Heidelberg Project Farewell Concert

he Heidelberg Suite is set to debut on Oct. 14, 2011. This one-night-only event is a farewell concert for Tyree Guyton, the world-renowned Detroit artist who created the Heidelberg Project (HP).

Guyton is headed later this month to Switzerland for a one-year, prestigious residency at Laurenz House. The Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation awarded the Heidelberg Project a $50,000 grant to commission The Heidelberg Suite in Guyton's honor.

Marcus Belgrave and Gerald Wilson composed the Suite together. Performing this new piece, along with Belgrave, an internationally known trumpeter and the Kresge Foundation's 2009 Eminent Artist award winner, is the Detroit All-Star Jazz Orchestra.

Belgrave has played with headliners such as Ella Fitzgerald, Charles Mingus, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and Louis Armstrong. "Marcus goes back to the beginning with the Heidelberg Project. He played on the street in the early '90s at our 2010 festival and has always been a supporter of the work we do," says Heidelberg Project Executive Director Jenenne Whitfield.  

Playing along side of Belgrave will be Grammy-nominated Anthony Wilson who has both recorded and performed with Willie Nelson, Bobby Hutcherson, Barbra Streisand, Madeleine Peyroux, Jessie Baylin, Aaron Neville and other esteemed artists.


The Heidelberg Project is now celebrating its 25th anniversary. It's an outdoor exhibit where everyday items are utilized artistically, engaging the viewer to think critically and connect emotionally. Usually art isn't made for outdoors because nature can destroy it over time. In Guyton's case, he did this on purpose. "I leave them out there so that the elements can take them to the next level. Just like life has that same effect on us as human beings," he says.

The Heidelberg Project has been recognized and praised all over the world, including in Australia, Germany, Hungary, Ecuador, Brazil and Italy. "We recently received a report as to the economic impact of the HP and the numbers are staggering: over $3 million," says Whitfield. "The HP project has put the city of Detroit on an international map, whether Detroiters know it or not."

Guyton says he's not sure what he'll do while in Switzerland. Writing his dissertation is one of the many possibilities he'll be able to pursue. Receiving the honor to do a year residency at Laurenz House, says  Guyton, "…is incredible. It's a blessing from Yahweh and it's because of Him or Her that I do what do."

To purchase tickets, visit AllThatJazzHeidelberg.eventbrite.com or call 313-974-6894.

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