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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 brings together the musicians and guests in a way that creates a lasting impression and desire to come back.
December 30, 2019

40 Years of Jazz at Wayne State University



ValadeJazzCenter at WSU

Coming soon to Detroit’s Wayne State University!





Photo: Chris Collins, Valade Chair in Jazz Professor, Wayne State Department of Music




Wayne State’s faculty member, world renowned, Vincent Chandler has a reputation for being a uniquely expressive trombone soloist. He’s also a versatile sideman, innovative composer and arranger, a crowd pleasing scat singer, an experienced bandleader of various group sizes and a natural teacher of beginner to advanced students.



This past year not only marks the 40th anniversary of the Detroit Jazz Festival but also Wayne State University’s Jazz studies program which began in 1979.  As a music major at Wayne in 1967,  I was enrolled in their Classical studies program and remember thinking how great it would be if Wayne also had a Jazz program for those of us who were also interested in Jazz.



The late sixties was a very important period for Jazz and for modern music in general. Artists were discovering new styles from all over the world and different times periods. The music was blossoming all over with influences  from the 16th century to Jimi Hendrix.



Forty years later Detroit’s local Jazz scene music and Wayne State are now intertwined. Wayne’s applied music faculty are among the finest musicians in this region. They are presently part of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Michigan Opera Theater, and the Jazz musicians can be heard regularly at our world-famous Jazz clubs such as the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, Cliff Bells, Baker’s Keyboard lounge and many others.





Major donor for Detroit Jazz Festival and upcoming Wayne State Jazz Center, Gretchen Valade, who is also owner and music director of the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe, in Grosse Pointe Farms.



Universities began offering courses in Jazz in the early 1930’s. By the 1950’s, thirty colleges and universities were offering Jazz courses nationally and by the early 1970’s, 15 were offering degrees in Jazz. Wayne State’s Jazz Studies program began in 1979 with 102 students majoring in the artform.



Dennis Tini and James Hartway were co-founders of the program. Jazz Pianist Matt Michaels joined them soon after. Jazz history and theory became key aspects of the curriculum along with composition, arranging and other elements. Newly formed ensembles included Jazz big bands, guitar ensembles, and several Jazz combos.



Wayne’s connection to the Detroit Jazz community continues to grow these days partly because professor Chris Collins is not only Chairman of the Jazz department but is also President and Artistic Director of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation, bringing together Wayne’s Jazz students and faculty with the international array of world class musicians from the festival.





Chris says he is “very proud to have been able to bring Gretchen Valade into the WSU world and help shape the future Gretchen Valade Jazz Center as we pass the 40th anniversary of the Detroit Jazz Festival and the 40th anniversary of the Wayne State University Jazz Program.”




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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The Dirty Dog brings together the musicians and guests in a way that creates a lasting impression and desire to come back.
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