Detroit Jazz Festival Lineup

Detroit Jazz Festival 2014
Detroit Jazz Festival / Photo by Jeff Dunn, Flickr, CC BY 2.0

Among jazz lovers, Labor Day Weekend is always reserved for one of the best jazz festivals in the US and worldwide, the Detroit Jazz Festival. That should not come as a surprise. Some of the world’s finest jazz musicians are on the Detroit Jazz Festival lineup.

The festival was held for the first time in 1980. Robert McCabe and the Detroit Renaissance Foundation had an idea to celebrate and promote jazz. Initially, it took place at Hart Plaza in Detroit, but as the years passed and the festival grew, it included multiple stages.

True to its original mission, the Detroit Jazz Festival remains free to the public and accessible to all. Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, and Herbie Hancock are a few of the jazz legends who have performed at the festival for years.

When Is the Detroit Jazz Festival

The Detroit Jazz Festival takes place over Labor Day weekend. This year’s Detroit Jazz Festival dates are August 30 to September 2. The 2024 Jazz Festival Opening Night will be on Friday, August 30.

Where Is the Detroit Jazz Festival

In 2024, the Detroit Jazz Festival will take place in Hart Plaza, along Woodward Avenue, and in Campus Martius Park, Detroit, USA.

What Music Genres Does the Detroit Jazz Festival Cover

To be honest, we are not sharing anything remarkable here. Detroit Jazz Festival is a celebration of jazz music. Artists in the festival lineup are fantastic traditional jazz, bebop, big band, fusion, and contemporary jazz musicians.

Participation Lineup for the 2024 Detroit Jazz Festival

Detroit Jazz Festival presented this year’s lineup in April. Among the artists performing are the amazing bassist Christian McBride, saxophonist and Grammy Award winner Joshua Redman; drummer and composer Brian Blade with The Fellowship Band; a fantastic saxophonist and the son of jazz legend John Coltrane – Ravi Coltrane; pianist and composer Cameron Graves; drummer, composer, and producer, Nate Smith; trailblazing trumpeter and composer Chief Adjuah, and celebrated trio The Bad Plus.

Detroit Jazz Festival Schedule

The exact time for all the Detroit Jazz Festival dates is not out yet, but almost everything else is. We look forward to the announced surprises in the Detroit Jazz Festival schedule.

Friday, August 30 📅Saturday, August 31 📅Sunday, September 1 📅Monday, September 2 📅
2024 Artist-In-Residence Brian Blade and The Fellowship BandCameron Graves2024 Artist-In-Residence Brian Blade and The Fellowship Band2024 Artist-In-Residence Brian Blade and The Fellowship Band
TRANSLINEAR LIGHT The Music of Alice Coltrane featuring Ravi Coltrane with special guest Brandee YoungerCarmen LundyChief Adjuah (formerly Christian Scott)Billy Childs Quartet, Special Guest Sean Jones
Charlie Sepulveda & The Turnaround plus special guestGhost-NoteMarquis Hill: Composers Collective
Christian McBride & Inside StraightJames “Blood” Ulmer Music Revelation EnsemblePablo Ziegler Quintet featuring Roberta Gambarini
Isaiah J. Thompson QuartetJoshua Redman Group featuring Gabrielle CavassaZig Zag Power Trio: Vernon Reid – Melvin Gibbs – Will Calhoun
Mimi Fox Organ TrioKyle Eastwood – Eastwood Symphonic
Nate SmithThe Vibraphone Summit: Warren Wolf – Joe Locke – Jason Marsalis – Chien Chien Lui
The Bad PlusVince Abbracciante Nocturno – in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute of Chicago – Solo Accordion

How Much Do the Tickets for the Detroit Jazz Festival Cost

While festival tickets are at least a couple of hundred dollars, it’s remarkable that the Detroit Jazz Festival is entirely free.

There is a Guardian Program that helps keep the festival free and accessible for everyone. One of the guardian perks is VIP access to the festival, and other perks include invites to private meet-and-greets with jazz artists.  

Important Information About the Detroit Jazz Fest

Detroit Jazz Fest is one of the best jazz festivals in the world. It celebrates jazz music and the city of Detroit’s influence on the genre. The festival is known for its jazz legends and cultural significance, keeping Detroit one of the most prominent jazz hubs.

  • Founded in 1980 by Robert McCabe and the Detroit Renaissance, the Detroit International Jazz Festival quickly grew into one of the most influential jazz festivals in the world.
  • The festival is free for music enthusiasts eager to hear the artistry and improvisation of jazz legends, emerging stars, established performers, and local talents.
  • Detroit is a jazz hub, and the festival reflects the city’s historical contributions to the genre.

Detroit Jazz Festival Videos

Are you curious to see how vibrant Detroit is during Labor Weekend? While these videos can’t fully capture the atmosphere, they will give you an idea of what to expect.

Here are some beautiful photos from the Detroit Jazz Festival by highly talented photographers.

Detroit Jazz Festival Reviews

Detroit Jazz Festival is among the best jazz festivals in the world. The only negative comments we found focus on artists overlapping on different stages.

“Because there’s so much local pride in the festival, and because Detroit was and still is an important jazz town, the feeling on the ground is different than at so many other events of its kind. Every single set is free of charge, but audiences take the music seriously, no less than if they had paid top dollar.”

Playing Changes.

“Of all the major jazz festivals in America, the Detroit Jazz Festival possesses the most primal vibe of all. While events in Monterey and Newport may see more acclaim, they as well present the music in an idyllic environment far removed from the core of Black music in America—the urban environs of its major cities. In Detroit, the entire festival is presented downtown and along the Detroit RiverWalk, with all activities easily within walking distance of each other.”

Paul Rauch – All About Jazz.

“I spent more than nine hours on the downtown festival grounds, which run from Hart Plaza up Woodward to Campus Martius/Cadillac Square, but I still couldn’t possibly hear everything given the overlapping schedules of the four stages.”

Mark Stryker, Detroit Free Press.

Previous Years’ Detroit Jazz Festival Lineups

Detroit Jazz Festival 2024 is coming soon, but what about past festivals and schedules? Check out few of the past Detroit Jazz Festival lineups.

Detroit Jazz Festival 2023 Lineup

Every year, the Detroit Jazz Festival has a fantastic lineup. It should not come as a surprise that the dates around the festival were filled with wonderful music. Here are a few of the artists in the 2023 lineup.

  • Madlib – influential producer and rapper.
  • Common – An acclaimed rapper, actor, and writer. Common won multiple Grammy Awards.
  • Dee Dee Bridgewater – A legendary jazz singer. Dee Dee has multiple Grammy Awards.
  • John Scofield – an excellent jazz guitarist who worked with Miles Davis
  • Brian Blade – fantastic drummer, composer, and bandleader.

2022 Detroit Jazz Festival Lineup

In 2022, the festival started on September 2 and went through September 5. The visitors and people of Detroit had a chance to enjoy the performances of fantastic musicians. Part of the lineup were:

  • Lisa Fischer – amazing vocal that worked with Rolling Stones and Sting
  • John Scofield – a great traditional and fusion jazz guitarist
  • Cécile McLorin Salvant – an exceptional vocalist
  • Chucho Valdés – Cuban pianist, composer, and a jazz legend
  • The Soul Rebels – A New Orleans-based brass band

Similar Music Festivals

  • Monterey Jazz Festival (Monterey, CA): Celebrated annually in September, the Monterey Jazz Festival is recognized as one of the world’s longest continuously running jazz festivals.
  • Newport Jazz Festival (Newport, RI): Known as one of the oldest jazz festivals, this iconic event takes place every August in Newport.
  • New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (New Orleans, LA): Held every April or May, this festival celebrates New Orleans and Louisiana’s rich music and cultural heritage.


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