With the summer season now underway in North America, people are
flocking to the great outdoors, especially for concerts and music
festivals. VOA's Doug Levine previews three popular jazz festivals
that promise something for everyone, come rain or shine.
Michigan, may be known as the birthplace of Motown Records, but it's
also home to one of the fastest-growing jazz festivals in the U.S.
its 29th year, the Detroit International Jazz Festival (8/29-9/1) will
stretch its borders to pay tribute to the city of Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, with a musical celebration named "A Love Supreme: The
Detroit/Philly Summit." Representing Philadelphia, are trumpeter Roy
Hargrove, saxophonists Benny Golson and Jimmy Heath, guitarist Pat
Martino, and this year's Artist in Residence, bassist Christian McBride.
on tap are Detroit-born vocalist Dianne Reeves, pianists Hank Jones and
Geri Allen, guitarist Jim Hall, the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band,
and saxophonist Ravi Coltrane leading a special tribute to his mother,
All of the concerts at the Detroit Jazz Festival
are free of charge, including a gospel show, a "Here and Now" stage for
emerging artists, a jazz talk tent, a "Kid Bop" section, and a showcase
of the area's top high school and college jazz ensembles.
in search of a musical outing further north can head to the Montreal
Jazz Festival in Quebec, Canada. The 11-day festival began on June 26,
and is already delivering the most diverse lineup of jazz, rock, world
music, hip-hop and Afro-pop in its 29-year history.
Cassandra Wilson, Dianne Reeves and Abbey Lincoln will each be there
promoting new releases, as well as piano masters Dave Brubeck, McCoy
Tyner and Hank Jones.
More than two million people are expected
to attend the 2008 Montreal Jazz Festival. Compare that to the 12,000
fans who witnessed the very first festival in 1980. Music will stretch
from one end of downtown to the other, with an offering of 500 concerts
on indoor and outdoor stages, in small jazz clubs, and on a cruise boat
docked on the Saint Lawrence River.
Far from the hustle and
bustle of downtown Montreal are the welcoming breezes of Newport
Harbor, the backdrop to "America's First Jazz Festival," the JVC Jazz
Festival in Newport, Rhode Island (8/8-8/10). Newport began hosting
the festival in 1954, and over the years, has featured some of the
greatest names in jazz, blues and R&B.
Fresh from the
Montreal Jazz Festival, "The Queen of Soul," Aretha Franklin will make
her first appearance at the JVC Jazz Festival on August 9. Also coming
to town that weekend are jazz giants Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter,
Dave Holland and Sonny Rollins.