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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.
October 31, 2019

Jazz Notes Profiles Gretchen Valade and Detroit Women In Jazz


Gretchen Valade  / Photo: Crain’s Detroit Business



Here’s a Jazz story that’s worth repeating!




The audience at the 2018 Detroit Jazz Festival / Photo by John Osler



One of the most significant Jazz women in the world, who’s also from Detroit, is Gretchen Valade, who is a major Jazz philanthropist who among other things, has kept the Detroit Jazz Festival not only afloat, but growing and thriving for several years now.



A lifelong Jazz fan herself, Ms. Valade a true Jazz “activist”, meaning she actively supports and promotes the music and “makes things happen”. In 2016, Crain’s Detroit Business named her one of the 100 most influential women from Detroit.





Gretchen Valade Jazz Center (rendering) / Photo by Wayne State University


The article mentioned that “in 2015, she donated $7.5 million to Wayne State University to create the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center, which will operate out of Hilberry Theatre.”



To promote the music even further, she started her own Jazz record labels, including the Grammy Award winning Mack Avenue Records, which features an array of internationally acclaimed artists such as Cecile McLorin Salvant Gary Burton and Joey DeFrancesco and now considered one of the most successful Jazz labels in the world.



To promote Detroit’s highly acclaimed Jazz talent she also started the Detroit Music Factory label, which promotes top Detroit based artists such as Ralphe Armstrong, Rodney Whitaker, and Gary Schunk. The list continues with her opening of the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe, now considered one of the best Jazz clubs in the world which features a mix of local and international talent including legendary artists Ron Carter, Wayne Shorter, Geri Allen, Stanley Clark, Pat Metheny, Barry Harris, Roy Hargrove, and many others.


Michigan Today, John Lofy


The late pianist/composer Geri Allen /photo by


On top of that, she promotes women artists as The Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe regularly spotlights such world renowned performers as Tia Fuller, Grace Kelly, Shahida Nurullah, Ursula Walker, Thornetta Davis, Kimmie Horn, Esperanza Spalding, Marion Hayden, Freda Payne, Gayelynn McKinney, Vanessa Rubin and many others. Check “Upcoming Shows” at for more information.

Bassist Esperanza Spalding/ photo



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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