jazz

Known as Detroit’s “Jazz Ambassador,” Marcus Belgrave's reputation in the jazz world as a musician and human being of the highest caliber was renowned worldwide.  Yet, Marcus always had time for his hometown friends be they in Detroit, Ann Arbor or Ypsilanti.

marcusbelgrave.net

The Detroit Free Press is reporting that Detroit trumpeter Marcus Belgrave has passed away at age 78. Belgrave died at in a care and rehabilitation facility, Ann Arbor's Glacier Hills. His partner, singer Joan Belgrave, said he died in his sleep. 

courtesy of the artist

Alberto Nacif, the former and founding host of the program Cuban Fantasy has every reason in the world to be proud of Invisible, the new CD by his Latin jazz ensemble, Aguankó. He joined me in studio to discuss his partnership with fellow percussionist Jose Pepe Espinosa and his deep admiration for Michigan's great musicians including Marcus Belgrave, Rick Roe, Robert Hurst, Russ Miller, Chris Smith and Anthony Stanco. 

Marcus Miller
WikiMedia Commons/fabbio

Jazz musician Marcus Miller's decades-long resume includes multiple Grammy Awards, work with Miles Davis and even an appearance on a Michael Jackson album, but now he's relishing his second calling as a UNESCO Artist For Peace and spokesman for the organization's Slave Route Project.

Courtesy of the artist

Aguankó, the internationally recognized Afro-Cuban jazz group led by Alberto Nacif will share lively Latin melodies at WEMU’s next free Sesi Motors 5:01 Jazz Show, Friday April 10th.  We will return to Rush Street, and get the music going at 5:01 PM sharp.

Duke Ellington Performing
Jazzistry

As April and Jazz Appreciation Month comes to a close with International Jazz Day this Thursday, April 30th, I would like to share a personal jazz experience and how my musical appreciation continues to grow through my friendship with saxophonist Vincent York of Jazzistry.

Don Chisholm’s career has been focused on Ann Arbor’s commercial and residential real estate development, but support for the arts and the development of musical expression - especially jazz - never has been far from his heart.

For his years of generous service and philanthropy for jazz and musical theatre in Ann Arbor, property developer Don Chisholm has been selected to receive a 2015 National Jazz Hero Award from the Jazz Journalist’s Association.

Thanks to the over 100 contributors that gave $150 or more to WEMU yesterday. The winners in the drawing for a trip for two to the Grand Hotel  Labor Day Weekend Jazz Festival (held September 5-September 7) on Mackinac Island are Eric and Lisa Walters from Ypsilanti.

Linda Yohn
89.1 WEMU

To Be Or Not To Bop by Dizzy Gillespie may be the definitive treatise on the life of the legendary trumpeter and the evolution of the jazz form of “Be-bop”.  While Dizzy’s book is essential jazz literature, the new volume Music Is Forever:  Dizzy Gillespie, The Jazz Legend, And Me by Detroiter Dave Usher is a crucial companion to Dizzy Gillespie’s story.

WEMU is hosting our Jazz  Brunch featuring the trio of Dobbins, Krahnke, and Weed with live music, great food and an awesome view. Don’t forget to bring your friends and family to this special Sunday Brunch!

A gift of $250 gets you entrance for two (plus entrance to our annual Blues Barbecue).

Donate to WEMU
89.1 WEMU-FM

It's fundraising time at WEMU and we are asking you to rise to the challenge and help shrink WEMU's pledge drive.  Our goal this spring is $200,000 and here's the deal.  As soon as we reach the midpoint of $100,000 we will stop fundraising until Monday morning.   Just stop entirely.

Clark Terry, Marcus Belgrave
Wikimedia Commons

When NEA Jazz Master, trumpeter Clark Terry passed away on February 21st, 2015, the jazz world was in mourning.  The mourning did not last long however, as tributes to Terry’s ebullient personality, musical mastery and generous nature as a mentor and jazz educator sprang from all around the globe.  I called trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, Detroit’s senior jazz statesman for his thoughts on Clark Terry’s jazz genius.  


WASHINGTON (AP) — An artist’s foundation is donating $2.5 million as an endowment to expand jazz programming at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

The museum will announce Tuesday that artist LeRoy Neiman’s foundation is donating the funds, as well as Neiman’s painting “Big Band.” The colorful, large-scale painting features 18 famous jazz musicians, including Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald.

 89.1 WEMU and Sesi Motors present the 5:01 First Friday Series dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Jan Winkelman. Join us for a 5:01 celebration of jazz featuring the Brad McNett Quartet (filling in for Bob Mervak & Isabel Nelson due to a family death) Friday, February 6th.

Vocalist Joan Belgrave returned to Ann Arbor about 9 years to care for an ailing family member.  Since her return she started a whole new musical family thanks to her marriage to Detroit jazz icon, trumpeter Marcus Belgrave. 

Brad McNett / 89.1 WEMU

Pianist Rick Roe drops in to the 89.1 WEMU studios to chat about Thelonious Monk and Thanksgiving.

On October 30th, The University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance gave pianist, composer and arranger Bob James their highest award.  He received The Distinguished Alumnus Award and was inducted in to the School Of Music, Theater and Dance Hall Of Fame.  The celebration will be complete when Bob James makes his debut appearance as a jazz quintet leader in Hill Auditorium presented by The University Musical Society.  

Get ready for trick-or-treat season with these spooky tunes.

89.1 WEMU and Sesi Motors present the 5:01 First Friday Jazz Series dedicated to the memory of the late Dr. Jan Winkelman.

Join us for a 5:01 pm celebration of music and fun at Rush Street.  We will return to Rush Street, 314 South Main between Liberty and William Streets in Ann Arbor.  

 

Marilyn Gouin / 89.1 WEMU

 John Conyers
US House of Representatives

Longtime Michigan Congressman John Conyers is being honored for his advocacy of jazz.

The Detroit Democrat receives the first-ever Jazz Advocate Award Thursday from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. The performing rights organization is honoring Conyers for public and legislative efforts to support jazz.

Benny Green sat down with Linda Yohn to talk about his new position as an instructor in the University of Michigan's Department of Jazz & Contemporary Improvisation studies. 

Gerald Wilson
Dr. Jazz

Bandleader, composer and arranger Gerald Wilson died Monday at his home in Los Angeles. Wilson's career stretched from the swing era of the 1930s into the 21st century.

  

Patrik Holubik / 89.1 WEMU

  

Detroiter and bassist Rodney Whitaker’s list of accomplishments is long and impressive. It includes a discography of 7 CDs as a leader including his newest “When We Find Ourselves Alone” on Detroit’s Mack Avenue Records label and over 80 sessions as a sideman.

His sideman associations are stellar. Leading luminaries of jazz including Roy Hargrove, Terence Blanchard, Dianne Reeves, Johnny Griffin, Kevin Mahogany, Eric Reed and Wynton Marsalis have relied on Rodney’s impeccable timing, tone, strength and grace.

"Reliable" is great word to describe Rodney Whitaker. He is father to a family of 7, leads the internationally recognized jazz studies program at Michigan State University and performs and records world-wide. Rodney joined WEMU’s Linda Yohn to discuss his life in music and his new CD as well as the Mack Avenue Superband recording from the 2013 Detroit Jazz Festival.

Rodney directed the Superband and will lead the 2014 version of the star-studded assembly at the upcoming Detroit Jazz Festival over Labor Day Weekend. He will also lead the MSU Big Band and his Soul-R Energy Quartet in celebration of “When We Find Ourselves Alone”. Linda Yohn found herself in great company with Rodney Whitaker.

*Listen to the audio above and you are bound to agree.

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