Continuing the tradition of featuring artists and performances that reflect the talent and roots of Detroit’s rich jazz heritage, the Detroit Jazz Festival presented a roster of hometown artists that will hit the stages of the Festival. The largest free jazz festival in the world runs through Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-5, in downtown Detroit and here are the Detroit artists to see.
1. Dianne Reeves
Known for her classics like “Better Days” and “I Remember Sky,” this award-winning jazz master, Dianne Reeves, is a performer that should not be missed — Sept. 5 at 4:45 p.m.
2. Allen Dennard Quintet
At the tender age of 9, Allen decided to join his elementary school’s band and from then on he never put the trumpet down, finding a whole new passion for instrumental music and jazz. Watch his perform Sept. 4 at 2 p.m.
3. Leafar Village
Since 2009, Rafael Leafar of Leafar Village has had the privilege of recordings and performances with Reggie Workman, Jeff Mills, Moodyman, Robert Hurst, Marcus Belgrave, Luis Resto, Vincent Chandler, Marion Hayden, Sterling Toles, Detroit Jazz Festival Band, Kamau Kenyatta, and Detroit Composers Collective. Catch his performance during the Jazz Festival on Sept 4 at 5:45pm
4. Leslie DeShazor
Violist, violinist, composer and arranger Leslie DeShazor has graced the Detroit Jazz Festival stage with the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra and as a member of the string quartet accompanying pianist Xavier Davis for his 2018 Rise Up Detroit CD celebration. Catch her solo performance Sept. 4 at 3:45 p.m.
5. Ralphe Armstrong
Armstrong is one of the hardest working bass players around — having set in on countless gigs, tours and recording sessions with an endless list of illustrious names including Frank Zappa, Carlos Santana, Beatles producer George Martin, Herbie Hancock, Geri Allen, Lenny White, Narada Michael Walden, Earl Klugh, Eddie Harris, Don Sebesky, the London Symphony Orchestra and many, many others. Watch him perform at the Detroit Jazz Festival on Sept. 5 at 2:15 p.m.