One of Detroit’s major musical influences is being celebrated on April 30 during International Jazz Day. The genre has a major importance in the city’s history with iconic locations such as Paradise Valley and Black Bottom neighborhoods known for hosting some of the most well-known jazz and blues performers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Billie Holiday.
The Dell Pryor Gallery, tucked on the corner of West Willis Street in Midtown, is celebrating the iconic music genre on April 30 during its 4th International Jazz Day event, “The Art of Jazz.” The celebration features two sets starting at 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.
The multimedia event will include several local performers, such as John Douglas on trumpet and Zen Zadravec on piano. The performances will be the first jazz sets hosted in the gallery’s newly reconstructed space on corner of Cass Avenue and West Willis. Entry to the event is a $20 donation.
The celebration finds a natural home inside the Dell Pryor Gallery. The space has become a staple for the arts community in Detroit, known for hosting open gallery discussions, varied art exhibits, and readings by local artists, writers, and professors, and more. The space showcases a diverse offering of work from local and emerging artists to artists who are recognized on a global scale.
Dell Pryor, the gallery’s owner, explains that like the other art forms in the gallery, jazz connects people all over the world. “Jazz is something that is appreciated all over the world,” says Pryor “Even more so now than ever.”
4201 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-833-6990; dellpryorgalleries.com
More Spots to Hear Live Jazz
Of course, enjoying jazz isn’t just a one-day affair. There are plenty of places to catch a live set in the city. Here are four of our favorites.
Baker’s Keyboard Lounge: Known as the World’s Oldest Jazz Club, it’s hard to find a night during the week when Baker’s doesn’t feature live music. Local favorites include Audrey Northington and Jerome Clark, OGD featuring Sky Covington, and The B. Williams Experiment.
20510 Livernois Ave., Detroit; 313-345-6300, theofficialbakerskeyboardlounge.com
Bert’s Marketplace: Known for good food, cold drinks, and live entertainment seven days a week, it’s hard not to live Bert’s in Eastern Market. Regular weekly favorites include John Douglas, the RGB Trio, Blues Lady Champagne, and performers from the Detroit Metro Area Musicians and Entertainers Association.
2727 Russell St., Detroit; 313-567-2030; bertsentertainmentcomplex.com
Cliff Bells: As one of Detroit’s oldest jazz clubs, Cliff Bells provides the perfect backdrop for an evening of enjoying jazz with its classic interior and menu. Local and national acts perform inside the historic club throughout the year.
2030 Park Ave., Detroit; 313.961.2543; cliffbells.com
Dirty Dog Jazz Café: The posh spot owned by Carhartt heiress and Detroit Jazz Festival benefactor Gretchen Valade hosts national and local acts in its intimate 65-seat dining room.
97 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Farms; 313-882-5299. dirtydogjazz.com