Music News from WEMU

Joey DeFrancesco

Organist Joey DeFrancesco returns to our area. He's at the Blue LLama Jazz Club in Ann Arbor this weekend. He spoke to 89.1 Jazz host Michael Jewett about his new recording, the state of the music scene in the age of COVID, and the lasting influence of the late Dr. Lonnie Smith.


WEMU's Michael Jewett chats with the Director of the Detroit Jazz Festival, Chris Collins on the Festival's recent decision to go virtual.

Grand Hotel

WEMU's Michael Jewett chats Alex Graham, organizer of the Grand Hotel Jazz Festival coming up Labor Day weekend.

The great pianist Cyrus Chestnut performs at the Blue LLama in Ann Arbor on Saturday evening. 89.1 Jazz host Michael Jewett spoke with him earlier this week. Ths subjects ranged from life and work during the pandemic; his time as Betty Carter accompanist; and the spiritual foundations of his art.


The 2021 NEA Jazz Masters Tribute Concert will air on WEMU-FM tomorrow at 8pm Eastern!

Join the celebration of the 2021 NEA Jazz Masters as the National Endowment for the Arts, in collaboration with SFJAZZ, presents a virtual tribute concert in honor of Terri Lyne Carrington, Albert “Tootie” Heath, Henry Threadgill, and Phil Schaap (2021 A.B. Spellman NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship for Jazz Advocacy). 2017 NEA Jazz Master Dee Dee Bridgewater and actor Delroy Lindo will co-host this event, featuring performances and tributes by acclaimed jazz musicians. 

Starting at 8PM, tune in to 89.1 WEMU to hear the 2021 NEA Jazz Masters

Public Radio Music Day: Christian McBride

Apr 16, 2021

WEMU's Michael Jewett spoke with Jazz Night in America's Christian McBride about the importance of public radio music:

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From the future home of the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center at Wayne State University, the 2021 Detroit Jazz Festival lineup will be revealed April 7th live on! Artist in Resident Dee Dee Bridgewater and Cuban pianist Omar Sosa will have full live performances.

The Morning Edition Song Project is a series where songwriters are asked to write an original song about the COVID era – our newest addition is from music collective and sibling band Infinity Song.

The Manhattan Transfer's Janis Siegel and New York Voices' Lauren Kinhan will be Jessica's guests on the In Crowd as they talk about the challenges faced by jazz musicians during the pandemic, and how these two singers have found a creative outlet working from home. Janis and Lauren will also be sharing performances by Raul Midon, Sheila Jordan, and more that they recorded for their virtual concert series, Vocal Gumbo. Listen this Sunday at 3pm EST.

It’s true! Listening to music on WEMU makes your day better. The genuine passion and real joy of jazz uplifts spirits and restores your sense of balance when times get stressful, which they certainly are right now as we live through challenging times together. 

The past few months have been like nothing most of us have ever lived through, pretty much. But WEMU has still been here day in and day out. We're still keeping you informed, connected to our community, and inspired with great music. 

Join Mr. B on Facebook Live for his 'Live in the B-Hive' series this Friday (tomorrow) at 5:30 p.m. for a special live performance to benefit WEMU! 

Let's culminate our salute to Public Radio Music Day with a true local gem -- Dick Siegel. Nik Thompson's Live in the Bunker with a few uplifting cuts from Dick's superb Angles Aweigh. 

As WEMU continues our yearlong celebration of 55 years on the air, we invite you to join the us for our Free First Friday 5:01 Jazz series featuring drummer Sean Dobbins Trio at Babs' Underground on Friday, March 6th.

Ron Brooks
Jeff Dunn / SEMJA

Join us for our free 5:01 First Friday celebration of music featuring bassist Ron Brooks at Babs' in Ann Arbor on  December 6th at 5:01 pm sharp. It's a WEMU holiday tradition not to miss!! 

Seconds before we hit record, Snarky Puppy's bandleader, Michael League leaned in to ask if he could "do a little crowd work." I suspect he waited until the last second on purpose, but it's been easy to trust this band when they have an idea, judging by the three Grammy Awards they get to dust off at home after every tour run.

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Michael Jewett spoke to Wendell Harrison about his show at the Blue LLama in Ann Arbor tonight, some new projects, and being named a Kresge Foundation Eminent Artist in 2018.

In advance of his Nov. 9th show at The Ark, Songwriter, Dick Siegel and bassist David Roof stopped by WEMU during the Roots Music Project on November 2nd for set of music and conversation with host Jeremy Baldwin.

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5:01 Jazz is back for November! Join us for our free 5:01 First Friday celebration of jazz featuring vocalist Estar Cohen at Babs' Underground in Ann Arbor on November 1st at 5:01 PM sharp.

Music Builds Communities

Jun 9, 2019

A recent noncomMUSIC Alliance survey of 87 music-format public radio station partners (serving nearly nine million listeners) shows that a majority of these local stations provide a unique portal for music discovery and make music more accessible with:

There comes a moment in almost any performance by vibraphonist Joel Ross when he seems to slip free of standard cognitive functions and into a bodacious flow state. Invariably, he's in the midst of a heated improvisation. Maybe he's bouncing on his heels, or bobbing like a marionette. His mallets form a blur, in contrast to the clarity of the notes they produce. The deft precision of his hammering inspires a visual comparison to some tournament-level version of Whac-A-Mole.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify and Apple playlists at the bottom of the page.

Note: NPR's First Listen audio comes down after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify and Apple playlists at the bottom of the page.

Marilyn Gouin / WEMU-Fm

Mr. B. is holding his 22nd Annual Blues and Boogie Celebration at the Ark on Saturday night.  He joined Michael Jewett to talk about the event, its history and this weekend's line-up.

Press Release from Detroit Jazz Festival presented by Quicken Loans: Announces Reunion Lineup for 40th Year Celebration. Festival to Feature Performances by Artist-in-Residence Stanley Clarke, Ron Carter, Macy Gray, Pat Metheny, Terence Blanchard, ELEW, Chucho Valdés, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and More!

Join us for a 5:01 celebration of music featuring the Brad McNett & Friends at Bab's Underground in Ann Arbor on April 5th, 5:01 pm sharp. You won't want to miss this! 

5:01 Jazz: The Doug Horn Quartet

Feb 21, 2019

Join us for a 5:01 celebration of music featuring the Doug Horn Quartet at Bab's Underground in Ann Arbor on March 1st at 5:01 pm sharp. 

Without gospel music there never would have been an Aretha Franklin, an Elvis Presley, a Ray Charles, a James Brown, or an Al Green.

Highlights From The 2018 Detroit Jazz Festival

Sep 4, 2018
Detroit Jazz Festival
Marilyn Gouin & Jessica Webster / 89.1 WEMU

The 39th annual Detroit Jazz Festival was marked by two overriding themes: a sense of musical discovery and a series of unfortunate weather events.