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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 JAZZ CAFE BLOG
The Dirty Dog brings together the musicians and guests in a way that creates a lasting impression and desire to come back.
August 31, 2017

GayelynnMOsler

 

Gayelynn McKinney performing at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe / Photo by John Osler

 

 

With more than 5 years in the making, the McKinFolk band led by Gayelynn McKinney makes its worldwide debut this month both on record with a new release and at the Detroit Jazz Festival all in tribute to Detroit’s musical McKinney family.

 

 

One of Detroit’s most admired drummers, Ms. McKinney celebrates her family’s musical legacy with the new album, McKinFolk: The New Beginning – scheduled to be released mid-September on the Detroit Music Factory label, a subsidiary of Mack Avenue Records.

 

 

The multi-generational McKinFolk group is also making its debut at the Detroit Jazz Festival Saturday, September 2 from 2-3:15pm on the J.P. Morgan Chase stage. Performers include Dwight Adams, trumpet, Vincent Chandler, trombone, Marcus Elliot, tenor saxophone, Glenn Tucker, piano. Marion Hayden, bass and Gayelynn McKinney on drums.

 

 

In a recent article in Jazz Line News, Ms. McKinney talked about what inspired her to take on the McKinfolk project in the first place:

 

“My father (Harold McKinney) may not have died a wealthy man but, he was rich with people who loved him and his music. He left plenty of music that has not been heard by the masses…. I’m planning to go into the studio with some great musicians. At that time, I will begin the continuation of my father’s legacy, that was left to my family and I….. As I dive into his many compositions, I will be able to add some of my own interpretations to the music. I will also give some of my colleagues a chance to breathe life into some of his unfinished works. This is exciting for me! I will have a chance to hear how some of his music will be interrpreted by others! I believe my father would have liked that.”

 

 

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Harold McKinney

 

 

 

Gayelynn’s late father, Harold McKinney was highly respected around Metro Detroit as a pianist, composer, producer, musical patriarch and teacher who inspired many musicians to persevere with their musical calling and contribute to the cultural community at large.

 

 

He combined a deep knowledge of classical music, with life long passion for Jazz, especially hard Bop. McKinney toured and played with many of the biggest names in Jazz including Charlie Parker, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, Chet Baker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Yusef Lateef and Kenny Burrell. Along with Wendell Harrison, and others, McKinney began the Tribe collective, an artist run label, magazine and a creative outlook on urban self-determination. He was also heavily involved with the Detroit Artist’s Workshop collective founded in 1964.

 

 

I first met Mr. McKinney in the mid-1970s as I was a huge fan of the band Tribe and him in particular. During the 70’s and 80’s he regularly visited WDET 101.FM (where I worked from 1973-2005)  when we had many diverse Jazz offerings. We became “music” friends and had many inspiring conversations over the years.

 

 

Award-winning drummer, Gayelynn McKinney is musically active member of the legendary McKinney family and is promoting its legacy with her McKinfolk album and band. Besides her musically gifted father, her late mother, Gwendolyn Shepherd McKinney, was an accomplished singer. She is also related to Grammy winning record producer/pianist, Carlos McKinney, Jazz bassist Ray McKinney, trombonist Kiane Zawadi, and many others.

 

 

Growing up in a musical family was a advantageous for Gayelynn. She started taking lessons at age 8 and went on to receive a music degree from Oakland University. She then began performing professionally both nationally and internationally. In the 1980’s McKinney co-founded the Grammy nominated, ground breaking, Jazz group Straight Ahead, who are currently still active.

 

 

Today, Ms. McKinney is one of Detroit’s most accomplished instrumentalists and teachers. She was listed in DownBeat magazine this past August as one of top five favorite drummers of Carl Williams, musically astute bartender at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe. She has traveled extensively, and has accompanied major artists from Chaka Khan to Roy Hargrove, Ralph Armstrong, Larry Coryell and Steve Turre.

 

 

Besides performing, teaching music is another one of her passions. She is currently in-residence at Martin Luther King High School.

 

 

She was also honored with a highly prestigious Kresge Foundation fellowship a new years backs which enabled her to complete her McKinfolk Project, She says she wants to “re-do his stuff for a new generation”.

 

 

 

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Friends, family and dignitaries pose for a photo at the street renaming ceremony for the late Harold McKinney at Harmonie Park on September 4, 2009.  Photo: Metro Times

 

 

Besides performing, teaching music is another one of her passions. She is currently in-residence at Martin Luther King High School.

 

 

She was also honored with a highly prestigious Kresge Foundation fellowship a few years backs which enabled her to complete her McKinfolk Project, which pays tribute to her father’s legacy by releasing some of his unheard compositions. She says she wants to “re-do his stuff for a new generation”.

 

GayeLynnHaroldMcKinney

 

Gayelynn and her dad, the late Harold McKinney (1928-2001), a highly revered composer, educator, and pianist who played with such Jazz greats as Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Gene Krupa, Sarah Vaughn and many others. He was also a musical patriarch who inspired countless Detroit area musicians with his positive vision and approach.

 

 

 

 

 

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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