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Jazz Fest ends early due to weather

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

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The second time was not the charm for Stanley Clarke at the 38th annual Detroit Jazz Festival.

The bassist planned to make good on a rained-out 2014 festival with a return visit on Monday, Sept. 4, but it -- along with several other concerts scheduled to close the four-day event -- was canceled again due to heavy rains.

Other festival shows that did not happen included Artist-In-Residence Wayne Shorter’s premiere of his new orchestral piece “Emanon,” the Vijay Iyer Sextet, Karriem Riggins and Esperanza Spalding, the Russell Malone Quartet and the all-star New Light: The Music of Elvin Jones Live @ the Lighthouse tribute. The Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet, meanwhile, had to cut its set short by two songs when the rain began.

Festival organizers announced a delay in the program at 5:40 p.m., directing attendees to a variety of sheltered locations. They called everything off at 8 p.m. “due to the continuation of dangerous weather in and near downtown Detroit,” according to a statement. “While every effort was made to delay the remaining acts, the storm became more organized and stronger as time passed and radar indicates it will continue to impact several counties throughout the evening. For the safety of all those in attendance, we evacuate the performance sites when lightning is within six miles; radar shows that the storm continues to produce high winds and lightning in the immediate area, creating a potentially unsafe environment near the open stages.

“We sincerely apologize for and are intensely disappointed by this situation, but safety will always take precedence.”

Unlike the first three nights of the festival, no after-hours jam session was scheduled for Monday.

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