Highlights from DJF 40

This year’s Detroit Jazz Festival was blessed by nice weather (except the last few hours), record audience size (above 325,000) and a plethora of jazz styles. There is simply too much to digest to give readers much more than some of the highlights from four days of music.

TOP: The Amphitheatre at Hart Plaza featured tenorist Joe Lovano and his Nonet on Saturday night, shown here from left are Lovano, drummer Otis Brown III, altoist Steve Slagle, tenorist Ralph Lalama , and baritonist Gary Smulyan. The classical bop oriented repertoire included pieces by Lovano and fellow Clevelander Tadd Dameron and was delivered with particular gusto by Lovano and Slagle.

ABOVE: Veronica Swift is an upcoming singer who has her first CD on Mack Avenue. She comes from a musical family, her father was the late pianist Hod O’Brien and her mother was a vocalist, and this probably accounts for her musical maturity. She was backed on the Waterfront Stage by another brilliant young musician, pianist Emmet Cohen.

BELOW: Bassist Marion Hayden interviewed drummer Ali Jackson in the Jazz Talk Tent and since his brother and trumpeter Khalil (on left) was around she included him as well in an interesting discussion of their musical roots in Detroit. Ali is the drummer for the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra.

RIGHT: Maxine Gordon talked about her book, Sophisticated Giant, about her late husband Dexter Gordon in the Talk Tent. She was interviewed by another author, Mark Stryker who is shown here (left) outside the Talk Tent. Stryker also gave a presentation about his Jazz From Detroit, just published by the University of Michigan Press.

BELOW: A panel of dynamic vocalists talked about generational differences in musical upbringing in the Talk Tent. Here they are outside the tent (from left): Freda Payne, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Sheila Jordan, Veronica Swift.