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Area Festivals Feature Impressive Line-ups

As summer turns to autumn, several of Southeastern Michigan's jazz festivals announce their upcoming schedules. This season shapes up to be an impressive line-up of nationally recognized names and the best in local talent, providing live jazz entertainment for every taste. Here is the latest information as we go to press.

Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival

The Ford Detroit International Jazz Festival, formerly Montreux-Detroit, takes place Labor Day weekend in Hart Plaza. SEMJA sponsors and helps organize the clinics at the Festival's Pepsi Jam Stage again this year. You will find a complete listing of our clinicians in this issue. The clinics are always a joy to attend for young players and anyone interested in jazz improvisation. Please come by the SEMJA table at the Pepsi Jam Stage (closest to the Detroit River on your right as you enter the festival grounds) to meet and greet.

Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival

The Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival will be held at various locations September 15-17.

The Bird of Paradise on Main Street will host the legendary singer Little Jimmy Scott on the 15th and 16th, with shows at 9 and 11:30. Scott is a recently rediscovered ballad singer with some classic recordings on the Savoy label.

The Michigan Theater will host a "Women and R & B" show on the 15th at 8 PM. Featured will be Ruth Brown and Friends and Mavis Staples. Most of the action will as usual be on the lawns at Gallup Park. There is plenty of good blues and some jazz.

On Saturday the 16th the following artists will appear starting at 1PM: Funktelligence, Butler Twins, Deborah Coleman, Jimmy Bosch (salsa), Little Milton and, at 7:45, the great tenorist Stanley Turrentine.

On Sunday things kick off with the University of Michigan Faculty Septet at 1 PM. This group includes pianist Ellen Rowe, tenorist Donald Walden and trumpeter Ed Sarath. At 2:15 Chicago blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin gets on the stage, followed by Kermit Ruffins (formerly with the ReBirth Brass Band) and his Barbeque Swingers from New Orleans, Rosie Ledet (zydeco) and, at 6 PM, the Robert Cray blues band.

Please call 248-645-6666 or 734-763-TKTS for tickets.

Edgefest 2000

The lineup has been announced for the fourth annual Edgefest, October 5-7 in Ann Arbor. As usual, Edgefest will contain a mix of national and local talent.

Things will kick off on Thursday the 5th with Steve Rush's Bitches Brew project and the Canadian band Miriodor.

On Friday, the veteran bassist Reggie Workman will appear in two constellations: in a trio co-led by the marvelous pianist Marilyn Crispel, and in a duo with Detroit's leading edge guitarist Spencer Barefield. Drummer Gerald Cleaver (who will round out the Workman/Crispell trio) will also temporarily return from New York with his group called Veil of Names, which will include the extraordinary violinist Mat Maneri and Ann Arbor's tenor sax master, Andrew Bishop.

On Saturday, widely acclaimed tenorist Ken Vandermark from Chicago will perform with two of his groups: the DKV Trio (with bassist Kent Kessler and percussionist Hamid Drake) and his Vandermark 5. Other performers on that day will be Phillip Johnston's Transparent Quartet (improvising music to silent films), local favorites bassist/guitarist Toby Summerfield and trumpeter Brian Lipson (who will unveil a new group), and Trevor Watts' Moire Music Group. Saxophonist Watts was one of the pioneers of British improvised music in the sixties, but he comes to Edgefest with his Moire Music, which combines African drumming with Western musics.

Edgefest performances are centered at the Kerrytown Concert House, but can also be heard at the Workbench furniture store and the Firefly Club. Please call 734-769-2999 for more information.

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Southeastern Michigan
Jazz Association


is published monthly. 
It is edited by Lars Björn and Piotr Michalowski
with additional assistance from Barton Polot (production editor and Webmaster), Judy Alcock, Margot Campos, Lynn Hobbs, and Marcel Niemiec.