Each week we will be writing about the various aspects of jazz, one of the most important and influential musical idioms to come out of the 20th century. The blog will present a comprehensive look inside the music.
The Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe's favorite and most famous performers. Don't miss their next performance!
Alvin Waddles Fats Waller would have been proud to meet up with Alvin Waddles. They were both gifted piano players who have added to the vocabulary of the music. Alvin has had the advantage of starting where Fats left off. Alvin went to Interlochen Academy and then to U of Michigan. Alvin often solos in piano and voice for many productions like Too Hot To Handel and the Fats Waller Revue.
Alvin is a Detroit treasure.
Charles Boles Listen carefully to Charles play piano and discover why he has been asked to play with BB King, Etta James, Aretha Franklin, Dinah Washington, Lou Rawls, Tommy Flanagan and many other smart artists. Charles' subtle and solid playing can be heard fronting his own band on Tuesdays at the Dirty Dog.
Chris Collins A true jazz professional and Detroit treasure. As a go-to woodwind artist, Chris has traveled the world and had his choice of gigs. Chris will be familiar to those who follow the music in his position as artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival. Chris' reputation as a musician's musician has helped attract artists to this grand festival. Chris is also the director of Jazz Studies at Wayne State University.
Dave Bennett Dave is a living tribute to Benny Goodman, and more. A child prodigy, who was given his first clarinet when he was 10 years old, Dave has grown in stature and was recently chosen to perform with the New York pops at Carnegie Hall. In additional he has just released his new CD for Mack Avenue - Don't Be That Way. What is next? Don't be surprised.
Dwight Adams At 16, Dwight Adams got an education in music when he joined Teddy Harris' New Breed Bebop Society. This was a start of another Detroit jazz career which is still flying high. He hasn't put on the brakes yet. You will find Dwight as the lead trumpet on Stevie Wonder videos. When he isn't with Stevie, he is often playing with someone's all-star group.
The Four Freshmen A remarkable story about something that is so good that it doesn't change and shouldn't change. The Freshmen are "a jazz outfit" that began in 1948 and has seamlessly continued on until today. They are a vocal group that is also a jazz band. First propelled by Stan Kenton into the limelight, the original group could be seen on national TV including the Steve Allen show. As is often said "long live the Four Freshmen... may they never graduate".
Freddie Cole Freddie began playing piano at the age of six and graduated from Juilliard School of Music before receiving his Masters at the New England Conservatory of Music. Freddie Cole has a remarkably smooth voice that fits the endless play list he brings. Come to see Freddie with someone you care about. He brings a top-notch band with him that includes the heralded Ann Arbor guitarist Randy Napoleon.
Gayelynn McKinney Detroit has many royal families of jazz. Gayelynn is the daughter of the legendary Harold McKinney and the niece of Ray McKinney. Her mother was also an accomplished singer. Gayelynn has created her own legacy on the drums. She was a co-founder of the Grammy nominated group Straight Ahead. Her diverse drumming style has taken her around the world and she has appeared in nearly all the major jazz festivals. Discover her extraordinary gift when she next appears at the Dirty Dog.
Grace Kelly Wynton Marsalis said of Grace "she plays with intelligence, wit, and feeling... these are the hallmarks of a first-class musician". Grace was a teenager at the time. Grace was playing with Lee Konitz when she was 14 and graduated from Berklee School of Music when she was 19. She is a gifted sax player, singer, and songwriter. Her development has included two remarkable evenings at the Dirty Dog. Don't miss this shooting star when she returns to the Dirty Dog.
James Moody A gentle man and jazz giant, Moody passed away just before he was to appear at the Dirty Dog in the fall of 2010. Moody played a mean sax and cool flute. Mood For Love was one of his best known tunes. Long associated with his friend Dizzy Gillespie, he was known for his improvisational genius. Honored to play with Moody were Theolonius Monk, Milt Jackson Brook Benton , Dinah Washington, Ray Brown, Lou Rawles and Elvis Presley.
Johnny Bassett Detroit lost a good friend and powerful voice in 2013. Johnny was based in Detroit but traveled internationally, making friends wherever he took his guitar and talent: friends like Jimi Hendrix, John Lee Hooker, Gretchen Valade and just about any one who took the time to listen to his music and story.
Johnny O'Neal A regular at the Dirty Dog, Johnny's piano playing ranges from brilliant neo-bop jazz to soulful ballads. Mulgrew Miller has says, "Johnny has a million dollar touch". Whether hunched over or sitting erect, Johnny coaxes the piano to talk to us. Born in Detroit, Johnny moved to Alabama and then to New York where he got a regular stint at the Blue Note playing with Dizzy, Ray Brown, Nancy Wilson and then with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers for two years.
Kimmie Horne She is sassy while she is classy. Her smooth alto voice can cut butter or cut holes in your heart. She is the whole package. Seeing her in an intimate club like the Dirty Dog, one can witness up close a consummate performer like Kimmie. She will reintroduce you to many of jazz's grand divas. She is a descendant of Lena Horne and is a great lady of jazz in her own right.
Marion Hayden Marion is often introduced as "the beautiful Marion Hayden". This may refer to her obvious good looks and quick smile but also addresses her reputation as one of Detroit's most expressive bass players and caring teachers. Marion is the complete package.
Perry Hughes At the fore of Detroit's jazz guitar legends is Perry Hughes. Perry is a comfortable fit in any group. He can juice it up and he can play you a story that sounds familiar. He has played behind and in front of Aretha Franklin and Martha Reeves. He spent 15 years playing and recording with Earl Klugh before teaming with Bob James and Bobby Lyle. Fortunately for us, he stayed in Detroit and hangs out at the Dirty Dog.
Ralphe Armstrong Ralphe is known for his storied past and firm support of Detroit and its newest artists. After a classical education, where he was introduced to the fretless bass, Ralphe played with Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin and Frank Zappa among others. He has the perspective of a world traveler and a successful musician that points him to state, "Detroit is the best jazz place in the world". His new CD on the Detroit Music Factory label, Home Bass honors his hometown.
RJ Spangler A long time stalwart on drums, R J won his first Detroit Music Award in 1982 when he was with the Sun Messengers. For a while he teamed with Detroit's great Bluesman, Johnnie Bassett. He has continued to play and promote the blues along with his jazz. R J's reverence for the music can be heard when he refers so knowledgeably to those came before him. His latest CD Swinging The D is with his group Planet D Nonet on the Detroit Music Factory label.
Scott Gwinnell Scott Gwinnell has written over 300 compositions for big jazz bands. He also played a solo piano gig at the Dirty Dog for a while. At the same time he has accumulated 11 Detroit Music Awards. He began writing big band arrangements when he was 15 and still a trombone player. He just released his latest CD Cass Corridor Suite on the Detroit Music Factory label, which was inspired by his college days at Wayne State University. With his credentials, Scott tends to gather excellent musicians around him when he appears at the dirty Dog.
Sean Dobbins Sean seems to be everywhere, bringing his enthusiasm and joy to all his gigs. His spirit propels his cohorts in clubs and concert halls. On most days, he is involved in jazz programs for our youth including directing the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's civic Jazz program. Sean and the Modern Jazz Messengers have a new CD Blue Horizons on the Detroit Music Factory label
Thornetta Davis Considered Detroit's premier R&B / blues artist, Thornetta will sweep you up into her world. Sometimes she will be the girl next door and then will show you what the blues are. She often sings to the ladies in the house about real life experiences. Thornetta always brings a band that will get your attention.
Located on 'The Hill' in Grosse Pointe Farms, the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe presents live jazz and fine dinning in an intimate, ole English pub atmosphere. The venue offers great food and music Tuesday through Saturday: Call 313-882-5299 for reservations. Chef Andre Neimanis serves up bistro favorites, world cuisine influences, comfort food with a twist and exciting daily specials. The wine list offers about 60 selections, 20 by the glass.