Detroit Jazz Fest Goes Virtual, Again


The Rodney Whitaker Septet performs at the 2020 virtual Detroit Jazz Festival.

(Photo: Frank Alkyer)

The Detroit Jazz Festival will be delivered virtually, once again, over the Labor Day weekend.

Billed as the largest free jazz fest in the world, Detroit organizers announced plans to go 100% virtual for the second consecutive year due to several factors. First, construction on Hart Plaza, the festival’s home base, won’t be completed in time. Due to the fest’s “open footprint,” it cannot require COVID testing results or proof of vaccination. Finally, organizers reported some concern among artists.

“This is a winning solution that preserves the legacy of the Detroit Jazz Festival while bringing amazing performances into a virtual format,” said Chris Collins, Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation president and artistic director. “We’re thankful for our sponsors, donors and patrons for their support, which enables us to once again provide a jazz festival that is safe, live and free for everyone. Also, a special thank-you to the city of Detroit for the great improvements happening at Hart Plaza, which will make the 2022 Detroit Jazz Festival even better.”

The Detroit Jazz Festival runs Sept. 3–6. To view performances online, go to DB

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