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Live Review: 2019 Detroit Jazz Festival

The three-day Motor City event celebrated its 40th anniversary with help from Stanley Clarke, Pat Metheny, Danilo Pérez, and many more

Stanley Clarke at the 2019 Detroit Jazz Festival
Stanley Clarke at the 2019 Detroit Jazz Festival (photo: Steven Hauptman)

“Reunion” was the watchword for the 40th annual Detroit Jazz Festival, which welcomed back five of its former artists-in-residence for the occasion. But one unwelcome reunion threatened the fest’s culminating performance on Labor Day, as storm clouds once again gathered prior to Stanley Clarke’s final set—as they had in both 2014 and 2017, when the bass great’s sets were canceled.

The festival hedged its bets this year, inviting Clarke to be artist-in-residence with three performances over the long weekend, thus all but ensuring that he’d finally be able to play at some point. As it turned out, the rain did fall that Monday but only delayed Clarke’s last set for an hour and a half.

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Shaun Brady

Shaun Brady is a Philadelphia-based journalist who covers jazz along with an eclectic array of arts, culture, and travel. Brady contributes regularly to the Philadelphia Inquirer and JazzTimes and Jazziz magazines, with subjects ranging from legendary artists to underground experimentalists. His byline has appeared in DownBeat, Metro, NPR Music, and The A.V. Club, among other outlets. He studied filmmaking at Columbia College Chicago and continues to spend too much time in the dark.