Detroit Jazz Festival 39

The 39th Detroit Jazz Fest gave us a lot of music for four days over Labor Day, sometimes interrupted by rain and thunder.

Opening night featured a Geri Allen tribute with the resident ensemble of bassist Esperanza Spalding and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, plus pianist Kris Davis, tenorist Ravi Coltrane, and flutist David McMurray. Artist-in-Residence Chick Corea’s Akoustik band was the main attraction of the night and brought out a large crowd that enjoyed some of his favorite numbers.

David McMurray also performed on the tenor sax with his own trio on the Waterfront Stage (top). Sparks were flying throughout his hot set.

One of the highlights from the festival was the Reunion of Detroit’s renowned Straight Ahead. They are seen here in the Jazz Talk Tent (from left) Alina Morr, Regina Carter, Gayelynn McKinney, Marion Hayden and interviewer Ann Delisi from WDET.

The Alex Harding and Organ Nation gave a powerful performance on the Waterfront Stage, from left Jim Alfredson, Harding, and Djallo Djakate. Like many artists at the festival they included tunes honoring the just departed Aretha Franklin.

The impressive guitarist Julian Lage performed with his tight touring trio, with bassist Jorge Roede and drummer Eric Doob.

Veteran guitarist Pat Martino at the entrance to the Jazz Talk Tent with Detroit’s own Ron English, who later interviewed Martino in the tent.

photographs by Lars Bjorn