Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, and Ella Fitzgerald: what do all these names have in common? They are just a few of the most famous jazz artists of all time.
Jazz music has a rich and vibrant history in America, and it plays a more prominent role in our everyday lives than we think. Bringing awareness to this cultural movement is the purpose of the annual Detroit Jazz Festival, featuring the talents of the world’s finest jazz musicians. The festival promotes a new appreciation for the genre, hoping to preserve its history and impact.
Over the course of Labor Day weekend, guests will experience 100 live performances on five different stages with opportunities to interact with activities designed to educate and entertain the crowd.
We have all the information you need to plan your long weekend at the Detroit Jazz Festival including the dates, times, locations and of course, the food, fun, and festival lineup.
All That Jazz
From Campus Martius all the way to Hart Plaza, the Detroit Jazz Festival takes the streets of downtown Detroit by storm with five stages and 100 live performances in the span of four days.
From September 2 – 5, the city is alive with the sounds of Jazz music. As the 37th year of production, the Jazz Festival offers more than just a chance to hear some sweet tunes: it also offers educational activities for adults and children, fireworks, late-night jam sessions, and opportunities to meet the artists.
The best part: it’s free!
Starting at 6:30 p.m. on September 2, Dr. Valade’s Brass Band kicks off the show with Ron Carter Nonet following at 7:00 p.m. at the JPMorgan and Chase Main Stage. The Soul Rebels and George Benson close the show at 8:15 p.m. Stick around for the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center Late-Night Jam session with the Detroit Jazz festival All-Stars at 11:00 p.m.
Recharge your batteries at a number of Detroit’s best restaurants near the festival, provided by LocalEats.com. Check out Checker Bar & Grill for American traditional burgers, or contemporary French at Cuisine. Take a bite of Detroit at Lafayette or American Coney Island. Check out these, and many more, on the Local Eats website.
Looking for something closer to the festival? The event hosts a plethora of food trucks and vendors, like Delectabowl, ready to serve up some great street-style eats.
Check out the educational programming the festival offers each night. Starting on Friday, September 2 at 11:00 p.m., the Detroit Jazz Festival All-Stars takes you on a journey of history’s best of the best. On Saturday, September 3, at 11:00 p.m., experience a history movement for Jazz with “The Nat ‘King’ Cole Show,” a viewing of the 1956 TV show plus a a firework show is set to light up Hart Plaza! Stick around for Sunday, September 4 for another viewing of this TV favorite at 11:00 p.m. featuring new episodes. These programs are fun for the whole family!
Jazz It Up
Scat your way over to downtown Detroit for a weekend full of music appreciation, food, games, and community.
Campus Martius Park is located at 800 Woodward Ave with Hart Plaza just a few blocks away at 161 W. Jefferson.
The hours of the concerts are Friday, September 2 from 6:30 p.m. – 1:00 a.m., Saturday – Sunday, September 3 – 4, from 11:30 a.m. – 12:20 a.m., and Labor Day from 11:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Be sure to check the stage location and times of each performance.
Don’t forget to share your photos using #detroitjazzfestival and tag @OpportunityDET.