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Detroit Jazz Fest Closes with Tribute to the Late Teddy Harris Jr.

Dave Brubeck and his jazz quartet successfully closed out the 2005 edition of the Detroit International Jazz Festival this past Labor Day Monday.

Following Brubeck’s closing set on the Detriot Jazz Fest amphitheater’s main stage, a tribute to the late Dr. Teddy Harris Jr.–the 2005’s festival dedicatee–broke out. Harris (pictured) was a Motown and Supremes musical director for 16 years and founder of Detroit’s New Breed Bebop society, which launched the careers of many Detroit jazz greats, including James Carter and Jeri Allen.

The tribute to Harris featured a traditional New Orleans Jazz funeral send-off that began in the audience with “A Closer Walk with Thee” featuring the Regal Brass Band of New Orleans. The procession soon made its way onto the main stage where James Carter and Dave Brubeck joined the Regal Brass Band for a rousing rendition of “When The Saints Go Marching In.”

The impromptu New Orleans musical tribute segment was co-produced only hours before the show by Dave Brubeck, Frank Malfitano, James Carter and members of The Regal Brass Band.

Attendance for this year’s 26th Annual Detroit International Jazz Festival was estimated to be in excess of 900,000, a festival record.

Originally Published