Detroit is a mecca for so many wonderful things from fantastic food to great outdoor activities and museums. But jazz is the hands-down favorite for many locals and visitors. With a history that dates back long before the magic of Motown spawned so many superstars, Detroit jazz is prolific, in all styles from traditional to contemporary. Catch your favorite type at one or all of these terrific venues.
Nothing’s better than strolling through Midtown’s New Center Park and suddenly hearing notes in the air that lure you in their direction. Jazz bands as well as solo performers entertain crowds all year round – weather permitting – and are the ideal entertainment for the whole family. Best of all, it’s always free, just like all the activities and shows in Detroit’s favorite park. If you’re lucky enough to live nearby in one of the nice apartments in Detroit, New Center Park is the best place to find jazz at a price you can always afford.
Who doesn’t like a little history with their smooth jazz? The Jazz Café at the Music Hall has not only welcomed some of the world’s greatest jazz artists over many years, it’s also a veritable jazz museum of the Motor City’s historical contributions to the genre. Other types of music are also part of the hall’s offerings but jazz rules supreme.
Speaking of history, Baker’s Keyboard Lounge is the longest working jazz club on the planet. Situated on the renowned Avenue of Fashion, Baker’s envelops you with the charisma of an Art Deco designed and decorated lounge to make your visit extra special. Enjoy jazz musicians from all over the country as well as up and coming local talent while savoring a full menu of authentic, mouthwatering soul food. After a few visits, you’ll be perusing ads for luxury apartments for rent in Michigan and particularly lured by the apartment amenities offered in surrounding Detroit neighborhoods.
Listening to a wonderful assortment of classical, jazz and swing music is the ideal end to an evening of any type. After attending events at the Detroit Opera House, Ford Field or Little Caesars Arena, stroll a short distance to Grand Circus Park where Street Eats + Sounds regularly features jazz musicians almost every Thursday night during summertime. Good eats abound right outside where food trucks congregate to feed the hungry crowds.
If old school music recorded on vinyl is your passion, check out the Jazz Vinyl Club event on Sunday nights at Motor City Wine. The local vinyl shops rotate throughout the year to spin their favorite jazz records. To transform the shop into a relaxing club-like venue, Motor City Wine offers bottles of wine to visitors at retail prices and guests are encouraged to imbibe while they enjoy the tunes. The result is a warm inviting atmosphere that harks back in time to the days of comfortable yet invigorating speakeasies.
Still going strong after 38 years, the Detroit Jazz Festival is held annually over
Labor Day weekend. The world-renowned event runs the gamut from historical jazz compositions to rising star performances throughout the festival. Chick Corea, recently named the 2018 Detroit Jazz Festival artist-in-residence, performs this year along with headliners Cecile McLorin Salvant and the Christian Sands Trio. When the artists take a break, stretch your legs and check out the unique and luxurious Lofts of Merchant Row.