Detroit Jazz Fest President Talks About How Jazz Binds Detroiters Together

Chris Collins previews this year’s festival and talks about the larger role of jazz in Detroit.

Photo credit: Len Katz (Courtesy of Detroit Jazz Festival)

Credit: Len Katz (Courtesy of Detroit Jazz Festival)

Labor Day Weekend is fast approaching, and that means so is the 2016 Detroit Jazz Festival. What can we expect from this year’s Jazz Fest?

Chris Collins, president and artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation, joins Detroit Today to talk about what’s new and exciting at this year’s celebration of jazz on the riverfront. 

“You’ll see that not only at the festival are there those great legends and those rising stars, but there’s also a lot of culmination of competitions and youth education programs that go on year-round,” Collins tells guest host Travis Wright. 


“I really believe that an important part of everything we do, and that includes… anyone in the art ecosystem is to nurture that next generation,” he says.

Collins says jazz has played a critical role in holding the city together through tough times.

“The folk music of each region is the thread that ties a culture together through wars, through disaster, through displacement, through every imaginable horrible situation you can think of. It is often the folk art and music that binds us together. And through that description, one could honestly make the connection that jazz music is a folk music of Detroit because it’s here, it’s never gone away,” he says.

To hear more of the conversation, click on the audio link above.


Credit: Len Katz (Courtesy of Detroit Jazz Festival)



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