Carter, Benson & Carrington to Perform at Detroit Jazz Festival

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Ron Carter will serve as artist-in-residence of the 2016 Detroit Jazz Festival, which takes place Sept. 2–5 in downtown Detroit. (Photo: Fortuna Sung)

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Bassist Ron Carter—a DownBeat Hall of Fame inductee and a native of Detroit—will serve as artist-in-residence for the 2016 Detroit Jazz Festival, which will be presented in the Motor City Sept. 2–5.

Guitarist George Benson, trumpeter Roy Hargrove, pianist Randy Weston, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington and saxophonist Chris Potter are also scheduled to perform at the event, which will feature hundreds of additional musicians across four stages in downtown Detroit.

The festival, celebrating its 37th year, will once again host its annual jazz competition, which serves to highlight up-and-coming talent. This year’s contest, The 2016 Detroit Jazz Festival Ron Carter National Bass Competition, is open to bassists 35 years of age or younger.

Contestants will submit recordings to festival judges, who will evaluate the submissions based on artistic excellence, creativity, group interaction, originality, familiarity with the jazz vocabulary and stylistic continuity. The winning applicant will receive a performance slot at the festival and monetary prizes. (Applications must be submitted by June 25. Prospective contestants can learn more here.)

Over the decades, the festival has established a reputation for presenting a diverse array of musicians and styles. Carter will perform in a variety of settings. Other 2016 Homecoming Series Performances include shows by Benson; the Jason Moran Bandwagon Trio; a trio featuring guitarist John Scofield, pianist Brad Mehldau and drummer Mark Guiliana; and vocalist Freddy Cole and the Detroit Jazz Festival String Orchestra in a tribute to the singer’s family members Nat “King” Cole (1919–’65) and Natalie Cole (1950–2015).

Also in the festival lineup are pianist Omar Sosa’s Quarteto AfroCubano; vocalist Roberta Gambarini in a duo with saxophonist Jimmy Heath; vocalist Luciana Souza; the John Abercrombie Organ Trio; the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra; harmonica player Grégoire Maret; vocalist Charnée Wade; and drummer Herlin Riley.

To see the full lineup, visit detroitjazzfest.com.

To read a review of the Mack Avenue Superband’s album Live From The Detroit Jazz Festival–2015, click here.

—Brian Zimmerman




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