DETROIT (WXYZ) — This year's Detroit Jazz Festival will pivot to a virtual format that will be streamed and broadcast live "for free" this Labor Day weekend.
The festival begins on Friday, Sept. 3 and runs through Monday, Sept. 6.
It was originally scheduled to be in-person this year, but organizers decided to switch to the virtual format based on mitigating factors, including construction at Hart Plaza and requiring proof of COVID test results or vaccinations.
“This is a winning solution that preserves the legacy of the Detroit Jazz Festival while bringing amazing performances into a virtual format,” says Chris Collins, Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation president and artistic director, in a press release. “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 along with many other events held at this venue.”
The Festival, which will be held without audiences, will be streamed or broadcasted live and free from indoor sound stages at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center and closed to the public.
Jazz enthusiasts will be able to view or listen to performances for free in a number of ways including: The Festival’s social media channels and web page; on public radio and television stations; and on the DetroitJazzFest LIVE! app.
This year’s Artist-in-Residence Dee Dee Bridgewater will headline multiple performances during the festival including an opening set with protégé group, the Woodshed Network Ladies, and a closing night performance with her all-female big band. Other highlights include performances from Herbie Hancock, Gregory Porter, Keyon Harrold, Omar Sosa and the Havana-Detroit Jazz Project; Kurt Elling’s The Big Blind featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater: A Jazz Radio Play written by Kurt Elling and Phil Galdston; The Summit: Take 6 Meets the Manhattan Transfer, Monty Alexander HKX, and our world-class Detroit hometown artists.
“We are excited about the work we do to seek out new talent, promote excellence, produce everything jazz and celebrate all of it at the Detroit Jazz Festival on Labor Day weekend in an environment that is safe for everyone,” said Gretchen Valade, chair, Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation Executive Board, in a press release.