by W. Kim Heron
• Tickets are now on non-sale for a special Black History Month musical celebration, featuring the Detroit International Jazz Festival Orchestra, the Second Ebenezer Majestic Voices, the Christian McBride Quintet and a number of narrators, including Bishop Edgar L. Vann II. Bassist McBride has composed a jazz opus titled “THE MOVEMENT,” dedicated to four icons of the civil rights movement — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Muhammad Ali and Malcolm X — and, in McBride's words it’s intended to “reminds us of our responsibility to pave the way for many to live a better life.” And although the piece has been performed before, this will be the premiere for a new movement celebrating Obama’s election. What’d we mean by non-sale? Tickets are free, but must be reserved at detroitjazzfest.com, or by calling 313-447-1248. The music will be performed in the 3,000-seat Second Ebenezer Church, 14601 Dequindre at I-75 and McNichols, in Detroit, on Sunday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. The Festival Orchestra, by the way, is the group that made its debut at last year's festival and promises to be a major, year-round rep group.
• Last month the Kresge Foundation’s Kresge Arts in Detroit project honored Marcus Belgrave as an eminent artist in metro Detroit – an award merited on numerous achievements during his remarkable musical life. There was a great invitation-only dinner for Belgrave and a formal presentation of the award, which is backed by $50,000. This Saturday (Jan. 16), Belgrave is at the Virgil Carr Center — where his is a master resident artist — for an open-to-the-public event celebrating the same, and kicking off a new Belgrave-helmed series at the center. Belgrave will be accompanied by guest saxophonist Ernie Krivda (the Colossus of Cleveland), pianist Johnny O’Neal, bassist Marian Hayden, drummer Gayelynn McKinney and vocalist Joan Belgrave. Music also from the ALM ensemble. Tickets are $35, which includes an after-the-show reception — and for the first 70 ticket buyers, a commemorative book-CD combo package prepared by the Kresge Foundation in conjunction with Belgrave’s eminent artist designation. Starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Virgil H. Carr Cultural Arts Center, 311 E. Grand River, Detroit; 313-965-8430; artsleague.com.
• The Jazz Café at Music Hall’s recent presentation of Ain’t Misbehavin’ was such a smash that plans for once-a-month Tuesday presentations have been scuttled: instead there’ll be a month Sunday show with Alvin Waddles in the part of Fats Waller and a young crew recreating the life and times of the man who tickled the nation by way of tickling the ivories. The monthly Sunday shows get started Jan. 31 with brunch from 1-3 p.m. followed by the show for $40. The show is a joint production of Music Hall and the WSU Theater Department. Tickets at the Music Hall box office or ticketmaster.com,
• Among other events worth making notes on your jazz calendar: Frode Gjerstad and Paal Nilssen Love on Jan. 25 at 2739 Edwin, Hamtramck; Peter Brotzmann and Fred Longberg-Holm at Kerrytown on Feb. 22; a tribute by what’s being dubbed the Lyman Woodard Organization Orchestra to its late, great namesake at the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit on March 3; and the Larry Ochs Sax Quartet at MOCAD on March 19.