RESERVATIONS: (313) 882-5299
Facebook
Instagram
Pinterest
Twitter
YouTube
Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe Logo
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.
January 14, 2019

  

 

THE GOLDEN AGE OF JAZZ

 

Early in the new year I saw a headline in the New York Times. The article made the case that jazz was possibly entering a new golden age, or at least jazz is getting interesting again. From what I have heard in Detroit, jazz has always been interesting.

 

 

 

It’s a Great Age for Jazz, but Don’t Call It Golden

 

by Nate Chinen

When was the last time you saw a jazz musician electrify a crowd? For me it was a couple of weeks ago, during Esperanza Spalding’s exultant concert at Town Hall, in midtown Manhattan. Singing the deftly intricate songs from a new album, “12 Little Spells,” she was the picture of vital intensity well before the encore, when she re-emerged in a jumpsuit emblazoned with the catchphrase “Life Force.”

 

Ms. Spalding is exceptional in every sense of the word, but she’s also part of a cresting wave. The music we call jazz has been undergoing an explosion of creative possibilities, carried out by musicians with an impressive range of new skills and ideas. Some of them have found traction with impassioned young audiences, achieving a rare balance of popular success and critical approval — enough, in some corners, to bring talk of jazz’s new golden age.

I just wrote a book about jazz in the new century, so I might be waving that banner, too. The music’s plurality of style, embodied by Ms. Spalding and so many others, amounts to an extension of the jazz tradition rather than any kind of heretical crisis. The music is meant to evolve, and we’re in the midst of its most wildly adaptive, thrillingly unruly evolutionary phase in some 40 years.

 

Nate Chinen went on to say.

 

So why do I balk whenever someone declares that jazz has entered another golden age? On some level its reflex: a resistance to hyperbole, and an awareness that whatever my convictions, we don’t have enough distance to see our moment with total clarity. On some level, too, it’s wariness about any exercise that weighs one era against another, brushing aside the broader context.

 

THE GOLDEN AGE FOR JAZZ ?

 

I agree with Mr Chinen that you can’t take a snapshot and see a true picture of what is happening. Especially in jazz. Something game changing is probably happening somewhere every night, it is something we would only know if we were in the club or basement when it happened. This is why we go to see live jazz. I believe that golden moments in the life of an artist are only known by the artist. We can only recognize and acknowledge the results

 

Last week at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café we witnessed some jazz that makes the case that we are living at a pretty great moment to hear jazz in Detroit.

 

FAST TRACK

 

 

Ian Finkelstein is a Detroit jazz musician. Ian is a phenomenal musician and is part of our current golden age. I first heard Ian when he played piano at the Dirty Dog with the great Benny Golson. Ian was a U of M student at the time. How the heck did Ian get a gig like this? How the heck could a young guy like this know all Benny’s tunes? I don’t have a clue. I do know that word gets out when the next players are ready and they do get invited to the dance. This answer probably is the same answer to the question of, are we in a golden age of jazz?. Jazz is only as good as the generosity of its best players. Great musical knowledge keeps getting passed from one great player to a younger artist, who then spreads the knowledge to his/her fellow sponges, and so it goes.

 

It keeps happening and the new guys keep not just carrying the ball but moving it forward. Right now Ian is in fourth gear. Ian is usually on the move. When he is not gigging or composing , he is listening intently to all kinds of music. I remember watching Ian go by  me in Ann Arbor hauling his keyboard I swear that I thought he was composing a tune in his head as he sped to his class or a gig. Ian Finkelstein is part of a Detroit renaissance that includes many of our young players hanging around, joining forces and adding new ideas. Fortunately today there are venues where they can be heard.

 

After hearing them play at New York’s Dizzy’s Coca Cola Jazz Club, New York Times Jazz writer Ben Ratliff wrote, “the band also included two young Detroit musicians, the tenor saxophonist Marcus Elliott and the pianist Ian Finkelstein, convincing and confident, evolved in touch and tone, the kind of musicians New York would be lucky to have. But they were practicing restraint, too, playing in service to the song, and the bandleader”.

 

 

A GOLDEN WEEK AT THE DIRTY DOG

 

Last week Ian had four a day gig at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café. The consensus among those who were listening was that we will look back at the experience and remind ourselves how lucky we were to have been at the Dirty dog that evening back in 2019.

 

  

 

A GOLDEN NIGHT AT THE DIRTY DOG.

 

Playing bass last week was another young player, Jonathon Muir-Cotton . Jonathon is still a student at Wayne State. Last summer Esperanza Spalding conducted a seminar in the morning before her gig at the Dirty Dog. She asked for a student’s card before she left Wayne State. Jonathan got a call and was asked to play the set that evening. That night Ian was on piano, Jonathan was on bass. Teri Lynn Carrington was on drums and Esperanza was exploding with creative exuberance and mutual respect.

 

 

Whatever era we are in , jazz is alive and well in Detroit.

 

John Osler

 

 

SOME FRESH FACES WILL BE COMING THIS WEEK TO THE DIRTY DOG

 

Zen Zedravec along with Charles and Gwen Scales are Detroit jazz artists that will be debuting at the Dirty Dog this month. They will be fresh faces kicking off a fresh year.

 

January 16-17

    

 

ZEN ZADRAVEC

 

Zen is a Canadian pianist and saxophonist who  composes and arranges his very original ideas.

January 18-19

 

  

 

CHARLES&GWEN SCALES

 

Charles and Gwen are vocalists who have been  headliners in Detroit music for some time. Help welcome them to the Dirty  Dog.

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share This Article:

January 7, 2019

 

NEXT YEAR IS HERE

 

I often put things off that need to be done and some things that I would really like to do…. until the next year. The next year is here.  I am going to start to do those good things that I put off until this year. That means I should right away listen to more jazz, find reasons to laugh and tackle some personal art projects. It also means that maybe I lose some weight and some angry thoughts.

 

Every year we get a chance to start over. We get one more chance to get it right. We get a  fresh start, and at the same time we get to hold on to the good things that we already have. 2019 seems like that moment. I am looking forward to having  conversations about the coming year and the positive events as they happen. I hope to talk to and photograph those who will be helping make Detroit a better place to live. Music will continue to show us the way. There is something special happening around us in jazz, Detroit and the Dirty Dog. The Dirty Dog Jazz Café will celebrate the resurgence of live music in our city with innovative programs and adventurous menus.

 

DSC_1936

 

SOME BLOG SUBJECTS THAT I HAVE PUT OFF UNTIL THIS YEAR

 

Again this year I will expose my weakness for jazz and all the really nice people who play the music in my home town. There will be blogs aboutfood. Chef André and Chef Eli will help us better understand their approach to preparing the special fare served at the Dirty Dog. They will share with us techniques, processes and recipes.

 

Willie Jones tell us what to expect at the Dirty Dog  each month in Willie’s Corner.

 

We will explore the reasons that musicians and fans make the claim that the Dirty Dog Jazz Café is the best jazz club in America.

 

The creative process in the arts and music will be discussed with other artists. We will also meet many of the staff and musicians that provide such a perfect environment for all that jazz. We will continue the search to find what makes it tick.

 

An important ongoing story will be the growth of jazz and the incredible programs  and teachers in our schools. We will spotlight these teachers. The folks at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe will continue to do what they can to bring the story of jazz and its force to the communities.  Jazz will be in good hands in 2019.

 

We have an opportunity to define our future. I will ask Detroit artists what their vision is for Detroit and its music. We will talk to some of the Detroit jazz fans who are known for being the world’s most knowledgeable. In 2018 they knew what they were hearing and filled jazz venues and our remarkable Detroit Jazz Festival.

 

We will all have new stories to tell about the upbeat happenings all around us.

 

The Dirty Dog will continue to be the place to unwind, to celebrate and to be reinvigorated.

 

Stay tuned,

 

John Osler

 

 

COMING THIS MONTH TO THE DIRTY DOG

 

 

THIS WEEK January 9-12

 

 

IAN FINKELSTEIN

 

Ian is a Detroit based pianist, composer, producer and educator. He’ll be playing a mix of Jazz standards and his own compositions. In past gigs at the Dirty Dog Ian has created and played an original piece for the occasion. Ian is a class act.

Ian has regularly been seen at the Dirty Dog leading his own band and showing us his head nod. Recognizing and then providing a place to help launch Detroit’s home grown talent has been one of the Dirty Dog’s roles.

 

January 16 -17                                                  January 18 – 19

   

 

ZEN ZEDRAVEC                                             GWEN SCALES

 

Zen Zedravec and Gwen Scales are two Detroit jazz artists that will be debuting at the Dirty Dog this month. Zen is a Canadian pianist and saxophonist who  composes and arranges his very original ideas. Gwen is a vocalist who has been a headliner in Detroit music for some time. Zen and Gwen will be fresh faces kicking off a fresh year.

 

January 23 – 26

 

 

THE DETROIT TENORS

 

Jazz at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café in this first month of the year will continue at a high level. It is fitting that Steve Wood and Carl Cafagna, a couple of Detroit’s finest artists, will help us kick off this new year at the Dirty Dog.

 

January 30 – February 2

 

 

RANDY NAPOLEON

 

The Dirty Dog gets the year off to a fast start with Randy Napoleon at the wheel. Randy has guaranteed us that he will bring some mellow sounds and his magical smile to all those coming in out of the cold.

 

   

Share This Article:

January 3, 2019

JazzPainting

 

 

Most Jazz is Serious Developmental Music

 

Welcome to part nine of our on-going mini series on “Listening to Jazz”. This is one of the important features of our JazzNotes blog which aims to take you further inside the music,  discussing what the music is all about to ultimately enhance our listening experience.

 

 

Most Jazz commands our attention and involvement. Most Jazz is “serious music”.

 

 

Music theorists usually classify Jazz as a “long form developmental musical artform”. Unlike today’s commercial/pop music offerings that are dominated by “short-form” pop singles and hit songs…Jazz is a considered a “developmental long form” genre for the most part. Much like other long form genre such as Classical, and some folk and world music where the compositions are long enough for the composers and performers to develop ideas more fully,  usually with elements of improvisation.

 

 

As a “developmental”musical art form, Jazz allows the musicians enough freedom and time to develop various compositional elements to make the music more artful and satisfying..giving the listeners more to listen for/to. The artists have more opportunities to develop the structural composition elements that are contained in  most music. These basic elements are a major part of most compositions regardless of the cultural background or style or historical period. They consist of the melody, harmony and rhythm.

 

 

Jazz and other “developmental” genre command our attention because there’s so much to listen for you become part of the musical experience…which is more akin to a great meal instead of a fast food/carry out! Another essential element that makes Jazz “developmental” is the act of “soloing” in real time, “on the spot” while performing live or during a recorded performance. It is very common for all or most of the group’s musicians to play a solo allowing the artist to improvise off of the melodic and chordal structure or “chart” of the piece.

 

 

Here is where the artist spontaneously, develops the piece and composes in real time while staying within the basic structure of the original piece. Because of this, no two solos are a like which makes the music all the more experiential to the listener. This is both a developmental and communal aspect of the genre. The improvised solos treat the listener to watching and hearing Jazz being created “in the moment”.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Share This Article:

December 31, 2018

DSC_new year

 

Saying goodbye to 2018

 

It was a year of change. For many, things seemed to be getting better, for others it was at best confusing.

Detroit continued to find new energy, and the music in the city picked up on it. In our expanding  environment we felt confident to take more risk and also to pause and enjoy life.

There were also transitions as we celebrated the lives of friends that we lost, leaving holes in our  hearts to be filled. In the coming year we will welcome in some new voices.

 

Detroit’s heart cried out in pain for some losses and then it sang out in joy for their lives.

 

 

 

 

Music lost too many artists and  innovators in 2018 including Nancy Wilson and Roy Hargrove.

 

 

The Dirty Dog lost a good friend when we said goodbye to John Dana.

 

 

  

 

Detroit’s great Aretha Franklin

 

We know that their music lives on, but all the same it isn’t easy.

 

ALL IN ALL THIS WAS A PRETTY GOOD YEAR

 

This was a significant year for Dirty Dog Jazz Café, a place that doesn’t change, a place you can count on, a place where you can get lost in the music, a place where there is always  a parade of great musicians and satisfied customers, a place where smiles and laughter were up this past year with pure joy continued to trend in the right direction. And they were ten years old.

 

Here are some things that helped to make 2018 memorable for me at the Dirty Dog.

 

 

Carl’s smile

 

_DSC7573

 

Andre’s food

 

andre_1-1-1DSC_0239

 

The Dirty Dog’s remarkably good natured staff

 

 

stills-ddjc_1-18-3

 

The stream of young players who have benefited from a chance to try out their chops at the Dirty Dog.

 

_DSC3490  DSC_8348  DSC_6575Marcus  _DSC0558

 

All the times I have watched Detroit jazz fans listen with so much appreciation, knowledge and respect.

 

 

DSC_8395

 

Each time I listened while an artist gave back to a rapt and respectful audience.

 

  

 

Willie saying: DIRRRRTY DAWG!!!

 

DSC_9249

 

Willie gently coaxes everyone at the Dog to do their best.

 

_DSC8042

 

Gretchen Valade continues to inspire.  She remains Detroit jazz’s principle advocate.

 

AND AGAIN, ALL THE SMILES

 

_DSC8952  DSC_4776_DSC8724  DSC_2848SONY DSC  DSC_8433  DSC06164 222       

 

FROM EVERYONE AT THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFE, THANKS FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT.

 

HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR

 

In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship and never in need.

 

John Osler

 

 

THE DIRTY DOG WILL BE CLOSED UNTIL JANUARY 8, 2019

 

Share This Article:

December 30, 2018

FINDING WARMTH AND GOOD CHEER

 

Santa 12 21 15

DECEMBER 26                            JOHN OSLER   OIL/CANVAS

 

A COZY PLACE

 

It is our good fortune to live in Detroit where one can experience one of life’s great  pleasures  –  coming in out of the cold. On one of our cold and blustery days we are fortunate to be able to go to a warm and cozy place with good food, good drink, good music and good friends.

 

 

This is particularly true at the holiday season. The Dirty Dog Jazz Café makes sure that  jazz, joy, good food and beverages is available for its customers. They actually seem to have a good time doing this.

I really had a good time painting this jazzy Santa.

 

 

 

 

SEASONS GREETINGS FROM THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFÉ

 

 

_DSC2466

 

The Dirty Dog Jazz Café wishes all our regulars, and those who are planning to show up, and all those who won’t be able to get to the Dog yet have the spirit of the holidays in their heart a very merry holiday.

 

May your heart be filled with warmth, goodwill, joy, and may you find lots of reasons to smile.

 

 

DSC_1321

Please join us at The Dirty Dog Jazz Café for our annual before Christmas smile exchange.

 

The week before Christmas can be a testy time what with a mass of procrastinators trying to complete their tasks. We all want to make this Christmas the best holiday ever. It is also a time of of kindness and joyful gentleness.

 

walt-5 _DSC7374 DSC_8905DSC_7716 DSC_2085DSC_8900 DSC_1415 stills-ddjc_1-10-10_DSC6671 _dsc5130 DSC_4773  dsc_8857 _dsc0540dsc_4776  _DSC7573stills-ddjc_1-8-8  untitled_1-1-2dsc_8592  dsc_8706dsc_8950  untitled_1-6-5 stills-ddjc_1-2-9

 

We wish all our friends the warmest holiday season.

 

John Osler

 

THIS WEEK AT THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFE

 

December 26 – December 29 + New Years Eve

 

 

GENE DUNLAP

 

Gene Dunlap will be our drummer boy this week.  Gene has a history of enjoying playing jazz in Detroit. You don’t have to ask him , just watch him at work. His bio shows us that a lot of jazz musicians have enjoyed playing with Gene.

 

   

Share This Article:

December 19, 2018

 

 

detroitJazzFestivalWEMU

 

 

Just look at that crowd! The Carhartt Amphitheater Stage at the Detroit Jazz Festival presents live Jazz at no charge to nearly a quarter of a million people each year. This makes Jazz accessible to everyone!  Photo: WEMU-FM

 

Detroit’s Jazz scene is thriving in part, due to more generous support from the arts community. This includes not only more gifts from individuals but also more from non-profit organizations and foundations that are making Jazz a priority. They keep the Jazz community humming with their continued financial and promotional assistance.

 

The Kresge Foundation, The Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation, The Gretchen Valade Endowment for the Arts, The Knight Foundation, The Erb Foundation, The Lyon Foundation, and The Judd Family Endowment for the Arts among others, are major contributors. Organizations that support Jazz education, and performance opportunities include the Creative Many (formerly Art Serve of Michigan), Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs, and Midtown Detroit, Inc.

 

As many of you already know, Detroit’s top Jazz lover and supporter is Gretchen Valade. This past year she has been working to expand the Jazz program at Wayne State University. The Detroit Free Press wrote: (February 4, 2018) that her gift to the University had grown to $9.5 million in 2018.

 

“Gretchen Valade’s ambitions for jazz in Detroit only seem to grow and grow.Now the jazz-loving philanthropist — among the most generous individual patrons of Detroit arts — is donating another $2 million to Wayne State University’s jazz program, on top of a $7.5 million commitment she announced in December 2015.”
“The latest gift from the 92-year-old Carhartt heiress will help convert the basement at the Hilberry Theatre into a performance space to be called the Jazz Underground, part of a bigger $65 million project that aims to strengthen the university’s cultural footprint in the blossoming Midtown district.”
“That includes the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center, a name announced in tandem with her 2015 pledge, which will convert the existing Hilberry on Cass Avenue into a music venue with seating capacity of 400, acoustics geared for live jazz, and broadcast capabilities. A new theater will be built nearby to house WSU’s nationally renowned repertory company.”

 

Local non-profit public radio stations provide valuable media exposure through locally hosted Jazz shows and live local broadcasts.

 

Radio is still the most effective way to expose people to music. Although, Jazz formats dwindled considerably both nationally and locally in recent years, Jazz still appears on the Detroit radio dial on a number of stations: WRCJ 90.9FM, CBC 89.9FM, WDET 101.9FM, CJAM 99.1FM and WEMU 89.1FM.

 

“Three new Jazz performance outlets are the Carr Center in downtown’s Harmonie Park. Aligned with the Arts League of Michigan, it provides on-going educational and performance opportunities on a weekly basis.”

 

Trinosophes near Eastern Market presents local and international artists who perform cutting edge contemporary and world Jazz. WTVS’s highly acclaimed new weekly show “Detroit Performs” takes us “behind” the music besides connects us to local Jazz musicians and events.

 

Area festivals and series with a strong Jazz component include the Detroit Jazz Festival, the DIA’s “Friday Night Live!” series, the Concert of Colors at Orchestra Hall, the DSO’s Paradise Jazz series, the Jazz series at the Music Hall Center/Jazz Cafe, Ann Arbor’s UMS series, and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History.

 

There’s also no shortage of Jazz clubs in Detroit where one can find live Jazz seven nights a week. The Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe is proud to be considered one of the best Jazz clubs in the world with its stellar line up of artists it presents on a weekly basis.

 

Detroiters are fortunate to have a loyal team of cultural organizations and Jazz advocates who add so much to the success of our world-renowned music reputation and cultural environment in which Jazz plays a vital role.

 

Of course, the largest and most important group of Detroit Jazz Heroes is the audience itself – one of the most appreciative and supportive Jazz audiences in the world. Thank you Detroit.

 

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

Share This Article:

December 18, 2018

THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS WEEK

 

 

As the holidays loom and undone tasks build. it would be easy to slip into grumpiness. We will have to make space and plan to feed a lot of our family again after having it all to ourselves, or try and find a convenient affordable airfare and get out of town.

 

We are at a time of year when things pile up, and we are up against a very real deadline of December 25. This is a difficult period with its unspoken demands that this coming holiday season should be a constant joyous celebration of life. Starting in December it seems that everything is stacked against us. We will have little sunshine and more darkness in Michigan. We are asked to shop at a time when stocks of goods are running short and the only parking places are at the other end of the mall. Exiting the shopping center your spirits probably won’t be lifted by the gloomy bearded guy by the cauldron eying with disapproval your donation of what was left in your pocket.

 

You should be watching your weight and your alcohol consumption exactly when you  need it the most. There will be little solace and understanding drifting your way from your nearby family and friends who don’t really have time, what with all their shopping. It seems that understanding, merriment and glee won’t be back in our lives until probably after Christmas dinner, right after we have had a chance to chat with that contrary uncle. if we live that long.

 

 

December sweeps in and challenges us all to remain civil and supportive of others. and we are inclined to go into our protective mode. We add layers of clothes to protect us from the chill early winter winds and pad ourselves against our inability to get everything done in time.

 

This is the season for decorating, forgetting, procrastinating, and neglecting.

 

Every year we are starting to decorate for the holidays a little earlier. Shops and front yards have had strings of lights strung, new bangles have been dangled and a lot of green  and red objects have suddenly appeared. This is intended to lift your spirit but can sometimes just remind us that we should be doing more.

 

 

What we need most at this time of year is some support and comforting smiles.

 

 

Finding peace while getting all your shopping done.

 

At my darkest moments of falling behind in my assigned holiday tasks , I am often lifted by observing a kind act or friendly word. It happens when someone offers to help me carry my purchases to my car at Eastern Market. It happens when I get a card in the mail with a message from someone that I had lost touch with, and it happens when I listen to some carols and hear the joyous message. It happens when I hear the silly songs that remind me that we sometimes take life too seriously. It happens when we see the glee in children’s faces.

 

At times like this I try to be around creative people who welcome challenge and confront obstacles as part of their gig. I have noticed that so many relaxed jazz musicians who slide out of the cold and into the Dirty Dog seem thrilled to have this gig added to their busy schedule. This makes me wonder what is it about musicians that they can shake any  anxiety and just get lost in their music.

 

 

To play jazz you must carefully listen to one another, and you must be free to focus on the task at hand. Jazz musicians are remarkably good at clearing their heads. It could be that they just know how to enjoy and relish the moment. This allows them to smile their way through December.

 

TAKE A BREAK FROM SHOPPING AND CATCH SOME JAZZ THIS WEEK AT THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFÉ

 

 

Some people like the idea of having a more tranquil holiday. They would choose to seek out a peaceful place where they can think deep thoughts. The Dirty Dog Jazz Café would not be  that place. Not that there isn’t any deep thinking there, but just that there is a lot more frivolity than quiet.

 

 

Break the cycle and take someone with you for a night out for some good food served as if you deserved the best. Top it off by getting lost in some jazz. Each week the Dirty Dog Jazz Café hosts spirit lifting live performances from our greatest musicians.

 

   

 

This week the Dirty Dog will be prepared to help you celebrate this glorious season. Forget about all the anxieties that tend to well up at the holidays. They will make sure that once you pass through into this cozy and comfortable place you will find a genial staff, a kindly bartender, tasty food and good fellowship.  Shahida Nurullah and her band  will chase the loop of bad seasonal jingles out of your head.

 

We hope that you will join us for an evening of good will and good fellowship at the Dirty Dog, and that you find peace and comfort in your home all through the holidays.

 

John Osler

 

THIS JOYOUS WEEK AT THE DIRTY DOG

 

December 19 – December 22

 

 

SHAHIDA NURULLA

 

Put your snow shovel aside and  discover what Shahidah Nurullah is up to. Sometimes we overuse the word resilient . Whatever, resilient is the first word that comes to mind that best describes Shahidah. Hers has been a life of bouncing back and then being asked to bounce back again. The bumps in her life included a serious accident that left her challenged to speak. Well, her beautiful voice is a testimony to the recuperative power of music. Don’t miss Shahidah. We are blessed to be able to hear her inspirational voice which will be on display Wednesday through Saturday.

 

_DSC7153

Share This Article:

December 10, 2018

DETROIT JAZZ, THE BOOK

JAZZ BOOK cover4

Cover photo of Will Austin at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café

 

One of Detroit’s greatest assets is her first class hard working musicians. Jazz drifted up the Mississippi River from New Orleans through St Louis and Chicago and spread to the bustling city of Detroit. The music found fertile ground and the city has played a key role in the development of the music from the early 30s until today. A tradition of discipline, good mentoring and living the stories has made Detroit the schoolhouse for jazz. Through good times and tough times the motor city has driven the world’s music machine. Hardship has only strengthened our jazz.  The music has always been passed on by respected and tough taskmasters to eager young musicians. From time to time there have been moments that have challenged keeping jazz alive in Detroit. A major threat happened about a decade ago.

 

Detroit’s defining music was at a crossroads following an exodus of businesses, jobs and people from our city. One of Detroit’s greatest assets, its jazz, was as powerful and robust as it had ever been, with many young artists ready to carry on. However, Detroit was reeling. Detroit is a city where even in tough times we keep showing up and showing up. Sure enough someone showed up, stood tall and helped save one the world’s great treasures.

 

 

GRETCHEN VALADE

 

Gretchen Valade’s love of the music carried the day . Mack Avenue Records was founded, The Detroit Jazz Festival was saved from extinction and The Dirty Dog Jazz Café opened its doors. The story will be told over and over by the musicians who have been touched by Detroit jazz’s angel.

 

It was my good fortune to have  been given access  to photograph the musicians who were playing at venues that had been made possible by the generous acts of Gretchen Valade.  A few years ago I assembled these photographs in a book,  DETROIT JAZZ  Documenting the legacy of Gretchen Valade. The book is a collection of my photographs of Detroit’s great jazz artists shot during the years when Detroit and jazz were recovering, thanks to Gretchen’s generous actions. It is my  attempt to document the results of one woman’s dream,  I wanted the world to know that Detroit’s jazz community has never faltered. This book is an attempt to document this time of renewal. I hope that the book respects and honors all of the artists, Detroit and Gretchen.

 

 

Documenting The Legacy Of Gretchen Valade

 

To help document what Gretchen has accomplished all of the photographs selected for this book were shot at the Dirty Dog and the Detroit Jazz Festival. Detroit has so many other musicians and venues which also deserve recognition. The rich lode of talent that play in Detroit has barely been touched in this book.

 

I would like to thank all of the local and national artists  who performed in these venues. Opening the door to this remarkable world were Gretchen’s right hand, Tom Robinson, Chef André Neimanis, Manager Willie Jones and all the staff of the Dirty Dog. Thanks also to the Detroit Jazz Festival and it’s director, Chris Collin. Of course, thanks to Gretchen, whose strength and foresight have provided the gentle push for both the music and this book. I hope that the book respects and honors all of the artists, Detroit and Gretchen.

 

If you ever want to be reminded of this great story of jazz and Detroit in photographs, you might consider picking up the book.

 

TO GET THE BOOK

 

When you come by the Dirty Dog ask to see the book. They will be pleased to show you the book and give you a chance to get a first edition copy. This book makes a great gift to anyone who likes jazz, Detroit or photography.

 

You can order the book online on Amazon or for a signed copy contact us at j.osler@att.net or call John at 313.886.4728 and we will get books out to you.

 

The book can also be purchased at the DIA.

 

Thank again to Gretchen and all those whose passion for jazz and Detroit helped me to produce the photographs that make up this book. I would also thank the citizens of Detroit who remind me every day that those things that seem out of reach are possible.

 

John Osler

 

Here are some pages from the book.

 

detroit Jazz 10 0458 detroit Jazz 10 0416 detroit Jazz 10 0413 _DSC1430 detroit Jazz 10 0431 detroit Jazz 10 0422 detroit Jazz 10 0432 detroit Jazz 10 0441 detroit Jazz 10 0445 detroit Jazz 10 0450 detroit Jazz 10 0429 detroit Jazz 10 0420 detroit Jazz 10 0426 detroit Jazz 10 0414 gretchen

 

 

COMING THIS WEEK TO THE DIRTY DOG

 

December 12-15

 

 

DAVE McMURRAY

 

One of the jazz world’s greatest spirits will strip away any of your late winter blahs this week. Bring your most youthful attitude. David deserves and accepts applause

 

    

 

 

.

 

Share This Article:

December 7, 2018

DonaldByrdNBCcom

 

Donald Byrd / Photo: NBC.com

 

 

This month we honor the musical contributions and Jazz artistry of trumpeter, Donald Byrd, born Donaldson Toussaint L’Ouverture Byrd II in Detroit on Dec. 9, 1932 and who died in Delaware on 2/4/13 at the age of 80.

 

 

World-renowned trumpeter, Donald Byrd, is one of the most successful musicians to come out of Detroit. Like so many other music greats from the motor city, he was inspired by the legendary music program at Cass Technical High School, using it to further his education even more. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in music from Wayne State University he moved to New York and received a master’s degree in music education from the prestigious Manhattan School of Music.

 

 

Donald Byrd became a cross-generational, natural master of various Jazz sub-genre. He became known throughout the many facets of the Jazz world as his prolific career spanned many diverse style periods from Hard Bop to Soul Jazz and Fusion.. His calling card was his warm, pure tone and flawless technique which enabled him to play with some of the most important and influential artists and style makers in Jazz, including John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins and drummer Art Blakey who were all drawn to his unique musical abilities.
During the 1970s he released many commercially successful albums including “Blackbyrd” in 1973, produced by the brothers Larry and Fonce Mizell, who had been his students at Howard University in Washington.

 

 

DByrdBlackBrydAmazon

 

Donald Byrd’s “Blackbyrd” album on Blue Note Records

 

 

The album remains one of the best-selling albums in the history of Blue Note records. Yet, he received a lot of criticism from some members of the Jazz community who felt he had “sold out” because, like other Jazz artists of that period, he was fusing his music with funk grooves, R&B, world and more.

 

The music also utilized more amplified instruments and special effects, such as wah-wah guitar. They were merely reflecting the current music of that period which is what Jazz has done all along.

 

 

I find it sad when an artist’s peers overlook all of the great contributions many of them make while exploring new directions in Jazz. People complain that Jazz is stagnant or isn’t attracting enough young people. But, when younger artists start reflecting newer trends in music, some become offended and think that music is no longer relevant or respectful of its history.

 

 

byrdHancockMorrisonHotelGalleryCom

 

Donald Byrd and Herbie Hancock

Photo: HotelGallery.com

 

 

Here is a great excerpt from the New York Times obituary on Donald Byrd. I found it very moving to read how he was inspired by John Coltrane while still in high school, and how he himself became dedicated to guiding and mentoring new artists to the art form through his work as an educator.

 

 

“His musical pursuits were paralleled by a lifelong interest in education. He taught jazz at Howard, North Carolina Central University, Rutgers, Cornell, the University of Delaware and Delaware State University, and also studied law. In 1982 he received a doctorate in education from Teachers College at Columbia University. He spent many years, at various institutions, teaching a curriculum that integrated math and music education.

 

In 2000 Mr. Byrd was given a Jazz Masters award by the National Endowment for the Arts.

 

In his 1998 Cornell lecture Mr. Byrd said he had been inspired by musicians who changed music, notably John Coltrane.

 

“I met him in the 11th grade in Detroit,” he said. “I skipped school one day to see Dizzy Gillespie, and that’s where I met Coltrane. Coltrane and Jimmy Heath just joined the band, and I brought my trumpet, and he was sitting at the piano downstairs waiting to join Dizzy’s band. He had his saxophone across his lap, and he looked at me and he said, ‘You want to play?’

“So he played piano, and I soloed. I never thought that six years later we would be recording together, and that we would be doing all of this stuff. The point is that you never know what happens in life.”

 

New York Times, February 11, 2013

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share This Article:

December 3, 2018

 

WILLIES’ CORNER

 

TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK

 

“AMAZING WHAT YOU CAN ACHIEVE WITH THE RIGHT TEAM. I AM CONSTANTLY REMINDED OF THIS ON A DAILY BASIS AT THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFÉ. SOMETIMES WHEN I RETURN FROM VACATION I AM REMINDED OF THE VALUE OF MY TEAM KEEPING THINGS CONSISTENT AND TOGETHER IN MY ABSENCE. WHAT A GREAT FEELING. IT’S THE SAME FEELING WE TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH OUR GUESTS ON A DAILY BASIS BY DELIVERING TO THEM GREAT SERVICE, GOOD COMFORT FOOD, A SUPER RELAXED AND INTIMATE ENVIRONMENT AND OF COURSE GREAT JAZZ.

 

THE MUSICIANS ARE ALSO PART OF OUR STAFF SO YOU CAN EXPECT TO BE TREATED WITH GREAT ENTERTAINMENT BY GREAT ENTERTAINERS. THE MUSICIANS ARE JUST AS ACCESSIBLE TO YOU AS YOUR SERVER. THEY LOVE TAKING CARE OF THE DIRTY DOG AUDIENCE, NOT JUST MUSICALLY.  YOU CAN ALSO EXPECT TO SEE THE ALREADY BEAUTIFULLY APPOINTED CAFE GET TRANSFORMED INTO AN EVEN MORE GORGEOUS AND HOLIDAY GRACED DECOR THIS DECEMBER.

 

DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT, COME ON OUT AND SPEND AN EVENING WITH US AT THE DIRTY DOG.”

 

WILLIE JONES

 

 

Willie has put together a great team, because Willie is a really good team leader. The staff at the Dirty Dog work with the kind of teamwork that makes tasks smaller, lessens risk of failure and gives us one of the best jazz clubs in the world. Some of the traits that Willie infuses in his staff could possibly come from the proximity to the jazz artists.

TEAMWORK AND JAZZ

 

Jazz is a unique genre because it is the unpredictable result of a group of musicians with varying ideas and skills making the decision to work together. Jazz artists are dependent on teamwork and I think that we can all learn by looking at a few things that jazz musicians know to do.

 

 

Jazz artists trust and respect their bandmates

 

Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses, and great teams know how to balance these differences. Jazz greats often collaborated with other greats and welcomed newcomers. Jazz artists inspire each other to do their best.  Jazz artists have each other’s backs.

 

 

Jazz artists listen and communicate

 

Jazz is mostly about listening, as improvisation requires a great deal of communication. Musicians communicate with each other using a variety of cues, either musical  or visual (a nod, wink or smile ). These cue systems may be specific to  musicians, but we can imagine a different set of cues for a team project that would work just as well.

 

 

Jazz artists share goals

 

All musicians want to share their personal visions and use their unique skill to move the story to a new place. They also know enough to get out of each others way. They work together and are committed to doing their best.

 

  

 

Jazz artists think it should be fun

 

Having fun is contagious and it starts at the top. A joyous workplace happens when we know that hard work and a good time are both possible, when there is respect, when there is communication and when there is a shared goal of

excellence.

John Osler

 

 

Willie Jones, Chef Andre and all the Dirty Dog team have learned to listen to and respect each other. Maybe that is why musicians and customers have so much fun being around the place.

 

 

THIS DECEMBER AT THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFÉ

 

This month the Dirty Dog Jazz Café will present four of Detroit’s most emblematic jazz artists. Four good people who have special gifts,  big hearts, and stories to tell. They will provide us with four weeks of hot jazz for our cold December days.

As the great Fats Waller said back in 1937:   The piano’s thumpin’

The dancers are bumpin’…The joint is jumpin’.

 

December 3-8

 

 

 

THORNETTA DAVIS

 

Tis the season to be jolly,

 

Thornetta knows that Detroit knows that the blues are all right. She will take all our concerns on her shoulders and and replace them with some upbeat blues and a few seasonal tunes.

 

 

 

 

 

December 12-15

 

 

 

DAVE McMURRAY

 

One of the jazz world’s greatest spirits will strip away any of your late winter blahs this week. Bring your most youthful attitude. David deserves and accepts applause

 

    

 

 

December 19-22

 

 

SHAHIDA NURULLA

 

Put your snow shovel aside and  discover what Shahida Nurullah is up to. Sometimes we overuse the word resilient . Whatever, resilient is the first word that comes to mind that best describes Shahida. Hers has been a life of bouncing back and then being asked to bounce back again. The bumps in her life included a serious accident that left her challenged to speak. Well, her beautiful voice is a testimony to the recuperative power of music. Don’t miss Shahida. We are blessed

to be able to hear her inspirational voice which will be on display Wednesday through Saturday.

 

_DSC7153

 

 

December 26-29 + New Years Eve

 

 

GENE DUNLAP

 

Gene Dunlap will edit out everything except his personal thoughts, his power and his compelling spirit. Gene is one of the most respected jazz artists in Detroit. He will bring power and grace to the Dirty Dog on New Years Eve to finish out  a grand year of jazz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share This Article:

YouTube
Visit the Dirty Dog Jazz Video Gallery to view our collection. Watch Now
The Dirty Dog brings together the musicians and guests in a way that creates a lasting impression and desire to come back.
     THE GOLDEN AGE OF JAZZ   Early in the new year I saw a headline in the New York Tim [..]
  NEXT YEAR IS HERE   I often put things off that need to be done and some things that I w [..]
    Most Jazz is Serious Developmental Music   Welcome to part nine of our on-going m [..]
Each week the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe hosts live performances from the greatest jazz musicians across the country.
Charles & Gwen Scales
STARTS: Fri, January 18 2019
ENDS: Sat, January 19 2019
Ron English : Tuesday Nights
STARTS: Tue, September 04 2018
ENDS: Tue, December 28 2021
The Detroit Tenors
STARTS: Wed, January 23 2019
ENDS: Sat, January 26 2019
Rob Crozier
STARTS: Wed, February 06 2019
ENDS: Sat, February 09 2019
Anthony Stanco
STARTS: Wed, February 13 2019
ENDS: Sat, February 16 2019
Dave Bennett
STARTS: Wed, February 20 2019
ENDS: Sat, February 23 2019
Gerard Gibbs
STARTS: Wed, February 27 2019
ENDS: Sat, March 02 2019