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Detroit Jazz Fest launches new all-star group
The idea that jazz is a musical form has inspired another new project from the Detroit Jazz Festival.
The Detroit Jazz Festival All-Star Generations Band is a sextet -- for the moment, at least -- of players ranging from their early 20s to mid-50s, with commiserate levels of experience. The troupe performed at the Yokohama Jazz Promenade during October as part of an ongoing cultural exchange, and it comes home for a pair of shows this week at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe in Grosse Pointe.
“In jazz, the idea of passing the language through a sort of mentor-disciple relationship has been a part of this art form since its inception, so we try to create initiatives that follow that tradition,” explains DJF President and Artistic Director Chris Collins, who plays saxophone in the All-Generations Band. “This particular group celebrates not just the different generations but how they can combine and feed off the wisdom of the players who have been around for a minute and then draw form the energy and creativity of some of the new voices and their new perspectives on this music.
“It’s not only how they perform on their own, but how they play together.”
In addition to Collins, who’s also director of jazz studies at Wayne State University, the All-Star Generations Band features established veterans Marion Hayden on bass, Michael Malis on piano and David Taylor on drums, with younger lions Vincent Chandler on trombone and Rafael Statin on woodwinds. The emphasis, according to Collins, is “focused on music of Detroit composers or inspired by Detroit composers,” and Collins expects the group to play shows on its own moving forward and to support other artists the DJF brings to town
The membership may prove to be fluid as well.
“The actual group may morph and change and adjust itself according to the needs of the musician environment,” Collins says. The All-Star Generations Band will ultimately stand as one of a number of ensembles put together by the DJF, and Collins is hoping to start preserving performances by it and others as recordings in the near future.
“An important element is to capture and archive everything we do,” Collins explains. “Some beautiful music has come out of these things, and I believe it’s time to begin to do some published recordings to capture the uniqueness of each one of those groups, not just to achieve it but to export the music that’s come from them.”
If You Go:
• Detroit Jazz Festival All-Star Generations Band
• Wednesday through Saturday, November 8-11.
• Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe, 97 Kercheval.
• Admission is free Wednesday and Thursday, $15 Friday and Saturday.
• Call 313-882-5299 or visit dirtydogjazz.com for showtimes and other details.
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