The 2022 Detroit Jazz Festival lineup highlights voices old and new

Chucho Valdés is set to be the first Cuban Artist in Residence in the festival’s history. President and Artistic Director Chris Collins talks about the event’s expanding audience.

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

The Detroit Jazz Festival attracts thousands of people every year. For some, it can even feel like a religious experience. This Labor Day weekend, the event is back in person for the first time since 2019.

Here is what we have of the lineup so far:

Friday, Sept. 2

  • Chucho Valdés “The Creation” with the Yoruban Orchestra, Hilario Duràn and John Beasley, Musical Directors
  • The Soul Rebels

Saturday, Sept. 3

  • The New Orleans Groove Masters with Herlin Riley, Jason Marsalis and Shannon Powell
  • Roosevelt Collier
  • Julian Lage
  • Harriet Tubman featuring Brandon Ross, Melvin Gibbs & JT Lewis
  • Donny McCaslin
  • Ranky Tanky with special guest Lisa Fischer
  • Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet
  • Vijay Iyer Trio
  • Abdullah Ibrahim and Ekaya
  • Ulysses Owens Jr. Big Band with special guest Marquis Hill

Sunday, Sept. 4

  • Bill Frisell Trio featuring Thomas Morgan and Rudy Royston
  • José James presents Yesterday I Had the Blues: The Music of Billie Holiday
  • Georgia Anne Muldrow
  • Antonio Sánchez and Bad Hombre with Thana Alexa, BIGYUKI and Lex Sadler
  • Nubya Garcia
  • Tottori Jazz Generation Band
  • Charles McPherson Quintet featuring Brian Lynch
  • Cécile McLorin Salvant
  • Roberto Fonseca YESUN
  • The Lighthouse Project
  • Duets – Dianne Reeves, Chucho Valdés and Joe Lovano

Monday, Sept. 5

  • Theo Croker – LOVE QUANTUM featuring Gary Bartz
  • Ethan Iverson Trio (with Larry Grenadier and Nasheet Waits)
  • Dianne Reeves
  • Artemis featuring Renee Rosnes, Ingrid Jensen, Nicole Glover, Alexa Tarantino, Noriko Ueda and Allison Miller
  • Emmet Cohen Trio
  • John Scofield’s “Yankee Go Home” featuring Vicente Archer, Jon Cowherd and Josh Dion
  • JD Allen Trio
  • Chucho Valdés Quartet

This year, the festival features its first Cuban Artist in Residence, Chucho Valdés. Chris Collins, president and artistic director of the festival, explains why the musician was selected for this honor.

“There has to be depth … in the impact they’ve already had and the impact they will have through this residency,” Collins says of candidates. “And Chucho … brings with him not only that Afro-Cuban background in music, but of course, a lifetime of jazz in the United States and in Europe, and so many interesting combinations of artists from different genres within the jazz and Afro-Cuban communities.”

Collins says that since the Detroit Jazz Festival has started livestreaming its shows — reaching nearly 2.5 million viewers in two years — they are able to connect with audiences that they would not otherwise be able to.

“We really want to appeal to the whole world and let them know that everyone – everyone – is invited to this Detroit Jazz Fest party.”

In addition to many established artists, the festival also features some newer voices, like Nubya Garcia.

“Coming out of the pandemic, we really wanted to refresh,” Collins shares. “We are committed to the jazz art … and the thing that determines jazz is a knowledge and an ability to work and manipulate and grow the vocabulary. It takes time to nurture that. And while there are a lot of great artists coming up, I always listen for that underbelly, that foundation of jazz, the jazz tradition, and then what they do with it, to build on it, and the trajectory they’re on. Some of the new fresh artists like Nubya, it’s a very interesting trajectory, and yet [there’s] still attachment to the foundation. So hopefully we’re at the beginning of something special with her.”


Listen: Chris Collins, president and artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival, talks us through this year’s lineup.

 

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Author

  • Ryan Patrick Hooper is the award-winning host and producer of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit’s NPR station. As a longtime arts and culture reporter and photographer, Hooper has covered stories for NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.