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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Show preview: Tribute to Marcus Belgrave at Concert of Colors this Sat., July 11 (in place of King Sunny Ade's show)

Posted By on Thu, Jul 9, 2015 at 10:05 AM

We wrote this week about the Concert of Colors' tribute to the reclusive and highly influential DJ Electrifying Mojo.

Word arrives that, in the wake of King sunny Ade's performance being canceled due to a visa snafu, legendary trumpeter Marcus Belgrave will also be the subject of a tribute. It looks like this will be one heck of a show, too. The press release follows.


Dearborn, Mich. (July 8, 2015) – Detroit’s jazz masters and music makers will unite at the 23rd Concert of Colors to honor trumpet virtuoso Marcus Belgrave at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 11. Belgrave was scheduled to perform as a headliner at the Concert of Colors but, sadly, he passed away in late May. Now jazz musicians from across southeast Michigan will come together to give an All-Star Tribute to this musician and mentor who has meant so much to so many over the years.

The Belgrave tribute features his wife, vocalist Joan Belgrave, and is under the musical direction of bassist Marion Hayden, a Belgrave protégé who played with him for many years. The show will focus on the music and associations that Belgrave was associated with in Detroit. It will touch upon his broad legacy of bebop and blues, his work with Ray Charles, the Tribe collective of the 1970s, his recent work playing Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and Hot Seven compositions, and the original compositions that are the musical legacy of his imagination.

The Detroit Sound will serve as house band; they are Hayden, Gayelynn McKinney (drums) Michael Malis (piano), Marcus Elliot (tenor sax), Kasan Belgrave (alto sax), Chris Smith (trombone), Ian Finkelstein (piano) and Rayse Biggs (trumpet).

Among the extraordinary musicians scheduled to appear during the tribute are Don Was (bass), Benjamin Pruitt (sax), Edward Gooch (trombone), Cassius Richmond (sax), Phil Hale (piano), Paul Carey (guitar), vocalist Thornetta Davis, Wendell Harrison (sax), vocalist Ursula Walker and Buddy Budson (piano), Kamau Kenyatta (piano/sax) and the Motown Legends Gospel Choir.

Don’t be surprised if a couple of special guests pop up to help honor the generous and well-loved Belgrave.

Audiences should note that the Belgrave tribute is filling the headliner spot previously occupied by Nigerian juju master King Sunny Ade. Due to computer problems at the U.S. State Department, Ade’s entire U.S. tour was cancelled.

The Concert of Colors is Detroit’s premiere multicultural music festival. Curated by its founder, Ismael Ahmed, the festival celebrates the diverse global origins of metro Detroiters, the indigenous sounds of our musically magical hometown and the accessibility and unifying power of music at New Center Park, the Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Institute of Arts and Max M. Fisher Music Center. All festival performances are free and open to the public and take place on both outdoor and indoor stages at venues on or near Woodward Avenue in Midtown Detroit.

The full Concert of Colors schedule can be found at

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