Sam’s Jams Live: Urban Art Orchestra

The new 15-piece collective led by Grammy-nominated composer De’Sean Jones performs live in WDET’s Studio A.

a group of twelve musicians pose in front of WDET's logo with Sam Beaubien. One of them is holding a violin

Detroit's Urban Art Orchestra, led by De'Sean Jones (second from left) poses with Sam Beaubien (far right) in WDET's studios on Feb. 20, 2023.

In this second installment of Sam’s Jams Live, WDET Creative Producer and longtime Detroit musician Sam Beaubien is joined by Urban Art Orchestra for one of the largest performances we’ve ever housed in Studio A. 13 Detroit musicians came in to play percussion, keys, bass, horns and strings — and that’s not even half of who will be on stage at the DSO later in the week.

The ensemble is led by Grammy-nominated composer and artist De’Sean Jones, and they’ll be performing original arrangements of the works of MF Doom, J Dilla, Q-Tip and Pharrell Williams at An Evening of Legends on Friday, Feb. 24 at 8 p.m. They played a few of those arrangements plus an original composition live in Studio A, giving us an irresistible taste of what’s to come. Jones also chatted with Beaubien about authentic Detroit sound, bridging the gaps between musical factions and what it means to him to have a partnership with the DSO.

“I think that we are experiencing a renaissance in the city of Detroit right now in arts… People are finally starting to truly appreciate it for what it is, where it is and who it’s made by, and that’s important.” — De’Sean Jones, Urban Art Orchestra

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