Detroit International Jazz Festival


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Detroit International Jazz Festival

Labor Day weekend
The Detroit International Jazz Festival (DJF) is a celebration of the jazz music genre held annually in Detroit, Mich., on Labor Day weekend. Billed as the world's largest free jazz festival, the DJF takes place over a period of four days, beginning on Friday evening and concluding on the Monday holiday. It presents more than 100 musical acts on six stages and attracts approximately 750,000 spectators.
Founded in 1980 by philanthropist Robert McCabe and a group of community supporters, the festival was initiated as a means of celebrating the rich musical legacy of the Detroit area, bringing world-class entertainment to the streets of Detroit and revitalizing tourism to the city. The first festivals were located in Hart Plaza, a waterfront park overlooking the Detroit River and Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Associated with the Montreux International Jazz Festival in Switzerland during its first decade, the festival partnered with the Detroit Music Hall from 1991 to 2005.
In 2006 it came under the management of record company executive and philanthropist Gretchen Carhartt Valade. Through Valade's efforts, a nonprofit foundation was established to fund and oversee festival operations, guaranteeing the continuation of DJF and fueling its expansion. The festival area now extends from Hart Plaza three blocks north on Woodward Avenue to Campus Martius Park. Each year the performance lineup includes local and national jazz acts and covers the spectrum of the jazz genre, including funk, fusion, salsa, Afro-rhythms, R&B, and gospel. While such high-profile artists as Herbie Hancock, Dave Brubeck, and Regina Carter headline the show, student ensembles and emerging artists are also featured throughout the weekend, and special programming for young fans is provided at the KidBop area. Refreshments are available at restaurants located within the festival area as well as from food and beverage vendors in Hart Plaza and on the street.
CONTACTS:
Detroit International Jazz Festival
660 Woodward Ave., Ste. 13
Detroit, MI 48226
313-447-1144; fax: 313-447-1145
www.detroitjazzfest.com
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