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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.
January 8, 2018







Wendell Harrison has been synonymous with Detroit’s contemporary Jazz sound for more than four decades. He brings his talents to the Dirty Dog Jazz Café along with the Wendell Harrison Jazz Ensemble January 10-13 with two sets each night.



His music has always been considered very expressive as it reflects his deep involvement in political, artistic and spiritual consciousness.



Jazz instrumentalist/composer/producer Wendell Harrison was born October 1, 1942 in Detroit. He began playing clarinet at age 7 and tenor saxophone at 14 while at Northwestern High School. He then started formal training with the great Detroit pianist and educator, Barry Harris. He first performed professionally in Detroit while backing Marvin Gaye as part of Choker Campbell’s band.



After moving to New York he began performing with such impressive artists as Grant Green, Big Maybelle, and Sun Ra. He also toured with Hank Crawford along with Marcus Belgrave and Jimmy Owens, and appeared on four of Crawford’s albums on Atlantic Records from 1965-67.



In 1969 Harrison formed the world-renowned Tribe record label and artist collective along with saxophonist Phil Ranelin, Harold McKinney and Marcus Belgrave. Tribe reflected the growing political consciousness of the period. The group also included drummer and composer Doug Hammond, pianist Kenny Cox, trumpeter Charles Moore, and bassist Ron Brooks.






Harrison and his first wife, Patricia, also published Tribe magazine, which was dedicated to political issues, and the arts.In 1972, he and Phil Ranelin produced “Message from the Tribe” which was the epitome of the new and emerging Detroit Jazz sound which incorporated BeBop, Post Bop, Funk, Blues and more.



In 1978, Wendell co-founded Rebirth, Inc. along with Harold McKinney which is a Jazz performance and education organization. Their mission is to “educate youth and the greater community about Jazz through workshop and concert presentations throughout the Midwest”. Many well-known Jazz artists, such as Geri Allen, Jimmy Owens, James Carter, Eddie Harris, Leon Thomas, and Woody Shaw participated in Rebirth’s programs.



In the early 1990s, Wendell Harrison was awarded the title of “Jazz Master” by Arts Midwest, a regional organization partnered with the National Endowment For the Arts.



Harrison’s recordings under the Tribe label are now collector’s items and they continue to have a large following in Europe and Asia, as he has played all over the world to build a loyal following.





Wendell Harrison on the WTVS program “Detroit Performs”



Over the years he has been a very prolific recording artist having made 20 albums as a leader and 24 other recordings as well.



Wendell Harrison continues to hold the position of artistic director of Rebirth, organizing and executing workshops and residencies in school music programs. He also continues to perform and record, collaborating on sessions with significant current artists such as Proof, Amp Fiddler, Don Was, and Will Sessions.



This week at the Dirty Dog, The Wendell Harrison Jazz ensemble will be featuring the well-orchestrated works composed by his current wife, the amazing pianist/composer Pamela Wise Harrison, including many from her new album “A Message from the Tribe”. Here she blends be-bop, Latin, Funk, Blues, and Soulful Jazz standards. She and Wendell have worked on recordings of their original music for many years.



The band also includes Terry Kimura, trombone, Jacob Schwantz, guitar, Mike Palazolo, bass, and Louis Jones on drums.





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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