Detroit Jazz Festival Unveils Eclectic Lineup for 36th Annual Event


DETROIT — The Detroit Jazz Festival announced today its lineup including a diverse array of headlining acts for the 36th annual Labor Day Weekend Festival, taking place Sept. 4-7.

The lineup is the culmination of the festival’s commitment to bringing a diverse and unique group of jazz musicians to downtown Detroit to deliver a collection of performances that includes a Homecoming Series with Detroit natives, exciting new artists, legends and student groups all connected around special custom programming and unique musical experiences that cannot be seen anywhere else in the world

“Detroit is a place filled with soul, culture and creativity, and we have a great legacy of jazz here. Our Festival — the world’s largest free jazz festival — truly showcases what makes our city special,” says Gretchen Valade, chair of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation board of directors. “Being part of the Festival since its inception, it has been rewarding to watch it grow and become an event that is woven into the fabric of the Detroit and Jazz communities. We’re looking to add to its legacy with another collection of unforgettable performances this year.”

Chris Collins, in his fourth year as artistic director, has curated a world-class lineup representative of the genre in all its facets starting with this year’s 2015 Artist-in-Residence Pat Metheny, who will grace all four stages throughout the weekend with sets including:
Pat Metheny Trio with Antonio Sanchez, Scott Colley & special guest Kenny Garrett
Pat Metheny acoustic duo with Ron Carter
Pat Metheny Reunion with Gary Burton Quartet
Pat Metheny, Scott Colley, Antonio Sanchez, and Danny Gottlieb with the Detroit Jazz Festival Big Band and String Orchestra, Conducted by Alan Broadbent, perform new works including the North American premiere of Metheny’s multi-movement/multi-media tribute to Eberhard Weber.

The 2015 additional acts include:
Monty Alexander: Harlem-Kingston Express
Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band
Richard Bona: Mandekan Cubano
Joanne Brackeen Quartet
Jungle Funk Trio
Will Calhoun Quartet w/Greg Osby
Ron Carter Trio
Anat Cohen Celebrando Brasil: From Rio to Minas
Eddie Daniels jazz version of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons for Detroit with the Detroit Jazz Festival String Orchestra and original narration from Douglas Preston
Dave Douglas Quintet
Paquito D’Rivera Quintet
Kenny Garrett Quintet
Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra: Conductor Carla Bley, Bassist Steve Swallow
Jon Irabagon Quartet
Oliver Lake Organ Quartet
Carmen Lundy
Mack Ave. Superband
Rudresh Mahanthappa “Bird Calls”
René Marie Experiment in Truth
Ken Peplowski Quartet
Danilo Pérez – World premiere of his commissioned Detroit World Suite
Ester Rada
Arturo Sandoval
Maria Schneider Orchestra
The John Scofield & Joe Lovano Quartet
Tuba Skinny
Christian Scott Sextet
Benny’s Threads – Inspired by the artistry of Benny Goodman, featuring new compositions by Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, spoken word from author  Douglas Preston, and superstar clarinetists featuring Anat Cohen, Eddie Daniels,  Paquito D’Rivera and Ken Peplowski
Steve Turre and James Carter: Rahsaan Roland Kirk Borthday Celebration
James “Blood” Ulmer & the Black Music Experience featuring Queen Esther
Manuel Valera & Groove Square

To see the full lineup, visit

To help add to the festival lineup and showcase talent that may otherwise go unnoticed, the Detroit Jazz Festival hosts annual jazz competitions. Musicians from metro Detroit and across the globe are encouraged to participate. This year, jazz guitarists who embody Detroit’s jazz scene and offer an original sound can submit recordings for a chance to perform at the Festival as well as earn monetary prizes. Guitarists will be evaluated on overall artistry and musicality, creativity, craftsmanship and depth of vocabulary. Applications must be submitted by July 17.   

The 36th annual Festival weekend will take place in Hart Plaza and Campus Martius, downtown Detroit. With world-renowned artists taking to four stages – JPMorgan Chase Main Stage, Carhartt Amphitheater Stage, Mack Avenue Waterfront Stage and Absopure Pyramid Stage – the Detroit Jazz Festival attracts jazz enthusiasts from far and wide. In addition to fostering the exchange of art and culture in Detroit, the Festival also drives economic activity through performances and initiatives that take place throughout the year.