Dee Dee Bridgewater, Herbie Hancock, Kenny Garrett and more headline Detroit Jazz Festival

Melody Baetens
The Detroit News
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Jazz fans, rejoice. The annual, free Detroit Jazz Festival will return this summer with artist-in-residence Dee Dee Bridgewater and other headliners, either for a traditional or virtual show. 

Organizers announced much of the schedule Wednesday night during a livestream featuring performances by Bridgewater and Cuban pianist Omar Sosa. Both artists are part of the Detroit Jazz Fest’s lineup, taking place Sept. 3-6 in the city. A final decision on the format – virtual or in-person – will be made in June or July. 

Dee Dee Bridgewater performs at the Carhartt Amphitheater stage in Hart Plaza at the Detroit Jazz Festival in 2017.

Last summer the Detroit Jazz Fest went virtual, streaming live performances from soundstages at the Detroit Marriott. Typically it is held in downtown Detroit at Hart Plaza and Campus Martius. 

“Our 2021 Detroit Jazz Festival lineup reflects our ongoing mission to present true jazz artists and presentations that define our reputation and legacy across the globe,” said Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation president and artistic director Chris Collins.  “We look forward to continuing our tradition of showcasing a dynamic group of artists from various genres and generations, representing our embedded mission to present multiple facets of jazz in one festival setting.” 

As artist-in-residence, Bridgewater is scheduled for a few performances, including an opening night set with her protégé group, the Woodshed Network Ladies and a closing-night performance with an all-female big band. 

No matter if the festival is in-person in downtown Detroit or virtual, anyone in the connected world can view the performances via “Detroit Jazz Fest Live” app. For $20, jazz fans can obtain livestreams from all four days as well as select performances from the Jazz Fest Foundation’s year-round events. 

Here’s a partial schedule for the 2021 Detroit Jazz Festival

Sept. 3

Dee Dee Bridgewater and the Woodshed Ladies Network

Herbie Hancock

Sept. 4

Matthew Whitaker Quartet

Kenny Barron

Jerry Bergonzi Quintet

Alicia Olatuja – “Intuition: Songs From The Minds of Women”

Etienne Charles 

David Binney Angeleno Quartet

Omar Sosa and the Havana-Detroit Jazz Project

Keyon Harrold presents Jazz and the Birth of Hip Hop with special guests “Elzhi,” Georgia Anne Muldrow and Chris “Daddy” Dave

The Summit: The Manhattan Transfer Meets Take 6

Kurt Elling’s Big Blind

Sept. 5

Michael Mayo 

Roberto Fonseca 

2021 Artist-in-Residence Dee Dee Bridgewater Bill Charlap Duo

Abdullah Ibrahim and the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra (Big Band)

Anat Cohen Tentet/Musical Director, Oded Lev-Ari

Sean Jones: “Dizzy Spellz”

Kenny Garrett

Tribute to Dave Brubeck at 100 with Brubeck Brothers Quartet featuring Jerry Bergonzi, Detroit Jazz Festival Choir and the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra

Aziza featuring Dave Holland, Chris Potter, Lionel Loueke and Eric Harland

Gregory Porter

Sept. 6

Abdullah Ibrahim: Ekaya

Jimmy Greene Quintet

Eddie Daniels and Bob James - Exploring New Worlds

Fly Higher: Charlie Parker at 100 with co- music directors Rudresh Mahanthappa and Terri Lyne Carrington plus Charenee Wade, Adam O’Farrill, Kris Davis, Larry Grenadier and Kassa Overall

2021 Artist-in-Residence Dee Dee Bridgewater Female Big Band

Visit for more details. 

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