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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.
August 3, 2017



Detroit Jazz Festival (Photo John Osler)



There are some very exciting special events and competitions this week and next that are showcasing young Jazz talent in advance of the Detroit Jazz Festival, September 1-4 in downtown Detroit.


Making Jazz accessible to listeners and musicians,  of all ages, and especially young people, has been a longstanding tradition of the Festival since the beginning.


The 38th Detroit Jazz Festival, in association with the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe and Cliff Bells are presenting these competitions designed to showcase some of the best talent from high schools and universities from metro-Detroit and  around the country.




These provide a chance for serious young musicians to collaborate with their peers from other schools, plus learn from noted professionals involved in the music both locally and internationally.


These include some of our most esteemed and established artists and educators. They include Sean Dobbins, Marion Hayden, John Douglas, Ralphe Armstrong, Gayelynn McKinney, Tad Weed, Chris Collins and others offering excellent playing opportunities in small combos and big band settings to help these emerging artists develop professional musical, improvisational and performance skills.





Drummer/Educator Sean Dobbins



The Detroit Jazz Festival has had a lengthy history of working with metro-Detroit’s educational community in particular, and have featured some of our area’s top High School and College bands in the line up each years.


This year we have the Michigan State University Jazz Orchestra, Detroit Public Schools Community District Showcase All-City Jazz Combo, and the University of Michigan Combo Showcase to name a few. Check the Festival’s performance schedule at


Here’s the schedule for the exciting pre-Festival competitions and performances this week and next:


AUG. 3 – 4


Three impressive drummers from around the U.S. will go head-to-head during the 2017 Detroit Jazz Festival J.C. Heard National Jazz Drums Competition, which recognizes drummers whose artistry reflects the commitment to tradition and search for originality that are tenants of J.C. Heard’s virtuosity.


Of the three finalists, a winner will be named on Friday, receiving a cash prize and a performance slot at this year’s Labor Day weekend Festival. Drum Competition finalists are Nolan Byrd, Zach Adleman, and John Sturino.


Thursday Aug. 3 will be the Tad Weed Trio (Tad Weed, Kurt Krahnke and Sean Dobbins) and Aug. 4 is the Jeff Pedraz Duo.


These take place:

6:30 & 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 3, at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe; no cover
9 p.m. – 1 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 4, at Cliff Bell’s; cover: $10


August 9-12: Detroit Jazz Festival All-stars at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe


Two sets each night 6:30pm and 9:30pm with Chris Collins, Michael Deese, Rob Pipho, Cliff Monear, Marion Hayden and Gayelynn McKinney.





Drummer/Educator  Gayelynn McKinney and Bassist/Educator  Marion Hayden (Photo:



AUG. 10


Young musicians from the metro Detroit region will compete on stage to be named the 2017 Detroit Jazz Festival Youth Jazz Vocal Competition winner and secure a performance spot at the world’s largest free jazz festival. Each of the competing finalists will perform two jazz standards with the Detroit Jazz Festival All-Stars (see line-up above).


Set Times:


6:30 & 8:30 p.m. at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe; no cover


Competition winners will have the opportunity to perform live at the Festival, Sept. 1-4 in downtown Detroit.


For more information go to or







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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