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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.
June 21, 2019

Detroit has certainly had its share of legendary Jazz bassists – these include the following artists:


Ron Carter, was born in Ferndale, Michigan on May 4, 1937 and is the most recorded bassist in the world, appearing on over 2500 recordings. He was a key component of Miles Davis’ famous Quintet in 1960’s; and is in Downbeat’s Jazz Hall of Fame.



Ron Carter/ Photo: BlueNoteMilano.con


The legendary Paul Chambers was raised in Detroit and performed mostly in the 50s and 60s, leaving his mark on such landmark, revered classics as John Coltrane’s Giant Steps and Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue.






The masterful Ralphe Armstrong, is fluent on both electric and acoustic bass, playing with such modern style makers as John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Frank Zappa, Roy Ayers, Curtis Mayfield, Jean Luc Ponty and many others. Ralphe Armstrong will be performing at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café on June 26 and 27th. For more information and reservations call 313-822-5299 or go to




Ralphe Armstrong / Photo: John Osler


Rodney Whitaker heads the Jazz program at Michigan State and has played with Wynton Marsalis, Johnny Griffin, Pat Metheny, Cassandra Wilson and others. He’s also plays with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

Rodney Whitaker, Photo:



The distinguished Robert Hurst teaches Jazz at the University of Michigan. He was with the Tonight Show Band for many years, and has played with everyone from Wynton Marsalis to Barbara Streisand.



Marion Hayden is one of Detroit’s most sought-after bassists and has worked with Dizzy Gillespie, Kenny Burrell, James Carter, Roy Brooks, and others. She’s also a founder of the highly acclaimed, female Jazz group Straight Ahead.

Marion Hayden / Photo: John Osler



James Jamerson was the uncredited bassist on most of the Motown Records:


Bassist JamesJamerson


James Lee Jamerson (January 29, 1936 – August 2, 1983) was the uncredited bassist on most of the Motown Records hits in the 1960s and early 1970s (Motown did not list session musician credits on their releases until 1971), and is now regarded as one of the most influential bass players in modern music history.



Jamerson moved with his mother to Detroit, Michigan in 1954. He attended Northwestern high school; there he started on the upright bass. He began playing in Detroit area blues and jazz clubs and was influenced by jazz bassists Ray Brown, Paul Chambers and Percy Heath. He was offered a scholarship to study music at Wayne State University, and he declined.



After graduating from high school, he continued performing in Detroit clubs. His increasingly solid reputation started providing him opportunities for sessions at various local recording studios. Starting in 1959, he found steady work at Berry Gordy’s Hitsville U.S.A. studio, home of the Motown record label. There he became a member of a core of studio musicians who informally called themselves The Funk Brothers. This close-knit group of musicians performed on the vast majority of Motown recordings during most of the 1960s.



Jamerson’s earliest sessions were performed on double bass but, in the early 1960s, he switched to playing an electric Fender Precision Bass for the most part.



Partial list of bassists who have noted Jamerson’s contribution or been influenced by him include:
Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Paul McCartney, Jack Bruce, John Paul Jones, Victor Wooten, Ron Asheton, Jaco Pastorius, Bootsy Collins, Michael “Flea” Balzary, John Pattitucci, Brian Wilson and countless others.


The Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe has presented many of the bassists listed above among others, and continues to bring some the world’s finest musicians to our stage.





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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Each week the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe hosts live performances from the greatest jazz musicians across the country.