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Detroit Jazz Festival announces 2011 Detroit-based artists and special projects
(Published: August 01, 2011)

Detroit Jazz Festival organizers and regional talent selection committee have worked closely to develop a diverse collection of Detroit-based artists. Jazz, funk, latin, gospel and blues musicians will showcase Detroit's rich musical legacy at the 32nd Annual Detroit Jazz Festival, Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2 - 5.

The committee, comprised of writers, radio disc jockeys and club owners, selected performers from over 150 submissions. The roster of Detroit-based musicians includes:

· Derrick Gardner & the Jazz Prophets
· Russ Miller Quartet
· Gerard Gibbs & (The Return Of) ORGANized Crime
· Kimmie Horne
· Rayse Biggs & Friends
· Dave Sharp's Secret Seven
· Keith Vreeland & Bad Dog
· Johnnie Bassett and the Blues Insurgents with special guest Thornetta Davis
· Los Gatos
· Alex Graham
· Rafael Ricky Statin
· The Oblivion Project
· Kathy Kosins with Paul Keller, Sean Dobbins, Cliff Monear and special guest, Walt Symanski
· Detroit Jazz Festival Jazz Orchestra
· Second Ebenezer Majestic Voices
· Larry Callahan and S.O.G

"Due to the large number of high quality submissions and the limited amount of performance slots, the committee had to make some tough decisions," said Terri Pontremoli, festival artistic director. "While we're bringing you the world this Labor Day weekend, we're also showcasing the depth of talent we have in our own backyard."

While the committee listens to and vets the submissions, the initial process aligns with the festival's greening initiatives, supported by DTE Energy Foundation. For the past two years, the festival has eliminated hundreds of traditional paper press kits by requiring submissions exclusively through Sonicbids.com, a website that allows artists and organizations and to create profiles and accept and submit submissions for performances.

The 2011 festival will celebrate Detroit big bands from the 20's to the 60's - in particular, the bands of Jean Goldkette and J.C. Heard. Josh Duffee & his Orchestra will pay tribute to Detroit's Goldkette Orchestra.

Native Detroiter Walt Symanski has assembled and will conduct a J.C.Heard alumni band. Szymanski first met the legendary J.C., while serving as staff arranger at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. J.C. was so inspired by Walt's arranging ability that he hired him as music director for his newly formed orchestra. It is fitting that Walt will lead some of Detroit's best, including: Russ Miller (alto sax), Scott Petersen (tenor sax), Chris Pitts (tenor sax), Mark Berger (baritone sax), Bob Fazecsah (trumpet), Jim VanDyke (trumpet), Walter White (trumpet), Ed Gooch (trombone), Al Duncan (trombone), George Troia (bass trombone), Jeff Halsey (bass), Charles Boles (piano) and Sean Dobbins (drums).

The Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra will perform the big band music of renowned bassist/composer Christian McBride, with special guest Ernie Andrews. The orchestra, under the leadership of trombonist Dennis Wilson, is making its third "finale" appearance at the festival. The band is comprised of many of the region's finest jazz musicians. Personnel includes: Peter Kahn and Wess Anderson (alto saxophones); Diego Rivera and Andrew Bishop (tenor saxophones); Gary Smulyan (baritone saxophone); Scott Belck, Dwight Adams, Paul Finkbeiner and John Douglas (trumpets); Chris Smith, Vincent Chandler, Walter Harris and Randall Hawes (trombones); Ellen Rowe (piano); Rodney Whitaker (bass); Pete Siers (drums).

In addition to presenting Detroit-based artists at the festival, the Detroit Jazz Festival actively partners with cultural organizations, such as the Jewish Community Center, the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, by showcasing Detroit artists in collaboration with national artists throughout the year.

On August 26 the Detroit Jazz Festival will present two special performances as a precursor to this year's Labor Weekend celebration:

2011 Detroit Jazz Festival artist in residence Jeff "Tain" Watts will join forces with Kresge Artist Fellow and choreographer Haleem Ar-Rasheed in a unique presentation that fuses jazz drumming and break dancing at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Concerts are at 7:00 and 8:30 p.m. For more information, contact the DIA at 313.833.7900 or visit their website at www.dia.org.

In partnership with the Edsel & Eleanor Ford House, the Detroit Jazz Festival will present Jazz at Ford House: A Prelude to the Detroit Jazz Festival featuring the Johnny Trudell Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at http://jazzfordhouse.even.... For more information, visit www.fordhouse.org or call 313.884.4222.

For festival lineup, event updates, and information on how to become a member, donor or volunteer, visit www.detroitjazzfest.com.

More Information: http://www.detroitjazzfest.com.


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