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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.
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Jazz Notes With Judy Adams
April 20, 2018


Electro/Acoustic Jazz pianist, Chick Corea




Although the festival doesn’t occur until Labor Day weekend work has already begun preparing for this annual event. One of the most exciting things about this pre-Festival phase is the announcement of each year’s Artist-in-Residence. This position is bestowed upon one of the top musicians in the idiom. Recent resident artists have included bassist Ron Carter, guitarist Pat Metheny, and saxophonist Wayne Shorter.



This year it is the iconic pianist and composer, Chick Corea, who is considered one of the major pianists and style-makers to emerge from the latter part of the 20th century.



The role the resident artists play can include various activities such as leading master classes with new and emerging musicians, performing live at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, and also performing on each of festival’s four days. Each one of the Festival performances showcases the resident artist in different ensembles and focuses on different aspects of their music. The best part of all this is the fact that the Detroit Jazz Festival is free allowing thousands of people each year to have access to these deeply satisfying musical experiences.



Chick Corea came into prominence in the mid-1960’s as a member of Miles Davis’s group during an important period in Jazz when the genre began changing its basic style and instrumention to reflect major changes happening in music and culture in general. The style known as “fusion” mirrored the new sounds in electric rock, funk, soul, world music and other genres. Jazz artists, including Mr. Corea with his “fusion” band Return to Forever, began experimenting with electric instruments such as pianos, synthesizers, guitars, violins, basses, and more.



In the coming weeks, our Jazz Notes blog will be highlighting different aspects of Corea’s amazing career and the enormous influence his music has had on contemporary Jazz.  This week we focus on his recent live solo appearance at the Dirty Dog on April 11, 2018 which helped kick-off this year’s Jazz Festival season.



Mr. Corea is a National Endowment of the Arts “Jazz Master” who is also the fourth-most nominated artist in Grammy Award history. He is fluent in many types of music, including bebop, straight ahead, avant-garde and fusion Jazz, Latin and Classical music as well. He brought all of this with him to the Dirty Dog last week for his solo performance that included music from George Gershwin, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Joaquin Rodrigo and Stevie Wonder.



DSC0778 ChickJA 3


Judy talking to Chick Corea after his performance at the Dirty Dog. Photo by Debbie Kent



His playing was flawless with spectacular displays emotional expression, clarity and speed:a true virtuosic master. He created a relaxed atmosphere with his warm, personable style which included telling stories as he introduced each piece of music he chose to play that night. He also stuck around after the show, mingling with the Dirty Dog audience.  It was a magnificent evening




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.






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April 6, 2018




As we mentioned in last week’s Jazz Notes, drummers and their bands are taking the Dirty Dog stage from March 28 to April 28. This includes Jeff Canady leading his own group and also accompanying Kimmie Horn April 4-8. Gayelynn McKinney presents her “McKinfolk” project April 18-21 and Sean Dobbins brings in his trio April 25-28.



With our focus on drummers this month, I thought it would be a good idea to write about drums and percussion in general this week and the important role they have played in Jazz.



Rhythm is inherent in music containing two or more notes because music is “sound in motion”.  It is not stationary. It’s always moving. Drums and percussion are rhythmic instruments that provide the pulse in the music. They have been an important element in Jazz and the use of syncopated “off beat” rhythms helped Jazz to “swing” and  distinguishing it from other genres early on.



Rhythmic patterns, both simple and elaborate are essential defining element in Jazz.  Cornetist Charles “Buddy” Bolden (1877-1931) was one of the early progenitors of Jazz and a major figure in the development of Ragtime and other early Jazz forms. He is said to be one of the first musicians to introduce “off-beat” syncopated rhythms in Jazz around 1900 which deviated from the standard on-the-beat march patterns. He also introduced the Latin habanera rhythm which was also a departure from the straight march-type figures.






Over the years, Jazz has incorporated lots of rhythmic influences from both ancient and modern cultures all over the world. This is not only evident in the drum patterns but the use of drums and percussion instruments from these cultures as well. Quite often these patterns are derived from centuries-old dance forms.



They follow Jazz’s evolution through its use of drums and percussion in corresponding rhythmic styles in everything from Ragtime and Dixieland of the early 20th century up through the Swing, Bebop, Afro-Cuban Jazz, Bossa Nova, Free and experimental Jazz, Fusion/Funk,  and all of the other styles Jazz has developed in the last 100+ years. Each style had its own rhythmic, and therefore, drumming and percussion style and corresponding instrumentation.


Pontiac’s own Elvin Jones (1927-2004) is considered one of the most original and influential Jazz drummers. He played with some of the most significant artists in modern Jazz including Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Bud Powell and many others. Photo:



Other factors also define these styles such as compositional structure, but rhythms seem to top the list with their prominence and immediate and physical effect on the listener- especially in Jazz.



Some believe say it’s the visceral effect of rhythm we feel first especially when its prominent and played on percussive instruments.Rhythms in other genres, such as some Classical and American folk music, support the melodic or harmonic elements but are less prominent and not be heard “up front” as they can be in Jazz.



In the beginning Jazz drumming reflected the early places the music got it start such as New Orleans and other American cities, as well as influences from Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean, elsewhere.



Drums and percussion have been essential in Jazz instrumentation since the very beginning and continue to play an important role in the music as Jazz continues to absorb new stylistic trends such as Hip Hop, electronic and World Music to name a few of the current influences.






Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a trained pianist, composer and musicologist.





Some believe say it’s the visceral effect of rhythm we feel first especially when its prominent and played on percussive instruments.



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March 30, 2018



Drummer Jeff Canady / Photo by John Osler



Three of Detroit’s most prominent drummers will be performing in the next few weeks at the Dirty Dog. Jeff Canady starts things off March 28-31, followed by Gayelynn McKinney and her McKinfolk project April 18-21 with Sean Dobbins and his trio closing out the month April 25-28.




Acclaimed Dirty Dog bartender Carl Williams/ Photo by John Osler


These drummers also happen to be three of Dirty Dog Bartender and music aficionado, Carl Williams’ favorites. He mentioned them during my interview of him for Downbeat magazine’s Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe feature last summer when he was asked to name his “Five Favorite” Detroit Drummers. Here is who he chose and why:



Jeff Canady


Jeff Canady is at the top of Carl’s list. He admires his unique style and that he knows how to set a perfect groove – intuitively feeling the pulse of the music. He especially admires Canady’s “signature” triplets and rolls, which are markedly fast and smooth.



GayelynnMcK at DJF

Drummer Gayelynn McKinney



Gayelynn McKinney


One of Detroit most prolific drummers, Gayelynn has played with Aretha Franklin, Steve Turre, Larry Coryell and others. She’s known for “going off the grid” as Carl says, with her innovative improvisations that often utilize the entire drum kit as she supports the music with a very creative approach to her rhythmic ideas.


Note: We will be writing a piece in Jazz Notes in April about Gayelynn’s McKinfolk project and new CD on Detroit Music Factory and how they celebrate the musical legacy of the McKinney family’s contributions to music in Detroit. Stay tuned!



Sean Dobbins


Sean Dobbins is a Detroit favorite and one of its most gifted drummers. “His playing is electric. He really knows how to work up an audience. His solos are filled with rhythmic power and intensity and played with skill and precision.




Drummer Sean Dobbins / Photo John Osler




Photo by John Osler


Skeeto Valdez


Skeeto is one of Detroit’s most experienced “go to” drummers. Carl is impressed with his versatility and knowledge of most styles from Bebop and Swing to Rock and Funk and beyond. He puts a lot of his personality into the music, making things more fun for the audience and the band.



Doug Cobb


Doug is known for his work with Jazz clarinet virtuoso, Dave Bennett. Carl loves his playing, commenting “he’s cool and clean and one of the cleanest drummers I’ve ever heard. You’ll never hear him click his sticks. He’s flawless and relaxed, which comes to him naturally”.



Carl is the one to talk to about the artists who play at the Dirty Dog. He hears every set from every band who plays from Tuesday through Saturday.
That adds up to about ten sets per week of live Jazz. He’s an informed listener and fan of Jazz from “way back” and is fascinating to talk to about music of all kinds.


Detroit has been the home of some of the most significant drummers in Jazz history. They span the last century representing various styles from swing and bebop to fusion and avant-garde. These include legends such as Elvin Jones, Roy Brooks, Louis Hayes, J.C. Heard, Don Moye, Ali Jackson, Pheeroan akLaff, Frank Isola, Tani Tabbal and others.


Some current Detroit drummers are getting worldwide attention including Nate Winn, Karriem Riggins, Gayelynn McKinney, Leonard King, Alex White, Djallo Djakate, Mahindi Masai, Renell Gonzalves, Jessie Kramer, Gerald Cleaver, Skeeto Valdez, and Sean Dobbins.


Our Jazz Notes blog will be featuring the drums for the month of April 2018.

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March 16, 2018




Multi-talented saxophonist, David McMurray, will be at the Dirty Dog March 21-24. He has a loyal following as he plays there once or twice annually with his own band, but you’ll also hear him performing as a guest soloist with other artists’ groups there as well such as with Blues diva, Thornetta Davis, and award-winning Jazz guitarist, A. Spencer Barefield.



Dave McMurray’s career has made him one of the most sought-after multi-instrumentalists, soloists and session men in modern music. That’s why he’s played with some of the top artists during the past four decades whether it’s Jazz, Rock, Funk, Blues, Folk/Country and more.


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Dave McMurray at the Jakarta International Jazz Festival



His diverse playing abilities have enabled him to perform and with a diverse roster of groups from the Rolling Stones, Khaled, and Iggy Pop to Griot Galaxy, Geri Allen, Bonnie Raitt, Gladys Knight and many others.




Dave McMurray with trumpeter Rayse Biggs


He’s continuously touring with many of these and other groups as they play some of the top venues on the planet. Downbeat magazine asked me to interview him for their special feature on the Dirty Dog that ran last summer. They specifically wanted to know why it is one of his favorite places to play in the world!



Here’s an excerpt of the interview:


At the Dirty Dog, it’s all about the music. Detroit Jazz champion, and club proprietor, Gretchen Valade makes sure of it. Because she respects the music and the artists, the audience does too. They come to listen. As a Jazz musician, it’s always better to play where people love and appreciate the music.



The atmosphere is so intimate – I feel like I’m in Gretchen’s living room. She presents the music she loves with all who share her passion for Jazz,
whether they’re new to the music or longtime fans.



Ms. Valade’s start-of-the art Jazz and super club is great for Detroit. People here are more appreciative of the music than other places. They’re more responsive and let you know they love you. Detroiters have the emotion and heart for the music



That’s why it’s always good to play at home. I look out there and see people who know me on a local level. Detroit’s Jazz community is very tight, like family. People connect at the Dirty Dog, which has become a friendly meeting place for the Detroit’s ever thriving Jazz scene.



Join us March 21-24 as the Dirty Dog presents the legendary Dave McMurray, playing with his band at one of his favorite clubs in one of the great music capitols of the world: Detroit, Michigan.


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.

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March 9, 2018



Photos: and



Jazz has often been called “America’s Classical music” but not all of us agree. Some believe Jazz is a strong enough genre that it can stand on its own. If fact, many feel it’s an insult to compare Jazz to Classical. However, others think it’s a compliment and by doing so, Jazz is given a proper place among some of the world’s greatest music. Where do you stand on this issue?



Here’s an excerpt of an article New York Times reporter, Jon Pareles wrote on this very topic: “Don’t Call Jazz America’s Classical Music”


In bygone decades, conflating jazz and classical music had some remedial effect; it helped non-musicians understand that jazz is a serious discipline, and helped jazz make headway in institutions, with its media image and among arts donors. Now, the equation of jazz and classical music only interferes with drawing new listeners and helping them understand what they hear.


Although Jazz and Classical music are different in many ways, they do have common traits. Generally speaking, they stand apart from the pop music world as they are both considered serious art forms.




Their compositions contain depth and complexity and present many layers of content, often giving them lasting appeal. The music demands that their performers are required to be highly trained, with many of them considered virtuosos who are respected worldwide. Their respective audiences tend to be well informed and are inclined to study the history and background of the music.



Unlike pop and folk based music, both genres are often instrumental, and categorized as long-form developmental music. This means their basic structure consists of having an exposition, followed by a developmental section and concluding with a recapitulation.



But Jazz and Classical music are completely different in many other ways, and it’s the music itself that makes them so different.  Classical music is almost always written with fixed compositions, while Jazz favors improvisation and individual interpretation. Classical is composer driven while Jazz is more performer driven.


The great orchestral leader and composer, Duke Ellington, left, performing with tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves (center), who’s taking one of his famous solos, at the 1960 Monterey Jazz Festival.  Photo:



Jazz is more contemporary and mostly rooted in African folk forms, with pentatonic and/or blues scales, and complex syncopated rhythms. Classical has its roots in Western European styles, which are based on a centuries-old diatonic-scales and more basic rhythms and “even” time signatures.




“Award-winning saxophonist, Kamasi Washington, has brought worldwide attention to LA’s current Jazz scene…”

Photo: LA Weekly



Jazz is fresh with each performance with musicians extemporaneously composing in real time through the use of improvisation whereas  Classical performances are traditionally based on pre-composed material, revitalizing scores from years (or centuries) past.







Regardless of which side you are on, it’s an interesting debate as to where to place Jazz within the world of music. Jazz stands alone as an American art form that is not only the most significant and influential genre of the 20th century, it is also one of the most important genres in the history of music. Jazz is a major part of America’s cultural identity.






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.



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March 2, 2018





This dynamic saxophonist, composer, bandleader and Detroit Music Factory recording artist, continues to tour to advance his musical vision with more live performances than ever. He’s busy spanning the globe with his, one of a kind, cutting edge, contemporary Jazz sound that contains elements of Bebop, Hip Hop, Funk, Soul and Electronic music.



You’ll find him playing at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café March 7-10 with his band the Knomadik Project which he describes as “high tech soul”. He also regularly tours the world Knomadik, along with the internationally acclaimed electro-Jazz group from Detroit, Underground Resistance, led by electronic music pioneer Mike Banks, who regularly headline Detroit’s “Movement” electronic music festival.   He’s also performed and toured with Stevie Wonder, The Clark Sisters, Faith Evans and more.





Trumpeter Aaron Janik and De’Sean Jones of Knomadik performing with Denis Wick at the 2017 NAMM show in London



As I’ve mentioned in previous blogs, I first heard De’Sean play when I was producing the weekly Jazz Discovery Series at the Detroit Music Hall in 2007. I was immediately impressed with this young artist who had already defined his own sound and style and have been following his career ever since.



He mentored with such Jazz notables as Marcus Belgrave, Rodney Whitaker and Gary Bartz. Now, he is a dedicated educator himself with teaching experience at such places as Michigan State University, the Grosse Pointe Music Academy, the DSO Civic Jazz Orchestra, UC Berkeley, as well as master classes in the U.K., Japan and Australia.






De’Sean Jones / Photo by John Osler



De’Sean is very creative as a player and composer in that he has developed his own inimitable genre-bending style and sound filled with unique rhythmic complexities and compositional ideas. His ensembles carry his vision to the stage with precise, impressive artistry with a unified sound that is refreshing, dynamic and compelling.


“He kept the room charged all night”

Brenda Hull,


For more on De’Sean Jones, visit



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.

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February 23, 2018

DDJC 10thanniv



We are very fortunate to have a thriving Jazz club in our community that has been bringing us live Jazz each and every week for the past 10 years.





Photo by






Gretchen Valade with Barry Harris


As you probably know, the Dirty Dog’s owner, Gretchen Valade, is known as Detroit’s Queen of Jazz. She has helped the Jazz community grow in many significant ways. These include saving the Detroit Jazz Festival from extinction; creating a Grammy award winning, internationally respected record label, Mack Avenue Records, and many other successful pro-Jazz ventures, such as starting the Dirty Dog Jazz Café in Grosse Pte. Farms which is happily celebrating its 10th anniversary.



The Dirty Dog Jazz Café presents a full array of live Jazz artists and styles five days a week for 50 weeks a year. To keep the music accessible, Valade offers free admission most Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and charges a cover on weekends.





Trombonist Steve Turre playing a conch shell at the Dirty Dog



Musicians who play there and elsewhere around the world often say the music is “serious business” making it “one of the best Jazz clubs on the planet”. Internationally acclaimed saxophonist Dave McMurray and bassist Rodney Whitaker, both told me in a recent interview, they love playing at the Dirty Dog because the music comes first and is treated with respect as audiences are asked to keep their conversations to a minimum and at a low volume while the music is being played.





Saxophonist Dave McMurray at the Dirty Dog / Photo by PortraitsdbyRod



Don’t forget real music is not a recording, it is live, and Jazz is always best in a live setting due to its use of improvisation which is composing extemporaneously, or “in real time”.



Ms. Valade’s vision and motives are pure, and not profit driven. Her goals are to improve our cultural, quality of life by supporting the musical arts. She serves us the best music she can to enrich our lives and support the artists who create it. Dirty Dog Jazz supports and reflects current culture as Jazz is a thriving modern-day genre.





Saxophonist Marcus Elliot at the Dirty Dog / Photo by John Osler


She makes sure the music inspires young people too, as they are link to Jazz’s future.  Those who worry Jazz is dying need to attend the DDJC Jam sessions (see featuring new and emerging younger talent who are competing for a chance to perform at the Detroit Jazz Festival.



Besides the excellent local Jazz offerings that the Dirty Dog has presented these past ten years, the club has also brought us, live and up close, performances of Jazz masters such as Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter, Danilo Perez, Pat Metheny, Roy Hargrove, and other big names including Regina Carter, Pat Martino, Stanley Jordon, James Moody, Kyle Eastwood, Ralphe Armstrong, and Cecile Mclorin Salvant. What a treat it has been to witness these internationally acclaimed modern virtuosos in the intimate setting of the Dirty Dog.





Drummer Gayelynn McKinney at the Dirty Dog



On the local side, the Dirty Dog brings us such a diverse list of Detroit’s top groups and artists such as Straight Ahead, Planet D Nonet, Gary Schunk, Karriem Riggins, Nate Winn, Robert Hurst, Sean Dobbins, Gayelynn McKinney’s “McKinFolk”, Thornetta Davis and so much more. The club also presents a diverse blend of styles from Classic Jazz to experimental, fusion, world music, electro-Hip Hop, Blues and everything in between.



These performances shine the spotlight on Detroit’s cultural gifts with some of the best Jazz talent around – giving the audiences deep and rewarding musical experiences that enrich their lives, and the community at large.  Hearing art being created on the spot is a very spiritual connection between the artists/musicians and the listeners. It’s a deeply personal exchange, which is priceless.



Thank you Gretchen Valade, Tom Robinson, the Dirty Dog staff, musicians and patrons for the past ten years of great musical experiences. We look forward to club’s future and its continued enrichment of our community.





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.




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February 9, 2018




You know spring is right around the corner when we start talking up this year’s Detroit Jazz Festival which is now in its 39th year. It takes place, as usual, Labor Day weekend from Friday August 31 through Monday September 3, on multiple stages in downtown Detroit, including the Carhartt Amphitheater stage on Hart Plaza.





Photo by John Osler



The Dirty Dog’s Detroit Jazz Festival monthly jam sessions start up again on Monday 2/19 with new and emerging artists vying to play the festival while they audition during these weekly live opportunities.



The Detroit Jazz Festival and the Dirty Dog are excited about teaming up again for these special jam sessions designed to draw out and showcase some of the best new talent around.  These take place on the third Monday of each month from February 19 to June 18.





Saxophonist Chris Collins, who is also Detroit Jazz Festival’s Artistic Director and head of Wayne State’s Jazz Department

Photo by Jeff Dunn




Jam session partcipants are accompanied by the house band named the Detroit Jazz Festival All Stars. The leader is saxophonist Chris Collins who is not only the head of Wayne State’s Jazz department but also the Artistic Director of the Festival. The other band members are all accomplished Detroit notables who are all educators as well. See list below.



These special sessions are designed to promote Jazz to younger musicians since exposure and playing opportunities are the keys to inspiring the next generation Jazz artists. They provide opportunities to play in performance situations with some of our most esteemed and well established artists and educators.  The festival competition is open to musicians of all ages. To participate just show up at one of our upcoming jam sessions . See schedule below.



These jam sessions are the place to be for those interested in playing the Festival as Detroit Jazz Festival Artistic Director Chris Collins will be checking out the artists and Jazz Fest staff will be there to accept submissions “on the spot” from artists and ensembles to be considered for the 2018 Detroit Jazz Festival.



Jam Session House Bands: (Chris Collins in all house bands) will welcome musicians of all ages to join them on stage. They give participants the chance to play with seasoned players and educators most of whom are on the music faculties of the top universities in this area including, Wayne State, The University of Michigan, Michigan State, Oakland University and others.




Pianist Ian Finkelstein/ photo by John Osler



Mon. Feb 19 – Dwight Adams, Ian Finkelstein, Jeff Pedraz, Gayelynn McKinney
Mon. March 19 – Dwight Adams, Ian Finkelstein, Ralphe Armstrong, David Taylor



Where: The Dirty Dog Jazz Café, 97 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Farms, Mi., 313-882-5299


Time: 6:30 thru 9:30 (usually with a brief break in the middle)


Reminder: Artistic Director, Chris Collins will be there to check out talent; submissions can also be made at


These jam sessions are free and open to the public; seating is limited



The Dirty Dog is known all over the world as a “serious” Jazz club devoted to presenting high quality talent in a musical environment. The Dirty Dog presents a diverse blend of artists and group that represent the many different styles of Jazz performed by well known legends and new and emerging talent alike.  For a schedule of upcoming shows go to






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.




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February 2, 2018



Photo: John Osler


The Vincent Chandler Collective returns to the Dirty Dog Jazz Café for a four-night residency, February 7-10 with two shows each night. He played with his band at the Dirty Dog in 2013 and more recently with the Detroit Jazz Festival All-stars, last fall.



As a special treat the VC Collective will perform a tribute to the music of “The Jazz Crusaders” while at the Dirty Dog next week. The “Jazz Crusaders” were a widely popular Jazz/Funk Fusion band formed in the 1960’s by Wilton Felder, Stix Hooper, Joe Sample, and Wayne Henderson. The group lasted well into the 1990’s.




Professor Vincent A. Chandler, is currently on the faculty at Wayne State University as Lecturer of Jazz Studies and Trombone.  Mr. Chandler earned his Bachelors of Fine Arts in Music and a Masters of Music in Improvisation from the University of Michigan.  Working in a university environment allows him to share his knowledge and expertise with the new generation of Jazz artists and to be exposed to new and emerging talent, and fresh musical ideas.



As a native Detroiter,  he was able to draw upon the rich Jazz community here as he became a protégé of such Detroit legends as Wendell Harrison, Donald Walden, Marcus Belgrave, Harold McKinney, Kenn Cox, Marion Hayden, James Carter, Geri Allen, Regina Carter and many others. These Detroit Jazz icons shaped and defined the world-famous Detroit Jazz sound they helped cultivate from the late 60’s onward.



Chandler is also respected and admired on the world Jazz stage. This is through his impressive work with such Jazz luminaries and style makers such as Herbie Hancock, Marcus Miller, Wynton Marsalis, Joe Henderson and Roy Hargrove –  all award-winning, major recording artists.



He is a featured soloist on “Requiem,” from Roy Hargrove’s only Big Band CD called “Emergence,” James Carter’s “At the Crossroads,” and Rodney Whitaker/Carl Allen’s “Work to Do.” In 2014 he released his first CD as a bandleader, called Vincent Chandler “Embraceable,” including Robert Hurst on Bass.



For more information on the Vincent Chandler Collective’s performances at the Dirty Dog, February 7-10, call 313-882-5299 or visit




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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January 24, 2018


Jason Marsalis / Photo: Chicago Tribune




Jason Marsalis & the 21st Century Trad Band is on tour this month in support of their new release, “Melody Reimagined, Book 1”. Jason and the band are including the Dirty Dog in their tour and are performing this Friday and Saturday, January 26 and 27, with two shows each night.



Composer, pianist, drummer, vibest, and percussionist, Jason Marsalis, is a member of the musically talented Marsalis family from New Orleans and is the younger brother of fellow Jazz musicians Branford (saxophone), Wynton (trumpet), and Delfeayo (trombonist) among other family members.



Marsalis studied percussion at Loyola University and performed with a variety of bands early on including Jazz, Funk, Fusion, and a Brazilian percussion ensemble. He then branched out with Detroit percussionist, Bill Summers and trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and created the popular Latin Jazz group, Los Hombres Calientes, and also worked the great pianist, Marcus Roberts.



The multi-talented, Jason Marsalis, will be playing a variety of instruments from the percussion family on the Dirty Dog stage this weekend. These include drums, piano, misc. percussion, and of course, vibes, one of the instruments he is best known for.







Although it was invented around 1920, this electrically powered instrument is related to the balafon and marimbas, which have ancient roots in Central Africa going back nearly a millennium or more.



The balafon has wooden slats or keys that rest on top of gourded resonators. The marimba’s ancestor is a type of balafon that Africans brought to Central America around the 16th century and was used by the Mayans in festivals and religious ceremonies. These instruments were actually early keyboards and influenced the creation of the piano, xylophone and other melodically based percussion instruments.



The vibraphone is considered the first electronic instrument which began introducing “other worldly” sounds and special effects to various genres of music from Jazz and Classical to movie soundtracks. The vibraphone’s sound comes from tuned metal bars or slats that are struck with felt or wool mallets that make its soft, mellow tone quality.



The Dirty Dog Jazz Café has hosted many world-class, award-winning vibraphonists over the past few years including Roy Ayers, Warren Wolf, and Mr. Marsalis.



Some significant Jazz vibes players were from Detroit including the legendary Milt Jackson of the Modern Jazz Quartet, Terry Pollard, and Jack Brokensha, among others.


For more information on Jason Marsalis at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe, call 313-882-5299 or visit






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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Visit the Dirty Dog Jazz Channel on YouTube to view our collection of videos. Watch Now
The Dirty Dog brings together the musicians and guests in a way that creates a lasting impression and desire to come back.
  DRUMMERS NEED LOVE TOO   It always seemed to me that drummers were having all the fun an [..]
Electro/Acoustic Jazz pianist, Chick Corea Photo:     Although the festiv [..]
  FAMILY/ FRIENDS   Last week Rodney Whitaker played bass with Sasha Vasandani at the Dirt [..]
Each week the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe hosts live performances from the greatest jazz musicians across the country.
Sean Dobbins Trio
STARTS: Wed, April 25 2018
ENDS: Sat, April 28 2018
Ralphe Armstrong
STARTS: Wed, May 02 2018
ENDS: Sat, May 05 2018
Michael Zaporski
STARTS: Wed, May 09 2018
ENDS: Thu, May 10 2018
Carmen Lundy
STARTS: Fri, May 11 2018
ENDS: Sat, May 12 2018
Dave Bennett
STARTS: Wed, May 16 2018
ENDS: Sat, May 19 2018
Detroit Jazz Festival Jam Session
STARTS: Mon, May 21 2018
ENDS: Mon, May 21 2018