2024 Detroit Jazz Festival Preview

Wayne State University hosted this year’s Detroit Jazz Fes­tival Preview/press conference at the Gretchen C. Valade Jazz Center on April 10, with performances by Brian Blade and the Fellowship Band, plus Danilo Perez and the One-World Jazz Orchestra. I had the pleasure of listening to the Fellowship Band for the first time and was impressed with Blade’s expert drumming and the soulful alto of Myron Walden.

The national lineup for the jazz festival was also presented; the local acts will be announced later. The lineup includes several well-known names like bassist, bandleader and former Artist in Residence Christian McBride. Others are saxophonist Joshua Redman, Jamaican born pianist Monty Alexander and his D-Day group, guitarist James “Blood” Ulmer and his Music Revelation Ensemble, the Bad Plus, Billy Childs Quartet with special guest trumpeter Sean Jones, Latin Jazz Grammy winner trumpeter Charlie Sepulveda, pianist Cameron Graves the Planetary Prince from L.A., trumpeter Marquis Hill and Composers Collective, pianist Pablo Ziegler and his Quintet, a vibraphone summit with Warren Wolf, Joe Locke, Jason Marsalis, and Chien Chien Lu, the Zig Zag Power Trio with Melvin Gibbs, Vernon Reid, and Will Calhoun. Top of the line vocalists: Roberta Gambarini, Gabrielle Cavassa, Melanie Charles and Carmen Lundy. A group from Dallas, Texas called Ghost-Note will be this year’s nod to funk and hip hop music. They are led by drummer Robert “Sput” Searight and percussionist Nate Werth, who both were members of Snarky Puppy. Their two albums have reached the top of iTune’s Jazz Chart.