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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 brings together the musicians and guests in a way that creates a lasting impression and desire to come back.
January 28, 2020

JAZZ NOTES  /  It’s a Family Thing…


As we’ve mentioned previously in “Jazz Notes”, it’s not surprising that children growing up with professional musicians in the house often become musicians themselves. Growing up in a musical environment gives family members an advantage with their continuous exposure to the music and the “musician lifestyle”.






Bassist, Rodney Whitaker and his newest album “All Too Soon”…


There are many examples of musicians today who followed in the footsteps of their parents or other close relatives. It was wonderful hearing the talented Rockelle Fortin singing with her father, acclaimed bassist Rodney Whitaker and his band recently at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe.


I was impressed that he didn’t introduce her as his daughter but instead as Rockelle Fortin.  It showed his respect for her as an artist and it got me thinking about all of the other “Jazz” progeny in today’s music.  Rodney Whitaker will be at the Dirty Dog April 10,11, 2020.





The Marsalis family of Jazz artists. /  Photo by


The Marsalis’s are one of today’s most well-known musical families. Led by their father and mentor, pianist/educator, Ellis Marsalis, the famous brothers, Wynton, Branford, Delfeayo, Jason, Ellis III and Mboya-Kenyatta have helped put the Marsalis name on the Jazz world map.



gayelynnMckinney, photo-


Drummer and band leader, Gayelynn McKinney / Photo by


Detroit’s well-known McKinney family formerly led by the late pianist/educator and patriarch Harold McKinney, is now led by daughter and drummer Gayelynn McKinney with pianist Carlos McKinney, bassist Ray McKinney and trombonist Kiane Zawaldi among others.


Gayelynn McKinney is now one of Detroit’s most accomplished drummers and band leaders. Over the years she has played for renowned international music artists like the Aretha Franklin, Freda Payne, Chaka Khan, Benny Golson, Roy Hargrove, Larry Coryell, Marcus Belgrave, Ralphe Armstrong, Roy Ayers, and Geri Allen. She’ll be playing at the Dirty Dog 3 different times in the coming months, first with Ralphe Armstrong next week from January 29-February 1, then with her own band from March 11-14, and with Straight Ahead from May 27-30th, For reservations call 313-882-05299





Drummer Elvin Jones / photo by


Pontiac, Michigan’s Jones brothers were one of the first families of Jazz. Elvin Jones was one of Jazz’s most powerful and influential drummers. Having worked with John Coltrane from 1960-66, he continued on his own musical path until his passing in 2004. Pianist, Hank Jones, made significant contributions to the development of Jazz piano and Thad Jones was a famous trumpeter, composer and arranger who worked with Count Basie and, later, with his own band, The Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra.



The fact that Jazz continues to grow in many ways is a good sign that the genre has lasting appeal. While musical families nurture and insprire their offspring, we also see this happening with Jazz education where exposure to the music is the key to forming new artists who feel an affinity to sounds of Jazz.


The influential and powerful Jazz drummer Elvin Jones (1927-2004) in 1976.  Photo Wikipedia




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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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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  The Dirty Dog Jazz Café will remain closed until our jazz family can again safely gather in [..]
Each week the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe hosts live performances from the greatest jazz musicians across the country.