Detroit International Jazz Festival Number

Running head: DETROIT INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL 1DetroitInternational Jazz Festival


DetroitInternational Jazz Festival

Jazzmusic has become an adored genre of music by different peopleglobally. In a nutshell, jazz, a genre of music originated from theAfrican American around late 19th and early 20th century. The musicis defined by performance orientation. Over time, the jazz hasundergone numerous evolutions to its current status. Due to itsnumerous varieties, it’s in turn to coin a definite definition ofjazz, but some common aspects entail improvisation and swing feeling.Live jazz music performances have been organized over time, and beinga jazz music lover, I have managed to attend numerous of suchoccasions. This paper will be a report one of such live Jazzperformances I have attended this year. The report will cover themajor aspects of the festival, performance, artists, venue,attendance, audience among other aspects of performance.

Jazzfestivals are conducted in different countries, and for differentpurposes. In the United States, jazz festivals from the differentorganization have been conducted annually from differentorganizations. One of the festivals that have over time causedconcern among the Americans is the ‘Detroit Jazz Festival’. Alsoknown as the Detroit Jazz Festival (DJF), Detroit International JazzFestival is a jazz music festival that is conducted every year andduring the Labor Day weekend in the region of Detroit, Hart plaza,and Martius Park. The jazz fans globally, refer to it as the largestfree jazz festival. In the year 2013, I was lucky to attend thefestival together with my parents, and it turned to be one of my mostenjoyed festivals to have ever attended. Different aspects ofperformance were deployed to effect to the festival, making it standout in terms of performance, and audience satisfaction. The 2013festival was the 34th annual festival to be organized by the DetroitJazz festival organizers, and the festival run from August 30th toSept 2nd, 2013. The Detroit Jazz Festival is a major culturalinstitution, providing year-round concerts and educationalprogramming that culminates in one of the world’s premier jazzfestivals on Labor Day Weekend.


Thevenue for the festival for the 34th years of the Detroit jazzfestival was Hart Plaza, and Campus Martius in the downtown ofDetroit. And with performance form from the local college and highschool, the venue was an ideal one for the occasion. Moreover, thevenues have been the preferred ones by the organizations. This inturn has helped by supporting the festival’s mission of encouragingjazz education within the local communities. The arrangement of thevenue was enticing and attractive to the audiences with decorationsand sponsor banners. Moreover, there were screens all over,displaying the current event, as well as the order of the events. Theevent organizers had taken the time to make the venue an attractiveplace for the audiences (Young, 2014). The Hart Plaza and CampusMartius were both designed in a special way for the event. They werefocused to the needs of the event, centered in order to be convenientfor both the performers, and the audiences attending the event. Onthe other hand, the venues were both accommodating, and a beautifulplace to be. In a nutshell, the venue can be said to be full ofmemories and complete.


DetroitJazz Festival is a well-publicized event all over America, and inturn, there are different audiences who grace the event, coming fromfar and wide. With the occasion main mission being to promote thejazz, music in the region, the audiences comprised of both young andold lovers of the jazz genre. Moreover, it comprised of groups, bothveterans and upcoming as well as college and high school jazzperforming groups. The target audience for the event being Jazz musiclovers, as well as using the event to educate people about the musicgenre. With reference to the 2013 event for Detroit Jazz festival,the audiences entailed all ages with the majority being the elder andthe young. This means the majority of the audience comprised ofpeople between the ages of 20-45 years of age. Older people comprisedof jazz music lovers and the veterans. Younger ages came forentertainment, as well as educative initiative conducted along withthe festival. In terms of gender, the audience comprised of men. Onthe other hand, in terms of social demographics, the audience at theevent was comprised of both skilled and unskilled as well as sinceit’s free it attracted high, middle and low earners. In terms ofhobbies and style, the audience was comprised those people who likeJazz music.

TheBand, Their Music, and Musicians

Theperformance of the music was performed and delivered by differentbands with unforgettable performances being delivered by renownedJazz artists such as the David Murray Big band that was made by AhmadJamal, and Macy Gray. There was also McCoy Tyner with the tap danceSavion, Charles Lloyd with Frisell Bill, among numerous other bandsand artists. There was even a presentation and performance from thechosen Artist-in-Residence Danilo Perez. The event was graced by bothnew and veteran Jazz musicians. The contemporary side of the jazzmusic was presented to the audience by John Scofield’s the mightyUber jam, miles smiles, and also from the Yellow Jackets.

Thestring orchestra was conducted by Broadbent Alan, Roger Kellaway withcello, as well as a DJF’s tribute series to the genius of DaveBrubeck. The tradition of the jazz genre was marketed during thenights and was presented by Cecile McLorin Salvant. Other artists whograced the traditional event of the jazz festival entailed DavidBerger Big Band, Gregory Porter, and Macy Gray, among others. Therewas also a performance from the 4 freshmen, who were celebrating theoriginal works by Stan Kenton Orchestra in collaboration with theToledo Jazz Orchestra. The climax of the event saw theArtist-in-residence Danilo unveil his music which he had beenpreparing for almost a year. He also performed his new Panama 500ensemble. The event was graced with many other artists and differentpresentation of the jazz music (Young, 2014).

TheDetroit Jazz Festival was a tribute to the jazz music with theMentor-Discipline series as it was labeled by the organizers,bringing together the upcoming and young artists which were guided bythe mentors. These young performances entailed performances by highschool groups and university jazz groups and programs. On the otherhand, there were competitions within the event which yieldedoutstanding talents within the jazz music. It’s through thecompetition, that the talent of trumpeter Theo Croker winning theBelgrave trumpet competition (Young, 2014).

Interactionbetween the Music, Musicians and the Audience

Thesuccess of the festival was credited to the organization of thevenues, and the events throughout the days. The venue was big enoughto accommodate the large number of jazz music lovers, and due to thefact that, there were no entry charges, the festival experiencedlarge volumes of audiences. The relationship between the musiciansand the audience was awesome. Despite the unpopular case of the livemusic events, the jazz music event is one of the few liveperformances that attract audiences. The venue size was one factorthat determined the quality of the performer-audience interaction,and in turn, not all the groups received equal appraisal from theaudiences. The musician forged an easier atmosphere for audiences torelate and comprehend.

TheDetroit Jazz festival, 2013 was one of the few events that remainmemorable. The performance was awesome, especially by bringingtogether the old/veteran artists, and the upcoming talents in thefield of jazz music. In addition, the performance forms theestablished groups and those from the schools, high school anduniversities also formed a very good introduction of the jazz musicto the young people not only in the Detroit region but to otherregions in the United States. With the magnitude of the event in thejazz calendar being well known the performance of the music and allrelated events was awesome. Other events that came along with themusic performances included the greening program that was meant forenvironment reservations from pollutions.

Thesetting of the venues that were used for the 2013 event worked bothways, as they facilitated the music as well as being facilitated bythe music. The venue was well organized as t attracted the audienceand it was easier for the audience to attend the occasion evenwithout knowing which band was performing. The venue can be said tofacilitate the entertainment. In terms of merits in relation to theevent, there was much to learn from the performance about the historyof jazz music. With the excellent organization, as well as being freeof charge, it was easier for the audiences to move from one venue tothe other, for different performances. The event is a well presenterof its mission, which is to foster the jazz music history and alsonurture the development of the jazz genre of music. However, despitethe excellent and positive aspects of the festival, one fault isthat, due to overlapping of the event, it was hard for the audiencesattend all the events. This is because there are four differentstages, but on a positive note, three of the stages were located inHart Plaza. Ragtime and mainstream jazz music were performed, inadditional to other types of jazz, as well as individual performancesas well as group performances from veteran groups and upcoming ones.

Inconclusion, the festival was a well-organized event that presented amix of the jazz music’s modern streak, strong traditionalism andsalutes to the roots. The experience was worth visiting the liveevent as there was much to learn from the performances from both theyoung and the veterans in the jazz music. The Detroit Jazz Festivalis one of the coveted events in the jazz annual calendar in theUnited States and am lucky to have attended the 2013 edition. Inaddition, to this advice one to visit the venue the next time, theevent is being held as it’s a noble experience.


Young,H. (2014). Live From Detroit Jazz Festival – 2013.&nbspIAJRCJournal,&nbsp47(4),72.