DETROIT -- The 37th annual Detroit Jazz Festival announced its 2016 lineup on Tuesday, April 19, with a list expanded from the roster that leaked during late March.
Grammy Award-winning guitar legend George Benson is still the Labor Day Weekend festival's top name, and Artist-in-Residence Ron Carter -- the Ferndale-born bassist who attended and performed at the kickoff luncheon at the Detroit Athletic Club -- will play once each day, with a different ensemble. He'll be part of an extensive Homecoming Series that includes a pair of tribute to Detroit jazz pioneer Kenn Cox -- one by a lineup of all-stars, the other by Davis Weiss & Point of Departure -- the Stanley Cowell Quintet featuring Billy Harper and Charles Tolliver, PUBLIQuartet, the Charles Gabriel Quartet and the duo of Kirk Lightsey and Louis Hayes.
The weekend will also include a Cole Family Legacy tribute to Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole by Freddy Cole and the Detroit Jazz Festival String Orchestra; two performances by Roy Hargrove, including one with his RH Factor; John Scofield, Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana; the Mosar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano; Terri Lyne Carrington's Mosaic Project; the Chris Potter Underground Orchestra; 90th birthday celebrations by Randy Weston -- with his African Rhythms and the Wayne State University Big Band -- and Jimmy Heath with Robert Gambarini; Ms. Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton; the Jason Moran Bandwagon Trio; Marcus Roberts Modern Jazz Generation; Luciana Souza's Speaking in Tongues; the Alfredo Rodriguez Trio; Harold Lopez-Nussa, the Soul Rebels; the John Abercrombie Organ Trio; the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra; Gregoire Marte & the Inner Voice Ensemble; Charnee Wade; the Herlin Riley Quintet; and the United Air Force Airmen of Note.
Festival president and Artistic Director Chris Collins said more acts will be added via open-submissions programs running through June 1 at detroitjazzfest.com.
Speaking briefly, bassist Carter told the luncheon crowd he was "honored" to serve as this year's Artist-in Residence. "There's one place that's always home. That's here in Detroit," the Cass Technical High School graduate said.
The DJF, the largest free jazz festival in the world, runs September 2-5 in Detroit's Hart Plaza and Campus Martius Park. Updates as well as VIP packages will be available at detroitjazzfest.com.