Thousands converge on Downtown Detroit for 34th annual Jazz Festival

DETROIT (WXYZ) - World-class jazz musicians will once again descend on downtown Detroit Labor Day weekend - Aug. 30 through Sept. 2 - for the 34th annual Detroit Jazz Festival, presented by the Chrysler brand.

The world's largest free jazz festival kicks off Friday, Aug. 30 providing music lovers with one-of-a-kind performances from a variety of artists and ensembles throughout the weekend. This year's headliners include David Murray Big Band with Macy Gray, the Ahmad Jamal Quartet, Joshua Redman, Charles Lloyd, McCoy Tyner, John Scofield Uberjam Band, the Alan Broadbent Trio and 2013 Artist in Residence Danilo Perez.

More than 100 performances will take place on four stages located throughout Hart Plaza and Campus Martius. Artist in Residence and Grammy-winning pianist, Danilo Perez, and the Panama 500 Band will open the Festival on Friday at 7:15 p.m. followed by the David Murray Big Band featuring Macy Gray at 8:45 p.m., both on the JP Morgan Chase Main Stage. Saturday through Monday the music will start as early as noon and end at approximately 10:45 p.m. For those wanting more, there will be fireworks Saturday and Sunday night on the Detroit River after the last performance and late night jam sessions from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the Volt Bar & Lounge in the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, the Festival's official hotel.

One unique element to this year's Festival is the amazing tributes that will take place throughout the weekend including a Teddy Harris, Jr. Tribute by the New Breed Be Bop Society; Tribute to Stan Kenton featuring The Four Freshmen and the Toledo Jazz Orchestra; Three Baris Tribute to Pepper Adams, featuring Gary Smulyan, Howard Johnson and Frank Basile; Tribute to Brad Felt featuring Steve Wood, Cary Schunk, Pat Prouty, Bill Higgins and Terry Kimura; Tribute to Don Byas featuring James Carter; and the four-performance Detroit Jazz Festival Tribute to the late Dave Brubeck featuring the Brubeck Brothers.

In addition to the performances throughout the weekend, attendees will have the opportunity to see artists up-close and unplugged in the Chrysler Jazz Talk Tent, which offers a deeper dive into the artists and history with interviews, panel discussions, presentations and performances. One key Talk Tent segment not to miss is the DownBeat blindfold test, Sunday, Sept. 1 at 3:45 p.m., where Geri Allen will test her jazz music recognition skills. For more information on the Chrysler Jazz Talk Tent, hosted by jazz historians Jim Gallert and Lars Bjorn, visit

For additional information, the full list of performers and performance times, after-hours jam session schedule and more, visit

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