Detroit Jazz Festival 2022

This year’s Detroit Jazz Festival will be a remarkable event as the state is emerging from the pandemic and the arts are in the foreground of a revival of activity in the city. This year’s festival has many esteemed artists on the schedule.

The artist-in-residence is Cuban piano phenom Chucho Valdes, who is dynamic and a force all of his own. He was the musical director of the path-breaking Irakere group in the 1970s. He will perform his own “The Creation” on opening night (Friday, September 2) with a big band (the Yoruban Orchestra), and will return later with his own quartet and in duos with tenorist Joe Lovano and vocalist Dianne Reeves.

An equally talented pianist, Abdullah Ibrahim (formerly Dollar Brand) will also appear with a big band (Ekaya) doing his unique arrangements with the voicings of Africa clearly audible. Ekaya has plenty of soul and a bevy of great soloists.

The homecoming of altoist Charles McPherson will be part of a long tradition at the DJF to bring back former Detroiters. He brings along trumpet wizard Bryan Lynch on Sunday. Guitarist Bill Frisell returns to this year’s festival with his trio on Sunday with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Rudy Royston. More avant gardish fare will be provided by the trios of pianists Vijay Iyer and Ethan Iverson, whereas Emmet Cohen’s trio will be more mainstream.

Several notable vocalists will perform this year: veteran Dianne Reeves and the up-and-coming Jose James, who made a big splash a few years ago. This time James is scheduled to focus on the bluesy side of things. Add to this the always impressive Cecile McLorin Salvant who likes to surprise her audiences.
See the Detroit Jazz Festival website for the full schedule.