicians in general have a very alert and intense rhythmic drive, which brings a sense of urgency and endurance in their live performance. I find the great figures of Detroit legends such as Marcus Belgrave and Barry Harris truly inspiring. They sing at their instruments, trumpet and piano respectively, with earnest love for the music. Their live music making was especially powerful, because they played with clarity. And Clarity is Power. From what I can tell as a classically trained musician, in the newer generation of Detroit jazz composers there is a deep sense of respect for their roots and at the same time a daring and honest attitude to create a style of their own. I speak from my own musical connection and experience with Michael Malis, a native Detroit composer. I am fascinated by this distinct Detroit culture in Jazz. ”  

IS DETROIT’S MUSICAL CULTURE CHANGING?

 

Detroit will be tested in the coming years. We will be asked to be part of a new culture that will seem more comfortable to those who are new to town and are currently shaping our city. Will we continue to honor our past or allow it to evaporate into the latte scented air of a new Detroit.?

 

 

I think the culture that has defined Detroit’s music is an endangered species. I also think it is important that we protect it. Here are some reasons for hope.

 

Detroit has enjoyed a continuum of artists who have been driven to retain a high level of discipline and a commitment to pass it on the the next generation.  They will not go away quietly.

 

Many of our new residents came to Detroit because they were attracted to its unique ability to stave off adversity. They will join us to resist losing our mojo.

 

Detroit has institutions in place that just need to be supported, reinforced and enhanced. These include our school art and music programs, our festivals and venues.

 

Detroit’s musical history continues to be important to  those who are actively inventing new forms of music in our city.

 

Jazz continues to be in good hands. Detroit’s culture has deep roots that will support growth in many directions. Please add your support when you can.

 

John Osler

 September 11- 14

 

 

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September 3, 2019

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Pianist Gary Shunk / Photo by John Osler

 

 

After a Jazz filled 4-day weekend at the 40th annual Detroit Jazz Festival,  we invite you to join us as live Jazz offerings continue at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café.

 

 

Longtime Detroit Jazz favorite, pianist, Gary Shunk, keeps the Jazz flowing Wednesday September 4 and Thursday, September 5. In fact, Gary Shunk has performed at every Detroit Jazz Festival since its inception in 1980!

 

 

With a long and successful music career, spanning more than forty years in mostly Jazz and Classical, Shunk is proficient in a number of styles. These include everything from Blues and Be-Bop to Soul, Fusion and electronic.

 

 

He is an excellent improvisor due to his Classical and Jazz music theory training and his excellent compositional talents. The late-Jazz trumpeter and performer, Marcus Belgrave said “Gary Shunk is probably one of the greatest pianists around because he can do it all”.

 

 

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Gary Shunk / Photo by John Osler

 

 

 

Over the years, Mr. Shunk has toured, played or recorded with a variety of top artists such as Kenny Burrell, The Temptations, George Clinton, and many others.

 

 

His latest album, Kayak, is on Detroit Music Factory records, which is a subsidiary of Mack Avenue records. It features bassist Ray Parker, and award-winning drummer  Peter Erskine.

 

 

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Jazz vocalist, Michelle Lordi

 

 

Gary is followed by Jazz vocal stylist Michelle Lordi, Friday Sept. 6 and Saturday Sept. 7 on the Dirty Dog stage. Musician, educator and composer, Ms.Lordi, is also a very diverse performer who sings a variety of Jazz styles infused with elements from various contemporary genres.

 

 

Her band consists of pianist Michael Jellick on piano, Matthew Parrish on bass and Michael Reed on drums.

 

 

Live Jazz continues this coming weekend and on a weekly basis at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café. For more information and reservations, call 313-882-5299.

 

 

 

 

 

Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM. She made her mark at WDET 101.9FM where she was program director and daily on-air music host for more than 30 years.

 

 

 

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DOG DAYS

 

The hot muggy part of summer is often called the dog days. It brings up an image of a slightly hazy mornings that later morphs into a very hot day and then into a porch sitting evening with not much of a breeze. These are the sticky days that can  last through the early weeks of September. So here we are coming to an end of this year’s dog days. The days are shorter and the nights are longer. What we know is that we can still expect some more hot days, thunderstorms and sudden rain showers, especially when we are outside at a terrific event like the Detroit Jazz Festival

 

 

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DAWG GONE IT DAYS

 

What did dogs do to deserve all the negative idioms like dog days, sick as a dog, dog tired, gone to the dogs, etc. etc.? Why do we bring up an image of a dog lying flat on a hot pavement with its tongue sticking out panting like a dog. We are constantly dogged by misleading references to dogs in our language. Negative connotations are constantly assigned to man’s best friend. It is totally unfair.

At the top of my list is the name of my favorite jazz club, The Dirty Dog Jazz Café. It could have been named The Super Clean Canine Music Club. This would have been fitting as the proprietor of the place is both a dog lover and a music lover. The problem is that probably no one is interested in spending that much time listening to clean music in a spiffy place.

Jazz is not about always about being clean and predictable, especially jazz played in Detroit. It is likely to be a little rough around the edges and that is OK with us.

 

 

THIS PAST WEEKEND IN DETROIT:

 

A community of like spirits gathered to celebrate good fellowship at the DETROIT JAZZ FESTIVAL

Now in its 40th year, the festival took place from Hart Plaza to Campus Martius in downtown Detroit. After all these years it remains an authentic jazz event.

On Saturday afternoon on the Pyramid Stage of The Detroit Jazz Festival Sheila Jordan gave us a taste of why we prefer some mud on the paws of our favorite jazz cats.She growled and shouted assuring us that she was talking truth with us. She was unafraid to speak her mind. Her voice wavered a little more than it once did. We listened. Detroiters listen when someone is authentic. Sheila Jordan’s journey has had bumps and some incredibly good fortune in having friends like Charlie Parker and Mingus. When trouble entered her life she turned to jazz to help pull her through. She has certainly earned the right to stand on the stage and preach to us a little. She gave meaning to familiar tunes and brought our attention to society’s shortcomings.  Sheila reminded us that this  is what jazz should be. She did it in real time to an audience that understood that jazz isn’t pablum. I was near a group of young jazz musicians that got a lesson in life from Sheila and the trio playing with her. They whooped and hollered as they glanced at each other when  the electrifying music reached its peak. Year after year the Detroit Jazz Festival does its thing.

 

Here is Sheila:

https://youtu.be/0SfwPb_m1Cw

 

Sitting close by and listening to Sheila, Mark Stryker was grinning as he listened. Sheila was affirming so much that he has written in his new book..

 

 

MARK STRYKER’S NEW BOOK

JAZZ FROM DETROIT

 

Sandwiched in between the main stages at the festival is the Mack Avenue Jazz Talk Tent.

 

I took some time out from live jazz to learn something about jazz in Detroit. Mark Stryker had covered music and art for The Detroit Free Press for 21 years before leaving to tell his take on what has kept Detroit constantly producing so many influential jazz artists. Mark has the advantage of having been there. The reader benefits from Mark asking direct questions through the years and getting honest answers. This process came from his deep personal interest in how the heck Detroit with its ups and downs has seen its music persevere and thrive. His personal insights makes this book stand alone. In the tent Mark explained jazz in Detroit and Detroit to an audience that knew almost as much as Mark does. Mark just has the skills to make it come alive. I spent one hour listening to Mark tie  a lot of things I already knew together. Thanks to Mark I will know more about the music that I will be listening to this weekend.

 

 

DETROIT’S MUSIC REFLECTS DETROIT’S DOGGED DETERMINATION. BOTH ARE CELEBRATED ON LABOR DAY

 

 

 

LABOR DAY WEEKEND IN DETROIT

 

Back in the day when hard work was celebrated,  Detroit had a grand Labor Day parade with stirring speeches. Detroit had plenty of hard work that needed to be done. The ones that did the hard work were appreciated, were well paid and were ensured a good retirement. They helped win a war and became part of America’s vibrant middle class. They worked hard, and they played hard. They took time to dine and dance and that meant that music was needed which would match the spirit and vitality of the city’s residents.. Detroit attracted musicians into a growing market, and Detroit became  a great town for jazz. It still is, but it hasn’t been easy.

When the jobs disappeared so did the dancing, and and many of our jazz  musicians left for greener pastures. Enough stayed and passed on the tradition, so that today Detroit continues to have a thriving jazz community.

In 2019 we seem to have less reason to celebrate the value of hard work. Today when one Googles Labor Day weekend events in Detroit, our traditional Labor Day parades are seldom mentioned. There are plenty of parades and speeches, but there seem to be more events that celebrate the good life that comes from working.

The Detroit Jazz Festival does celebrate the tradition of hard work, and our ability to enjoy life is still honored by the festival.

 

NOW WHAT?

 

Many of us will be dog tired after walking venue to venue at a festival. We will be looking at for a comfortable chair to plop into and listen to jazz.

 

  

 

WELCOME BACK TO THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFE´

 

The crew from the Dirty Dog will wrap up their stuff from the Dirty Dog tent Labor Day evening and begin getting everything ready at the Dirty Dog. They will also be dog tired but ready to keep the music going and welcome everyone back.

 

                      

 

 

I think the Dog Days will continue as the days the Dirty Dog Jazz Café  opens its door for jazz and food.

John Osler

 

COMING TO THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFE´

September 4- September 5

 

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GARY SCHUNK

 

Gary has a well deserved following who will have a chance to listen to this great pianist in an intimate club.

 

 

September 6 – September 7

 

 

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MICHELLE LORDI

 

Singer Michelle Lordi will help us continue to celebrate jazz this  September.

 

 

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August 28, 2019

DetroitJazzFestPoster

 

 

Here’s our Jazz Notes list of some of the best performances to see and hear at this year’s Detroit Jazz Festival which is celebrating it’s 40 anniversary. There are so many  artists performing over the four days of the event it’s almost impossible to catch it all.

 

Our list of recommendations will help guide you  but please feel free to stroll around to the many festival stages and get a taste of all the  festival has to offer.

 

For a complete guide of stages and performers go to DetroitJazzFest.com.

 

The four-day festival runs from Friday, August 30 through Monday September 2, 2019.

 

 

 

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Detroit Jazz Festival Crowd! / Photo: WEMU.org

 

Here are some of my top picks, but don’t forget it’s all good so walk around and take it all in. If you’re still in need of some suggestions, check out my list below and ENJOY!

 

 

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Stanley Clarke / 2019 Detroit Jazz Festival Artist in Residence

 

 

Judy Adams’s Jazz Notes: the 40th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival: “Best of the Fest”:

 

Friday, August 30th

7:00–8:15pm Danilo Pérez’s Global Big Band featuring the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra / Chase Main Stage

 

 

The-Soul-Rebels. pancakes and whiskey.com

 

The Soul Rebels / Photo: PancakesandWhiskey.com

 

 

Saturday, August 31:

3:45–5:00 p.m. The Soul Rebels 6:00–7:15 p.m., Chase Main Stage

 

Macy Gray, Chase Main Stage

 

macyGray.people.com

 

Macy Gray /Photo: People.com

 

7:15–8:30 p.m. Ron Carter Quartet, Carhartt Amphitheater Stage

 

Sunday, September 1st:

 

6:00–7:15 p.m. (2019 Artist-in-Residence: Stanley Clarke), A night of jazz with The Stanley Clarke Band / Chase Main Stage

 

8:00–9:15 p.m. Dee Dee Bridgewater and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra , Chase Main Stage

 

 

PatMetheny

Pat Metheny / Photo: DetroitJazzFest.com

 

Ron-Carter. AndreaCanter,JazzPolice.com

 

Ron Carter / Photo: JazzPolice.com

 

3:30 p.m.- 4:30p Pat Metheny & Ron Carter

5:15-6:30 p.m. Thornetta Davis

7:15-8:30p.m. Kenny Garrett Quintet

 

KennyGarrett.Youtube.com

 

Kenny Garrett /Photo: YouTube.com at Porgy and Bess Jazz Club

 

9:15-10:30p Terence Blanchard – AB² – Art Blakey Project

 

Carhartt Amphitheater Stage

 

Monday, September 2nd

3:00–4:15 p.m. Pat Metheny Side-Eye w/ James Francies & Marcus Gilmore

 

Chase Main Stage

 

6:30–7:45 p.m. Chucho Valdés – Jazz Batá/ Chase Main Stage

 

7:00–8:15 p.m. 2019 Artist-in-Residence: Stanley Clarke, Boyz n the Hood – The Live Original featuring the Detroit Jazz Festival String Orchestra

 

 

Carhartt Main Stage

 

 

 

 

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August 26, 2019

SEPTEMBER IS COMING, LET’S CELEBRATE

 

 

For months we have been thinking about how fast the summer is going by. It seems like we just planted those flowers and tomato plants. Michigan strawberries and blueberries can’t be found at Eastern market. It’s OK. we still have September to look forward to. Detroit kicks off September with spirited festivals and parades. We celebrate Labor Day and all those who labor by listening to long speeches ,  continuing to eat fresh Michigan summer crops and, because we are in Detroit, we will be listening and moving to some great music. Maybe summer was just a prelude.

 

 

 

LET US CELEBRATE the birthday of Gretchen Valade on August 25.

 

Gretchen is Detroit jazz’s guardian angel. She is also someone who tends to do things well. Her love of music and food means that it will be possible to enjoy the Dirty Dog fare while listening and watching great acts at the Detroit Jazz Festival.

How lucky for us that it was someone of Gretchen’s integrity who took charge.  She was determined to keep the festival on course as the people’s festival, a festival for those who work hard and understand hard work. These are folks ready to show their appreciation for good music. Today it remains authentic and free for all to enjoy. It reflects the best side of Detroit’s character.

Gretchen gets things done with grace and authority.  The festival is the result of a lot of people doing their best to provide Detroit music lovers the best free Jazz festival in the world.  .

Gretchen has made me aware that the festival doesn’t just happen. It takes planning, hard work, attention to details and oversight.  It’s not just casual oversight, but oversight that comes with purpose and a respect for the music and the people of Detroit.  Good fortune is with us as it is Gretchen who remains on the watch.

 

  

 

 

AUGUST 30 – SEPTEMBER 2, 2019

 

THE 40th  DETROIT JAZZ FESTIVAL

 

Now in its 40th year, the festival will celebrate jazz in downtown Detroit from Hart Plaza to Campus Martius . The festival offers educational activities for adults and children, fireworks, late-night jam sessions and rare opportunities to meet the artists. And it’s all FREE.

From all over the world jazz lovers circle the date of the Detroit Jazz Festival. Those who come find jazz of great intelligence, energy and purity. There is little hype and  a lot of music. Visitors learn that Detroit can throw a festival,  This year’s festival will  attract upwards of 750,000 people. We may even get some credit for doing something right. Meanwhile Chef Andre Nemanis  and the Dirty Dog staff will be serving  some sumptuous savory barbecue to some lucky jazz fans.

 

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THIS SEPTEMBER WE WILL CELEBRATE THE SPIRIT OF DETROIT

 

A community of like spirits will gather to celebrate the music and good fellowship.

 

The festival is appropriately held on Labor Day weekend. However, metropolitan Detroit doesn’t take that weekend off. Everyone has a venue to go to and they are all  terrific. There is little reason to go out of town, with the absolute jewel being the Detroit Jazz Festival, where our community puts its soul on display. Every year we show off what we do best, exposing the roots of our music, pain, shame, joy, resilience, cleverness and a lot of kindness.

 

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WE WILL CELEBRATE GOOD FELLOWSHIP/MUTUAL RESPECT

 

The festival brings together so many accomplished musicians with different stories to tell and ways of telling them.  This community of like spirits gathers annually to celebrate the music and good fellowship.

 

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This mutual respect is what  makes this festival unique. The crowd sitting on hard concrete seats become one with musicians sitting in their more comfortable chairs. They start to move together, everyone swaying, clapping with subtle foot taps, all of this movement synced to the music. I am often aware of the powerful connection between the artists and a Detroit audience.

This is an event which takes the assets that exist in the city and shares these assets among a diverse and deserving following. Downtown Detroit glows with all the mutual respect.

 

WE WILL CELEBRATE EFFORT

 

The festival doesn’t happen without serious people planning and industrious people making it happen.

 

Detroit Jazz Festival Director Chris Collins

 

Thanks to all the great musicians for coming back and reminding us why you do come back. Thanks to all the staff and the volunteers who are often too busy to enjoy their own efforts.

This year Festival Director Chris Collins has put together a most intriguing lineup. Chris can’t resist a challenge, as he feels that: “Jazz as an art form is not only sophisticated and intelligent, but it also speaks to the organic roots of every human being, every American, every Detroiter.”

This year Chris has scheduled Stanley Clarke.Pat Metheny, Joshua Redman, Terence Blanchard, Dee Dee Bridgewater, The Soul Rebels, Kenny Garrett, Chucho Valdes and many more amazingly talented  artists who understand his vision. They will all bring their magic to Hart Plaza.

 

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AND WE WILL CELEBRATE ALL THE REGULARS WHO SHOW UP YEAR AFTER YEAR

 

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For 39 years I have seldom missed a Detroit Jazz Festival. I am a proud REGULAR. I have many reasons to not want to miss this unique Detroit event. One reason is that it is free. It is also close by. Then there is the music and food, which are terrific. But it is the chance to be around the many others like myself who tend to be proud of their town that brings me back time after time. These are the regulars. They can be counted on to know the music and a lot of the musicians. They know why they are there. These are the the familiar faces  I want to walk up to and say hi. I don’t know their names, but that doesn’t matter. They are the regulars. They are friends.

 

 

 

THIS LABOR DAY WE WILL CELEBRATE LABOR DAY WITH THOSE WHO WORK HARD

 

 

     

 

Their presence is a big salute to those who work so hard to keep the festival at such a high level. The Detroit Jazz Festival will give jazz musicians and Detroiters a chance to be part of something special. This could  be the time and place where jazz history will be made.  The artists are encouraged to flood the air with improvisation and exploration.

 

We have always known how important jazz is to Detroit and how fragile the health of jazz in Detroit can be. Without vigilant action this free wheeling form of music could easily be lost in the latest musical moment. Once a year we get proof that there are Detroiters who don’t want to see this happen, and there are many of us who benefit from all their work. Let us celebrate all the hard work it takes.

 

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THIS WEEK THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFÉ WILL BE CLOSED AND MOVING TO BE PART OF DETROIT’S GREAT JAZZ FESTIVAL

 

THE GOOD NEWS IS THE DOG IS ONLY CLOSED FOR ONE WEEK, AUGUST 25 – SEPT 3

 

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Chef Andre Nemanis

 

Why would the smart gang at the Dirty Dog think of moving the operation? The answer is: they are going to take the operation to where the best jazz in town will be playing. The Dirty Dog is setting up its operation in downtown Detroit, right in the middle of the Detroit Jazz Festival.  At the Dirty Dog tent all the staff and the chefs will be rolling up their sleeves to provide a shady place complete with the sound of the music, the smell of  barbecue, a smiling staff and a view of the stage.

The Dirty Dog Jazz Café  food tent is one of the favorite gathering spots at the Detroit Jazz Festival.  It doesn’t get much better than this for good food, prompt service and great jazz, and all amidst the smiles of friends.

 

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The scent of Dirty Dog barbecue will waft its way up Woodward Avenue drawing us in for some chow and a beverage.

This could turn out to be a good move. Enjoy! Celebrate!

John Osler

 

COMING NEXT TO THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFE´

September 4- September 5

 

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GARY SCHUNK

 

Gary has a well deserved following who will have a chance to listen to this great pianist in an intimate club.

 

September 6 – September 7

 

 

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MICHELLE LORDI

Singer Michelle Lordi will help us continue to celebrate jazz this  September.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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August 23, 2019

 

 

Part 2: Regina Carter and Bennie Maupin.

 

 

Our Jazz Notes birthday profiles put us in touch with some of the most outstanding Jazz artists who are from Detroit, considered one of the most significant music cities in the world.

 

reginaCarter:contemporaryJazzLover2,blogspot.com

 

Regina Carter / Photo by Contemporary Jazz Lover 2, BlogSpot.com

 

 

Regina Carter is a world-renowned Jazz violinist born in Detroit, August 6, 1966. She has performed on the Dirty Dog stage with the band “Straight Ahead” .  Like many other prominent Detroit artists, she attended Cass Technical High School. As a teenager she played in the youth division of the Detroit Symphony and took master classes with world famous violinists Itzhak Perlman and Yehudi Menuhin.

 

 

Ms. Carter was recently awarded the highly prestigious MacArthur Felllowship, which is considered a “genius” grant. Prior to that she studied Classical music at the New England Conservatory but later switched to Oakland University in Rochester, Mi. to study Jazz with the late trumpeter and educator Marcus Belgrave.

 

 

She went on to join the acclaimed all-female Jazz ensemble “Straight Ahead”. She soon moved to New York and began performing with such notables with Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Billy Joel, Dolly Parton and Jazz greats Max Roach and Oliver Lake. Her album, “Southern Comfort” explores her family’s history through music.

 

 

reginaCarterTributetoElla

 

Regina Carter pays tribute to Ella Fitzgerald/ photo WBEZ.org

 

 

Don’t miss Regina Carter with Xavier Davis at this year’s Detroit Jazz Festival’s “Rise Up Detroit” on September 1st. For more information go to DetroitJazzFest.com.

 

 

 

Bennie Maupin, multi-reedist

 

Bennie Maupin / Photo:  Jazz Multi-Reedist.jpeg

 

 

Considered one of the most significant artists in contemporary Jazz. Bennie Maupin is known as a Jazz multi-reed player who plays a variety of reed instruments including various saxophones, flutes and clarinets. He was born in Detroit on August 29,1940, and made his mark as a major contributor to music known as fusion in the late 1960s and 1970s.

 

 

The fusion movement “infused” traditional Jazz with elements of rock, blues, funk, world music and other contemporary genres of the period. He is most noted for his work with Herbie Hancock in the 1970’s as a member of his “Headhunters” band as well as his participation in his “Mwandishi” sextet. Over the years he recorded more an thirteen albums with Herbie Hancock.

 

 

He also played on Miles Davis’s ground-breaking album “Bitches Brew” and several other albums with Miles which are considered some of the most important albums Miles made. These include such modern Jazz classics as Tribute to Jack Johnson, On the Corner, and Big Fun.

 

 

BennieMaupin ECM

 

Bennie Maupin on ECM records / Photo: ECM.com

 

 

Other musicians he collaborated with include such luminaries as Horace Silver, Roy Haynes, Woody Shaw and Lee Morgan, McCoy Tyner, Jack DeJohnette, Eddie Henderson and many others.

 

 

 

 

MaupinJewelandtheLotus

 

 

One of my favorite Bennie Maupin recordings and one of his most respected albums is “Jewel in the Lotus” (ECM) from 1974.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM. She made her mark at WDET 101.9FM where she was program director and daily on-air music host for more than 30 years.

 

 

 

 

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August 19, 2019

THE CREATIVE PROCESS

 

THE FINAL STAGE

 

 

SHARING ( optional )

 

I have a deep felt belief that everyone would benefit from keeping art in their lives. The real world can be boring, sometimes oppressive and always limiting. Creating your own version can be therapeutic. It is not necessary for anyone but yourself to see/ hear the results. The only assurance an artist needs comes from them. Sometimes it is nice to share your efforts.

Once an artist has put his final touches on a piece of art he is faced with a choice, to add it to the pile in the basement or offer it up as an important piece of art. Neither of these come naturally for a creative artist.

Certainly there are those who can go deep into the creative process completely immersed in their art and emerge transformed into a marketing giant. For these lucky folks the high from their success carries over to the final step of the creative process, that of sharing their work..

For the rest of us who create art, music, poetry, etc. we find our comfort zone is limited to the first stages of the creative process. For us this is where the excitement lies. The process can be tortuous, but the final result can elevate one to satisfying heights. Stepping back and reveling in this grand  moment of success is often short lived. The reality of what you do with your creation is upon an artist much too fast. Fortunately there is often someone to partner with artists to help get them through this potentially ego busting exposure of their newborn creation.

Marketing, promoting, and encouraging art is an art in itself. I have found that those who  bring good art forward have a passion for art and an understanding of the difficult.process. The challenge for the artist is to find that person or organization.

All artists eventually  run out of room for all the canvases that they have accumulated and found that they could use some refunding.  They will need some assistance.

 

An artist can get lucky and find a partner to share the task of sharing.

Here are a few that have made a difference:

 

 

COSIMA de’ MEDICI

 

 

In 1537 the young Cosimo de’ Medici (1519–1574) was plucked from relative obscurity in the Tuscan countryside to lead Florence. He elevated himself to absolute ruler of Florence. By 1569, when Cosimo convinced Pope Pius V (1504–1572) to bestow on him the title of Grand Duke of Tuscany, he had expanded his totalitarian rule throughout the Tuscan territories, sometimes violently seizing control of neighboring cities.

Cosima had a lot of power to get things done, but fortunately Cosimo also had a  wide-ranging intellect, including a deeply rooted interest in art and literature and a keen fascination with botany, chemistry, and zoology. He became the prototype of the arts patron. His family’s patronage of the arts rather than their overbearing power has left a glorious legacy.

 

LORENZO de’ MEDICI

 

 

Lorenzo was the grandson of Cosima de’ Medici who became the most powerful and enthusiastic patron of the Renaissance.

He was a magnate, diplomat, politician and patron of scholars, artists and poets. He is well known for his contribution to the art world by sponsoring artists such as Botticelli and Michelangelo

Michelangelo was one of many artists whom the world can thank the de’ Medici family for.  Because of their support Florence became known for its art, just as Detroit continues to be known for its music thanks to the contributions of Gretchen Valade.

Without Lorenzo’s help Michelangelo probably would have ended up selling  miniature frescoes in a square in Florence. The large hunk of marble that is David would be a large piece of marble in the quarry.

Michelangelo’s works from this period continued to influence sculptors and painters throughout the late Renaissance and Baroque eras, all thanks to the passion that the de’Medici family had for art.

 

Closer to home are some friends that have given so many artists the help that they needed when they needed it. They are also a lot nicer than the folks the Renaissance artists had to deal with.

 

GRETCHEN VALADE

 

 

GRETCHEN VALADE

 

Much gentler than the sometimes ruthless de’ Medicis, Gretchen has become Detroit’s angel for jazz and has shared Detroit’s jazz artistry with the world.

Out of her passion for jazz she has successfully promoted our local artists and also offered them her friendship. She has always had an unconditional love for the music and a deep empathy for the artist. She has helped Detroit jazz to maintain its role in the growth of jazz. She has been the ultimate partner for jazz musicians especially when they needed a lift.

Detroit is a city that prides itself on being resilient. We are the comeback city. We get knocked down, and we get back up.  We need some help sometimes. We look for a champion to appear. Sometimes we get lucky and one of our own steps up. They tell us we count and that we are special. They get strong when the weak walk away.

 

 

 

Gretchen with Tom Robinson at the Detroit Jazz Festival

 

 

CHUCK DUQUAT and The Collected Detroit Art Gallery

 

Last year Detroit was treated to a new gallery opening. The first showing featured a remarkable array of mostly Detroit art from the personal collection of Detroiter Chuck Duquat, pieces  that he has acquired over his very interesting lifetime. Chuck had collected the work of some of America’s finest artists, including many Detroiters . He just needed a place to share and sell his collection.

The grand opening was held at his new art space located at 2439 Fourth St in Detroit. Chuck is a true patron of the arts who has opened his arms to Detroit artists. Chuck Duquet has become a hero to those close to the arts in Detroit. The space Chuck has created is full of energy and opportunity. Our finest artists have responded by placing their work in his hands.

Every once in a while someone like Chuck comes along, someone who will take a risk on those of us who hesitate to be judged and who will help artists to share their work.

The gallery is currently featuring nine Detroit artists in a show he calls  Deeply Detroit. I am pleased to be part of this show, which includes the work of many friends. The art can be seen at the gallery until August 31, 2019 The gallery hours are Wed. through Fri. 11AM – 6PM,  Sat. 11AM – 4PM.

Thanks Chuck.

 

 

 

THE MAGIC OF MARION HAYDEN AND THE IMPORTANCE OF HAVING MARION HAYDEN SHARE HER PASSION

 

Before I left for vacation I went to the final concert of the 2019 Women of Jazz Symposium which was directed by Marion Hayden. Marion is dedicated to bringing attention to our great women in jazz.

The event was inside on a hot summer day, yet it was well attended. The young musicians were unknown to me before the concert. They were were well schooled, innovative and played great jazz. I have kept the program as I want to remember the names of these accomplished women

Marion Hayden is a generally quiet but self assured  woman. Marion can handle heavy lifting. She carries her own bass and more importantly she elevates her craft and those she gets close to. It is the grace with which she does it that makes her so special.

Marion is one of those people that while creating great art also brings others forward to share the applause.

 

 Artists are usually risk takers and and sharing your art can be scary. It can also be rewarding.

I had planned to make the final stage of the creative process, Counting the Money . This final stage has been cancelled for lack of funds.

Well. That’s art.

John Osler

 

 

THIS WEEK AT THE DIRTY DOG

 

August 21 – 24

 

 

 

DWIGHT ADAMS

This week at the Dirty Dog will be one of the many  Detroit musicians who have received a gentle hand up from their friend Gretchen Valade. He will share his unique gifts with his band stand mates and those lucky enough to be present at the Dirty dog.

 

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