More Than 30 Performers Announced for the 2018 Quicken Loans-Sponsored Detroit Jazz Festival


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The Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation announced headliners for the 39th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival, which will take place Aug. 31-Sept. 3 in downtown Detroit.

Photo courtesy of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation

At a luncheon yesterday at the Detroit Athletic Club, the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation announced headliners for the 39th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival. Additionally, Quicken Loans announced it would return as presenting sponsor for the 2018 and 2019 festivals. With more than 30 performances announced for the Labor Day weekend event, the lineup ranges from leading female artists, to up-and-comers, and legendary artists.

“Jazz has always been about freedom, communication, and individual expression, and there’s nothing that encapsulates the depth of the genre better than a diverse lineup like the one we have planned this year,” says Chris Collins, president and artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation. “From legends to artists just embarking on their musical careers, to some of the most powerful female artists that have ever touched the genre, the 39th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival presented by Quicken Loans will be free-spirited in nature and offer a unique cultural flair of jazz stylings for all to enjoy.”

This year’s festival will run from Aug. 31-Sept. 3 in downtown Detroit. It will be kicked off by artist-in- residence Chick Corea, and the Resident Ensemble will feature Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding, who will be new additions to the annual programming. They will lead three sets. The performance was originally meant to include the late Geri Allen. Much of the Ensemble’s focus will be inspired by her music.  

Corea’s performances throughout the weekend will showcase a number of different jazz stylings. Artists bringing a variety of jazz tones and elements to engage a younger and more diverse audience include Chris Dave and the Drumhedz, Sasha Masakowski, Marcus Miller, Nicholas Payton, and Omar Sosa. Some influential female artists headlining include Cecile McLorin Salvant, Tia Fuller, the original all-female group Straight Ahead, and Trio of Oz’s Rachel Z.

“There is no better place to spend Labor Day weekend than downtown at the Detroit Jazz Festival,” says Gretchen Valade, chair of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation Board of Directors. “Once again, we have a truly remarkable, all jazz, world-class lineup for Detroiters – and our guests from around the world – to enjoy in one of the best cities I know.”

Additionally, returning to this year’s festival will be Detroit Jazz Fest LIVE! For $10, those unable to attend will be able to livestream all four stages throughout the four-day festival on smartphones, tablets, and desktops. Those who purchased the livestream service for 2017 will have to repurchase it for this year’s festival.

The Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that presents jazz and educational workshops throughout the year. The Foundation supports the Detroit Jazz Festival, which is the largest free jazz festival in the world and a major tourist attraction for the City of Detroit, with 26 percent of its audience coming from out of state.

The Foundation receives grant funding from the Kresge Foundation, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Erb Family Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts to support education programs, community engagement activities, and Festival operations. Hundreds of individuals also contribute to the Festival through Rhythm Section memberships and annual Guardian contributions. 

The full Festival schedule will be available at detroitjazzfest.org as the event nears. Below is a list of the artists confirmed for this year’s festival. 

Friday, Aug. 31

  • Dr. Valade’s Brass Band Led by New Orleans Legend Shannon Powell
  • Resident Ensemble: Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding – Tribute to Geri Allen
  • Artist-in-Residence: Chick Corea Akoustic Band

Saturday, Sept. 1

  • Straight Ahead 25th Anniversary Reunion Featuring: Regina Carter, Marion Hayden, Gayelynn McKinney and Alina Morr 
  • Julian Lage Trio          
  • Dr. Lonnie Smith Organ Trio
  • Detroit Jazz Festival National Instrumental Competition Winner
  • Tia Fuller
  • Nicholas Payton – Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
  • Sasha Masakowski & Art Market
  • Emmet Cohen Trio
  • Trio of Oz featuring: Omar Hakim and Rachel Z
  • Artist-in-Residence: Chick Corea Elektric Band
  • Ravi Coltrane’s Universal Consciousness: Melodic Meditations of Alice Coltrane

Sunday, Sept. 2

  • Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio
  • Harold López-Nussa with Grégoire Maret and Pedrito Martinez
  • Eddie Daniels Quartet with The Harlem String Quartet
  • Omar Sosa Quarteto AfroCubano
  • Karriem Riggins Detroit Generations  
  • Hub-Tones: Freddie Hubbard 80th Birthday Celebration – Featuring: Nicholas Payton, Randy Brecker, David Weiss and Dwight Adams
  • Chris Dave and the Drumhedz
  • Resident Ensemble: Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding – Tribute to Geri Allen                           
  • ASABA Trio – Hirofumi Asaba
  • Senri Oe
  • J.C. Heard JazzWeek@Wayne All-Stars
  • Pat Martino Quintet
  • Marcus Miller                                     

Monday, Sept. 3

  • Four Freshmen and 5 Trombones
  • Cecile McLorin Salvant
  • The Brecker Brothers Band Reunion                           
  • Resident Ensemble: Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding – Tribute to Geri Allen
  • Christian Sands Trio
  • Joey DeFrancesco: Project Freedom
  • Artist-in-Residence: Chick Corea with the Detroit Jazz Festival Symphony Orchestra, Conductor: Steven Mercurio
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