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Detroit Jazz Festival Goes Virtual for 2020


Detroit Public TV and organizers team up to bring the city's great musical tradition free of charge to music fans everywhere all this Labor Day weekend. 

Detroit Public TV and organizers team up to bring the city's great musical tradition free of charge to music fans everywhere all this Labor Day weekend Watch the entire festival at

Stream starts tonight at 6:30 p.m. - Broadcast at 9:30 p.m. It's the world's largest free jazz festival, and not even a pandemic can stop the music at the 41st annual Detroit Jazz Festival.

Instead, over the Labor Day weekend, local artists as well as national luminaries will perform live at the Detroit Marriott in the Renaissance Center. There won't be an audience for safety reasons, but these remarkable acts will be captured by the Detroit Public TV production crew on three indoor sound stages set up for the occasion and then streamed live or broadcast to music fans across Metro Detroit and around the globe.

With more than 40 hours of music from Friday evening through Monday night, you have many ways to make sure you don't miss a beat. You can tune in to the tunes on:

  • The Detroit Jazz Fest website, the Detroit Jazz Fest LIVE! app and its various social media channels (Facebook Live, Instagram and YouTube).
  • Channel 22, the city of Detroit's new Arts and Entertainment Channel
  • WRCJ 90.9 FM, which will carry the live feed, beginning at 7 p.m. every night
  • WDET-FM (101.9) and WEMU-FM (89.1), broadcasting the entire festival

And once again this year, Detroit Public TV (56.1) will air a prime-time special, featuring the incomparable Pharaoh Sanders, Friday night at 9:30.
Throughout the weekend, the Detroit Jazz Festival, presented by Rocket Mortgage, will offer performances by national jazz luminaries including Sanders and Robert Glasper and a sterling roster of Detroit-area artists.

As Chris Collins, Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation president and artistic director, remarks, "The virtual concerts offer a tremendous opportunity to showcase Detroit talent, our Detroit sound, to the global jazz community. The lineup of Detroit jazz legacy artists, coupled with the up-and-coming generation of jazz revolutionaries, will provide an exciting jazz journey through Detroit's past, present and future."

That journey will include stops to take in the performances of Gayelynn McKinney, Michael L. Jellick, Marion Hayden, Robert Hurst, Dave McMurray, Rayse Biggs, Naima Shamborguer, Pamela Wise, James Carter and Joan Belgrave, to name just a few of the exceptional Detroit musicians who will be participating in the festival and who have helped make the city one of the world's top jazz capitals for generations.

For more information on the festival, including the complete schedule visit

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