Home Jazz Detroit Jazz Fest to relaunch in-person performances in 2021

Detroit Jazz Fest to relaunch in-person performances in 2021


The Detroit Jazz Festival will return to live performances this year.

The free Labor Day weekend event, which has gone completely virtual in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will take place in downtown Detroit on three stages at Hart Plaza and Campus Martius Park in the Friday September 3 to Monday September 6. went on sale on Friday.

President and Artistic Director Chris Collins celebrated the news during a phone call with Free Press.

“I am so excited by the positive energy of the event,” he said Thursday. “Anyone who’s been there knows what I’m talking about. There is a palpable and positive energy throughout the city center during these four days, and it is a beautiful feeling.

“By keeping the festival free and removing barriers to participation between artists and audiences, there is a real openness that is then amplified by the outside environment and being right in the middle of the real city. You feel this urban center; you feel the tradition; and it all comes together in a very special and unique way. “

Related: Will Detroit Jazz Fest 2021 be broadcast live or go virtual again? Expect a decision “in the next few days”.

The in-person plan calls for limited COVID-19 safety precautions and a revised festival footprint allowing for more open space and social distancing. The weekend will also feature more video screens to help divide the crowds, cashless payments at vendor kiosks and hand sanitizing stations.

“The warrants are gone and there is a significant decrease in COVID cases,” Collins said. “But at the same time, we also realize that there is a potential for threat. We don’t want to turn our backs on the health needs of the Detroit community, so we’ve put some things in place to encourage greater safety. “

The 42nd edition of the festival will feature artist-in-residence Dee Dee Bridgewater headlining several performances, including an opening set with her protégé, the Woodshed Network Ladies, and a closing night with her big band entirely female. Other highlights include performances by Herbie Hancock, Gregory Porter, Keyon Harrold, Omar Sosa and the Havana-Detroit Jazz Project, a joint performance by Manhattan Transfer and Take Six, and Kurt Elling’s Big Blind.

This year will also see the return of Detroit Jazz Fest Live! app, which will allow festival-goers and outsiders to live stream the performances of each stage as they occur. An annual subscription is $ 20 and also offers live broadcasts of Jazz Fest sponsored performances throughout the year. The application is accessible via a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer; registration is done at live.detroitjazzfest.org.

“There is an overlap in the show times so it won’t be possible to see everything,” Collins said, “But you will be able to open the app and see what is happening on the other stages to help you take it. your decisions The application will have all kinds of tools to help understand exactly who the artists are, like what kind of jazz they play, who plays with them, what their background is, what their successes are… Whether you are new to jazz or whether you are an aficionado, we work to make sure the music is accessible for you.

Related: Detroit Jazz Fest 2021: Dee Dee Bridgewater, Herbie Hancock’s top line-up; live hearing decision awaits

Rochelle Riley, director of arts and culture, thanked festival officials for working with the city to ensure a safe environment for live music.

“This is the best news for music, for Detroit and for a national and global audience that came to a virtual million-person festival last year,” she said. “But it’s time to add some live music, so for the fans who have called, asking if they can go home or come visit or come stay for a while, the answer is a sure yes! And we at the city, let’s hope residents and visitors get vaccinated so we can keep moving forward and bring back more live music. The pandemic isn’t over, but it could be. Let’s keep pushing! “

The Detroit Jazz Festival is free to the public. VIP tickets, starting at $ 125, are on sale today and can be purchased from the website www.detroitjazzfest.org.