Subtitled "A Love Supreme: The Philly/Detroit Summit," the 2008 festival -- the largest free fest of its kind in the U.S. -- will celebrate the jazz and soul traditions of those two cities. Opening night will especially focus on our fair city, featuring a headlining performance by Dianne Reeves , whose new Blue Note Records CD, When You Know, gives a nod to the Temptations . A jazz tribute to Marvin Gaye, curated and arranged by Christian McBride, will also debut opening night, with McBride presenting his own unique takes on Gaye's material alongside a big band of stellar Detroit-based musicians backing R&B vocalists Lalah Hathaway and Rahsaan Patterson. Joining the two veteran singers will be up-and-coming jazz vocalist Jose James.
Other artists slated to play throughout the weekend include Hank Jones, Gerald Wilson (both turning 90 this year), Barry Harris, Benny Golson, Jimmy Heath, Stanley Jordan, Jim Hall, Pat Martino, Derek Trucks, Calvin Cooke, Grant Green Jr., Mike Stern, Robin Eubanks, Slide Hampton, Kenny Barron, Ted Nash, Roy Hargrove, Bonerama, Trombone Shorty, ICP Orchestra, Cyro Baptista & Beat the Donkey, Matt Wilson's Arts & Crafts, Alexander Zonjic, Jeff Lorber, Doc Gibbs, Maysa and the Motor City Horns, Brian Bromberg, Randy Brecker, Col. Bruce Hampton & The Quark Alliance and the University of Michigan Jazz Trombone Choir, among numerous others.
Philly rock legend Dee Dee Sharp (“Mashed Potato" Time”) will perform a tribute to R&B pioneers Kenny Gamble & Leon Huff. And the Here & Now Stage will feature emerging talents including pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Esperanza Spalding and the Hot Club of Detroit.
A battle of the bands between the Count Basie and Gerald Wilson Orchestras -- with both bands onstage at the same time, along with Grammy award-winning singer Nnenna Freelon, Detroit legend Kenny Burrell, and other special guests (to be announced) --promises to be one of the fests highlights. And the Dizzy Gillespie TM All-Star Jazz Band, with James Moody, Jimmy Heath, and Slide Hampton, will close out the festival on Labor Day, along with vocalist Roberta Gambarini. A Saturday Night Fish Fry will feature masters of the Hammond B-3 with Reuben Wilson's Godfathers of Groove, Robin Eubanks + EB3, and Joey DeFrancesco with Karriem Riggins and Christian McBride. A tribute to Alice Coltrane, led by her son Ravi, will feature jazz giants Charlie Haden, Jack DeJohnette, and Detroit's own Geri Allen.
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Dee Dee Sharp: Back in the day...