A great musician never forgets the early life lessons that shaped them. Chris Collins, Artistic Director of The Detroit Jazz Festival has never forgotten and now carries on the Detroit jazz tradition of teaching and mentoring the next generations of jazz musicians. Chris talked with me this morning about what mentoring and creating music with aspiring players means to him.
Throughout the summer, The Detroit Jazz Festival holds workshops and jam sessions to encourage and inspire new talent. This weekend and next week is the culmination of two competitions – one in jazz drumming and the other for outstanding young Detroit jazz vocalists. Tonight the three finalists in the J.C. Heard National Drum Competition will perform at Cliff Bell’s Nightclub. The winner will appear at the Detroit Jazz Festival over Labor Day Weekend, September 1 through 4. Thursday evening the finalists in the Detroit Youth Jazz Vocal Competition will appear at The Dirty Dog Jazz Club with The Detroit Jazz Festival All-Stars. This winner will also appear at The 2017 Detroit Jazz Festival. As you listen to our conversation, you cannot help but feel Chris’ enthusiasm and delight with this aspect of his efforts for The Detroit Jazz Festival and the community.
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— Linda Yohn is the WEMU Music Director, and host of 89.1 Jazz. On twitter @LindaYohn or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org