Though the 2020 Detroit Jazz Festival will not be held in its usual location at Hart Plaza due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers have announced a star-studded lineup to perform for a special virtual version, which will take place Labor Day Weekend, Friday, Sept. 4 through Monday, Sept. 7.
The lineup features mostly Detroit-based artists, but also includes iconic saxophonist Pharoah Sanders and pianist Robert Glasper. The fest kicks off on Friday with an ensemble piece called “JUSTICE,” which is described as "a timely tribute to the fight to end racism, the quest for equal rights, and civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis who recently passed."
"As the country continues to struggle with its commitment to racial equality during a global pandemic, we found it befitting to produce a tribute to this pivotal time in American history and hopefully, allow the power of music to inspire change for better," Chris Collins, Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation president and artistic director, said in a statement.
Here's the full lineup:
Friday, Sept. 4• JUSTICE: Sister Strings: Roots, Voice & Drums, Detroit Jazz Fest All-Stars Generations Band, Michael Jellick Sextet, Robert Hurst presents The Black Current Jam Band
• Lulu Fall and the Kris Johnson Group
• Pharoah Sanders: Icon
• Legacy Artists: Ursula Walker and Buddy Budson
Saturday, Sept. 5• Tartarsauce Traditional Jazz Band
• Alex Harding: Afro Horn
• Ron Di Salvo Trio
• Dr. Prof. Leonard King Orchestra
• Gayelynn McKinney & McKinney Zone
• Sabbatical Bob
• Rodney Whitaker Septet w/ Vocalist Rockelle Fortin featuring the Music of Count Basie and Billie Holiday
• Steve Turre Quintet
• Something to Live For – Music of Billy Strayhorn
Sunday, Sept. 6• Collegiate Combo Competition Winner
• Sven Anderson – Doc’s Holiday
• The Rayse Biggs Collective
• The Dave Bennett Quartet
• Sean Dobbins Trio
• Sister Strings: Roots, Voice & Drums
• Robert Hurst presents The Black Current Jam Band
• Walter White Big Band
• Michael Jellick Sextet
Monday, Sept. 7• Marion Hayden: Detroit Legacy
• David McMurray
• Joan Belgrave presents: The Marcus Belgrave Legacy Ensemble
• Joey Alexander Trio
• The Curtis Taylor Quartet
• Call Al
• Henry Conerway III
• Rene Marie & Experiment in Truth
• Robert Glasper
The festival will take place at three large indoor sound stages at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, though due to the coronavirus there will be no live audience. The performances will be filmed in high-definition audio and video and broadcast on the Detroit Jazz festival's social media channels (including Facebook Live and Instagram), Detroit Public Television, WRCJ 90.9 FM, WEMU 89.1, WDET 101.9 FM, and the Detroit Jazz Fest app.
All performances are free, with the exception of Friday night's.
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