Hello, Detroit--By Sammy Davis Jr.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Detroit International Jazz Festival

It only happens once a year but it is truly an incredible signature event in the City of Detroit for Labor Day Weekend. Four days of non-stop jazz from all over the world. It is a must see event that I highly encourage all Detroiters to partake in at least once in their lifetime. So be sure to check it out especially if you are a music and/or jazz lover. Three stages of smooth melodies that cling to the soul and heart which makes one feel like they are at the Essence Festival in New Orleans if you didn't know any better.

More information from the DJF website--www.detroitjazzfest.com/ :

The Detroit International Jazz Festival (DJF) is a major cultural institution, providing year-round concerts and educational programming that culminates in one of the world’s premier jazz festivals on Labor Day Weekend.

Now in its 31st year, the festival takes place over several city blocks in downtown Detroit – from Hart Plaza to Campus Martius – with five stages and 100 acts over four days. It also offers educational activities for adults and children, giant puppets, fireworks, late-night jam sessions, rare opportunities to meet the artists and much more. And it’s all FREE.

Our mission is to:

  • Foster the history and nurture the development of jazz
  • Perpetuate Detroit’s significant jazz legacy through educational and collaborative opportunities accessible to all
  • Present a world-class signature event that makes Detroit a tourist destination

DJF is managed and produced by the Detroit International Jazz Festival Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 2006. Through the generosity of Detroit philanthropist and Mack Avenue Records Chairman Gretchen C. Valade, the Foundation also established a $10 million endowment to support festival operations. The festival staff and advisory committee work throughout the year to raise the balance of operating costs through corporate partnerships, contributions, and earned-income opportunities. 


The Detroit International Jazz Festival was founded in 1980 by Robert McCabe and the Detroit Renaissance. Along with the Detroit Grand Prix and the International Freedom Festival, Jazz Fest was intended to bring people into the city and to provide all segments of the population with world-class entertainment. It quickly became a Labor Day Weekend tradition at Hart Plaza, a city park along the Detroit River designed by Isamu Noguchi and Shuji Sadao.
From 1980 to 1991, the festival flourished through a partnership with the highly regarded international jazz festival in Montreux, Switzerland, sharing performers and commissioned poster art. In 1991, the festival merged with Detroit’s Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts, where it resided until September 2005.

In March 2005, Detroit philanthropist and Mack Avenue Records Chairman Gretchen Carhartt Valade emerged as a major sponsor of the festival. With additional support from the Knight Foundation, the festival expanded programmatically and physically. The new footprint, covering three blocks of Woodward Avenue north to the newly developed Campus Martius Park, provided two additional stages and more space for food vendors and other activities. The result was record-breaking attendance and revitalization of the festival.

In January 2006, Valade founded the Detroit International Jazz Festival Foundation, which took over production and management of the festival. Valade also committed $10 million to establish an endowment that would provide much-needed seed money for festival operations.

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Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) By Marvin Gaye

Dah, dah, dah, dah
dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah
Dah, dah, dah, dah
Dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah, dah
Dah, dah, dah

Rockets, moon shots
Spend it on the have nots
Money, we make it
Fore we see it you take it

Oh, make you wanna holler
The way they do my life
Make me wanna holler
The way they do my life
This ain't livin', This ain't livin'
No, no baby, this ain't livin'
No, no, no

Inflation no chance
To increase finance
Bills pile up sky high
Send that boy off to die

Oh, make me wanna holler
The way they do my life
Make me wanna holler
The way they do my life

Dah, dah, dah
Dah, dah, dah

Hang ups, let downs
Bad breaks, set backs
Natural fact is
I can't pay my taxes

Oh, make me wanna holler
And throw up both my hands
Yea, it makes me wanna holler
And throw up both my hands

Crime is increasingTrigger happy policing
Panic is spreading
God knows where we're heading
Oh, make me wanna holler
They don't understand

Dah, dah, dah
Dah, dah, dah
Dah, dah, dah

Mother, motherEverybody thinks we're wrong
Who are they to judge us
Simply cause we wear our hair long

Detroit's Downtown

Don't Look Back Detroit, Keep on Pushing

Detroit as the Temptations hae said, we have to keep on pushing and not look back. We have to leave all our troubles behind us and look forward to a brighter future for not only the citizens of Detroit but the city of Detroit. We have to keep on walking Detroit and keep on pushing forward as we leave our past behind. Stall Tall Detroit and look for a future of Greatness as we as Detroiters strive and survive together.