The line up and theme have been announced for the Detroit International Jazz Festival, which is billed as the largest free jazz festival in North America. The festival’s theme is “Flame Keepers- Carrying the Torch for Modern Jazz,” and will include tributes to six “trailblazers of modern jazz,” including Art Blakey, Ray Brown, Miles Davis, Horace Silver, Betty Carter, and Gil Evans.
Among the performers are Mulgrew Miller (2010 Artist in Residence), Terence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis, Maria Schneider, and Roy Haynes. Most exciting for bass players will be the tribute to Ray Brown, which will feature Christian McBride, pianist Benny Green, and drummer Greg Hutchinson. What makes this special is that each of the performers had a special connection to Brown. Of course, Ray took McBride under his wing and taught him everything he knew, but Green and Hutchinson were also members of one of the incarnations of the Ray Brown Trio.
The 31st annual Detroit Jazz Fest will take place from September 3rd to the 6th in different jazz venues around Detroit. For more info, visit the official website.