jazz

Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber / a2ychamber.org

It's said music has healing powers, and, later this month, the Ypsilanti Community Schools is having a special event intended to both entertain and improve the health of the community.  

We spoke with YCS superintendent Dr. Benjamin Edmondson and Dr. Wanda Whitten-Shurney, CEO and Medical Director of the Sickle Cell Disease Association of America/Michigan Chapter, about the upcoming "Jazz in the Parking Lot" event.   


A quiet force for good.  A gifted and intuitive communicator.  A treasured member of Detroit’s creative community.  A jazz lover, enthusiast, scholar, and promoter.  All of these phrases describe W. Kim Heron, recipient of the 2017 Detroit Jazz Hero Award presented tonight at Cliff Bell’s Jazz Club by the Jazz Journalist’s Association (JJA).

WEMU is hosting our Jazz Brunch featuring performances by the Rick Roe Trio 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 $300 gets you entrance for two. The Rick Roe Trio entertains at an elegant Sunday morning brunch (May 21 from 10:30am – 1:00pm) at this Ann Arbor landmark. Seating is limited.

One of the joys of presenting 5:01 Jazz Shows is featuring beloved favorites such as Ron Brooks, Ramona Collins and Paul Finkbeiner.   Another pleasure is to introduce new names deserving attention.  In bassist Rob Crozier and his 5tet, we offer a band of veterans and fresh faces with a novel approach to improvisation.  Bassist Rob Crozier (who also doubles on didgeridoo!), saxophonist Pete Kahn,  guitarist Rodney Rich, pianist Brian Brill and drummer Sam Genson will celebrate Rob’s new CD Tall Trees at WEMU’s next free Sesi Motors 5:01 Jazz Show on Friday, April 7th.  Rush Street Nightclub, 314 South Main Street in Ann Arbor throws the doors open early for our pop-up jazz club starting at 5:01 PM sharp.

Web Kirksey
Marilyn Gouin / 89.1 WEMU

EMU alumnus Webster “Web” Kirksey has been a frequent WEMU pledge drive guest.  He has been a donor and supporter for many years.  During Black History Month, we wanted to give him an opportunity to share more about his life and how he became an ardent jazz fan.  We were delighted that he could spend time in the studio with Linda Yohn sharing thoughtful, swinging and meaningful music choices ranging from Charlie Parker and Miles Davis to Jimmy Scott.

Joan Belgrave
Marilyn Gouin / 89.1 WEMU

About 13 years ago, a prodigal daughter returned to Ann Arbor.  Singer Joan Bow grew up in Ann Arbor but decided to make her musical mark in Los Angeles.  She returned to our community and immediately impressed us with her vocal prowess and poise.  One of those most impressed was Detroit trumpet legend, Marcus Belgrave.  Today we know her as Joan Belgrave.  The two married about 11 years ago and were a dynamic musical presence in Ann Arbor, Detroit, and New York City.  

Marilyn Gouin / 89.1 WEMU

Earlier this Month vocalist Roberta Gambarini visited Detroit to be the judge for Detroit Jazz Festival Vocal Competition and appear at The Dirty Dog Jazz Café.  She also visited WEMU to share her Italian and international jazz life story as well as her admiration for jazz masters such as Hank Jones and Jimmy Heath.  She also brought her most recent CD “Connecting Spirits”.

Many factors have shaped jazz in Ann Arbor, but trumpeter and educator Louis Smith has to be at the top of the list for modern jazz and education.  Sean Dobbins, Rick Roe, Justin Walter and Ingrid Racine will testify to his grace, wisdom, strength and total honesty as a teacher.  He encouraged a professional attitude and exponential musical growth from middle school students.  His students could play rings around others years older!

Marion Hayden Jazz
Daryl Smith

Jazz Appreciation Month is supposed to end in April, but in the Detroit area we extended it by a week so that bassist Marion Hayden could receive her 2016 Jazz Hero Award from the Jazz Journalist’s Association.   

89.1 WEMU, Eastern Michigan University’s public radio station won the 2015 Station of the Year award for Public Radio Group 1 at the Michigan Association of Broadcasters’ (MAB) annual Broadcast Excellence Awards ceremony Tuesday, May 4, 2016, at the Lansing Center.

WEMU also won three Best Awards for Mini Documentary or Series for the regular Wednesday feature, Issues of the Environment; Best Newscast, and for the narrative that accompanied the entry for Station of the Year consideration. 

Today is International Jazz Day, which you can celebrate with five great jazz performances at the Tiny Desk and a list from Christian McBride — plus a newly unearthed studio recording by a short-lived version of the Bill Evans Trio.

Fact:  Trumpeter Ingrid Racine has released her first CD of original tunes and arrangements as a leader – Concentric Circles.  Opinion:  This is modern jazz of the highest order placing Ingrid Racine in the company of fellow modern trumpet improvisers Eddie Henderson, Ingrid Jensen, Wallace Roney and Sean Jones.  

Fact:  WEMU is proud to present Ingrid and her quartet featuring guitarist Chuck Newsome, bassist Ben Rolston and drummer Rob Avsharian at our next free Sesi Motors 5:01 Jazz Show at Rush Street Nightclub Friday April 1st at 5:01 PM sharp.  

Enjoy three outstanding jazz combos from the Eastern Michigan University Jazz Studies program. Director Mark Pappas will bring two quartets and a trio for WEMU's next free Sesi Motors 5:01 Jazz Show at Rush Street Nightclub

Jazz has its capital cities: major hubs like New York, Chicago and New Orleans. But the music manages plenty well in many other places, too. What goes into those smaller ecosystems to enable jazz to thrive? How do talented musicians make it happen? In search of some answers, we sought out the DIY concert producers of CapitalBop in Washington, D.C., as they presented artists from the Baltimore-Washington area. And we met with the musicians themselves — in one case, touring the place he calls home.

Terence Blanchard
Henry-Adebonojo/ Courtesy of the artist

Terence Blanchard is no stranger to Detroit as the 2015-16 Jazz Creative Director for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and was the 2012 Artist in Residence for the Detroit Jazz Festival. This Sunday, January 24th trumpeter, composer, arranger Terence Blanchard returns to Detroit for two performances at Cliff Bell’s Nightclub.

Joybox Express
Marilyn Gouin / 89.1 WEMU

Earlier this week, drummer Pete Siers and boogie-woogie piano hero Mr. B joined Linda in the WEMU studios to talk about Pete's new record, Flea Circus ahead of their CD release concert Saturday at The Ark, their special friendship and life in general. 

No longer our own Southeastern Michigan Secret, Sean Dobbins is set to make the national release of his album "Journey" on the Detroit Music Factory Records label.

I spoke with Sean just before his appearance at our Sesi Motors 5:01 Jazz show.  He explained how the CD is a journey through songs that shaped his early life and took on greater meaning over the years.  


Patrik Holubik / 89.1 WEMU

Couldn't make it to the festival? Got a massive case of FOMO? You can catch all the highlights from WEMU hosts and staff from the 2015 Detroit Jazz Festival right here:

Lots of magazines do big lists, but few rely on them as heavily as Rolling Stone does. The magazine cranks out a list for just about every aspect of popular music. All promise authoritative, canonical overviews of various elements of the art; at their best, these offer context and critical insight, helping readers fill gaps in their knowledge.

Ann Arbor Observer

Hazen Schumacher passed away this Saturday morning in Ann Arbor. 

  The name Hazen Schumacher means many things to many people.  He was a family man first of all – loving husband, father and grandfather.  As a public figure Hazen is remembered with respect at The University of Michigan as a professor of communications and as one of the early pioneers of WUOM, now known as Michigan Radio.  Along with providing guidance to WUOM management, Hazen Schumacher brought national recognition to the station for his syndicated program Jazz Revisited.  It was distributed by WUOM and NPR from 1967 through 1997.  

The New WEMU Mobile App

 The best jazz, news, and blues are even easier to use with the new WEMU app, now out in iTunesGoogle Play, and Kindle! You can listen to our live streams and music programs on demand, browse the local news, share a story with a friend and so much more!

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.

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