The 38th annual Detroit Jazz Festival has recently announced that its artist-in-residence for 2017 is saxophonist/composer and Jazz Master, Wayne Shorter.
The residency program started in 2007 with Detroit based violinist Regina Carter, and has featured such extraordinary musicians as Joshua Redman, Danilo Perez, Terence Blanchard, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Christian McBride, Pat Metheny and Ron Carter among others. The New York Times has described Shorter as “probably jazz’s greatest living small-group composer and a contender for greatest living improviser.”
Wayne Shorter has won 10 Grammys awards and Sweden’s 2017 Polar Music Prize. In 2016, Shorter was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of music composition, the only Jazz artist to receive the honor that year.
Wayne Shorter and Miles Davis. Shorter was a member of Miles Davis Second Great Quintet (1964-68) with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams
He is one of the most prolific composers in contemporary Jazz and has written so many pieces that are now standards within the repertoire. These include “Footprints”, “Nefertiti”, “Infant Eyes” and others.
The residency program spotlights the chosen artist playing multiple sets spanning the four-day Jazz festival. Mr. Shorter, 83 will headline on the opening night with his internationally acclaimed quartet with pianist Danilo Perez, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade. He will also perform in a quintet with Geri Allen, Leo Genovese, Esperanza Spalding and Terri Lyne Carrington. Festival Artistic Director Chris Collins calls this grouping a “unique coming together of different artists of different generations”.
Shorter said in a recent press release that “performing at the Detroit Jazz Festival is something I’ve received the opportunity to do on several occasions, and each time it’s combined a phenomenal atmosphere with immeasurable talent, which is why I keep coming back. I am extremely honored to expand my Festival participation this year by becoming the Detroit Jazz Festival’s Artist-in-Residence.”
In the months leading up to the festival, the prestigious position also includes conducting master classes and educational activities with new and emerging Jazz talent from our community and an intimate duet performance with pianist Danilo Perez at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe on April 20th. For tickets and information call 313-469-6564 ext. 202.
We will be devoting a future blog to discussing Mr. Shorter’s music and his significant contributions to the Jazz idiom including his work with Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report and Joni Mitchell as well as his current projects. Stay tuned!
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.