The Detroit Jazz Festival has announced legendary jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter as its 2017 Artist-in-Residence. Through this role, Shorter will act as an ambassador for the festival, supporting the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation’s efforts to enhance year-round jazz music education opportunities. The DownBeat Hall of Fame inductee will perform three concerts over Labor Day weekend (Sept. 1–4).
In assuming this role, Shorter, a National Endowment of the Arts Jazz Master and nine-time Grammy Award-winner, joins an esteemed list of musicians who have held the Artist-in-Residence title, including Ron Carter, Pat Metheny and Joshua Redman.
“Over the course of my career, I have had the pleasure of performing at venues across the world and playing with some of the greatest jazz artists of our time,” said Shorter in a press statement. “Performing at the Detroit Jazz Festival is something I’ve received the opportunity to do on several occasions, and each time it’s combined a phenomenal atmosphere with immeasurable talent, which is why I keep coming back. I am extremely honored to expand my Festival participation this year by becoming the Detroit Jazz Festival’s Artist-in-Residence.”
As Artist-in-Residence, Shorter will occupy the festival’s opening night slot. He will also appear with the Wayne Shorter Quartet—featuring bassist John Patitucci, drummer Brian Blade and pianist Danilo Pérez—and the Detroit Jazz Festival Orchestra for the North American debut performance of Emanon, a piece inspired by Shorter’s lifelong love of science fiction and mythology. Shorter will also lead a quintet featuring pianist Geri Allen, keyboardist Leo Genovese, bassist Esperanza Spalding and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington.
Prior to official start of the Detroit Jazz Festival, Shorter will kick off his fest activities with a one-set performance with bandmate Pérez at the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe in Grosse Pointe Farms on April 20. Limited tickets are available.
“The Detroit Jazz Festival is about celebrating the overwhelming amount of unique and distinct sounds that jazz offers. We are thrilled to feature Wayne Shorter as Artist-in-Residence to help carry on that legacy,” said Chris Collins, president and artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation. “With a unique perspective and penchant for interaction, Mr. Shorter has spent the last half century revolutionizing jazz composition, saxophone and group improvisation. We can’t wait to share this generational talent with festival-goers—for free.”
Attendees and fans can stay up to date on performances by Shorter and other Detroit Jazz Festival performing artists by downloading the Detroit Jazz Fest LIVE! app. The app will provide live streamed performances to festival goers and out-of-town fans who are unable to attend the event, in addition to festival schedules, maps and more. For more information, click here. DB