- Subscriptions on sale now; series includes performances by Branford Marsalis, Duke Ellington Orchestra, Dianne Reeves, and more
- Terence Blanchard returns as DSO’s Erb Jazz Chair and will headline special anniversary concert featuring all-star band of Paradise Jazz Series alumni
- New season also marks the centennial of Orchestra Hall, built for the DSO in 1919 before finding a second life as the Paradise Theatre, showcasing top jazz artists from 1941-1951
Detroit, (April 11, 2019) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) today announced the 2019-2020 Paradise Jazz Series, which includes six concerts on the Orchestra Hall Stage. The DSO is one of few major American orchestras to present regular jazz programming on its main stage.
Across all of its 2019-2020 programming, the DSO celebrates the centennial of Orchestra Hall, built in 1919 as the first permanent home of the orchestra. From 1941-1951, Orchestra Hall became the Paradise Theatre, a celebrated venue for jazz and blues artists. The upcoming season also marks the 20th anniversary of the Paradise Jazz Series, which takes its name from Orchestra Hall’s ten-year history as the Paradise Theatre.
The 2019-2020 Paradise Jazz Series kicks off on Saturday, September 2 with a performance by the Branford Marsalis Quartet. Later in the season, two programs celebrate the legacy of the Paradise Theatre and the anniversary of the Paradise Jazz Series. The Duke Ellington Orchestra performs on Friday, December 6—a nod to the Paradise Theatre’s earliest concerts, which included a date featuring Duke Ellington just four weeks after the venue opened. In a special anniversary concert on Friday, May 2, 2020, Oscar-nominated composer and trumpeter (and Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Chair) Terence Blanchard will lead an all-star band of artists who have performed on the Paradise Jazz Series since its inception in 1999.
Elsewhere in the season, the Camila Meza Quartet will perform with a DSO string quartet (Friday, January 24, 2020) and Orchestra Hall will host a night of two special duo sets: saxophonist Charles Loyd with pianist Gerald Clayton and pianist Alfredo Rodríguez with percussion master Pedrito Martinez (Friday, March 20, 2020).
The season will conclude with Series favorite Dianne Reeves, who performed on the inaugural Paradise Jazz Series concert in 1999, and who returns to perform a Brazilian-inspired set (Sunday, June 7, 2020).
Also announced today: a special performance in The Cube honoring the Dave Brubeck Centennial featuring Brubeck’s sons Chris and Dan and the Brubeck Brothers Quartet (Thursday, April 2, 2020).
Subscriptions are on sale now for the 2019-2020 Paradise Jazz Series, beginning at just $90 for the entire season. Subscribe by visiting dso.org/jazz, by calling (313) 576-5111, or by visiting the DSO Box Office (3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit).
Single tickets for Paradise Jazz Series concerts will go on sale at a later date.
Tickets for the Dave Brubeck Centennial performance in The Cube are $25 (general admission) and $60 (VIP, including reserved cabaret seating and a free drink).
The Paradise Jazz Series is supported by MGM Grand Detroit.
See below for a complete listing of 2019-2020 Paradise Jazz Series performances.
Orchestra Hall: A Centennial Season
One of the world’s premier concert halls, Orchestra Hall was built in a swift four months and 23 days over the summer of 1919, designed by architect C. Howard Crane as the DSO’s first permanent venue at the request of then music director Ossip Gabrilowitsch.
A hidden gem with magnificent acoustics, Orchestra Hall for its first twenty years hosted some of the leading classical music artists of the era. Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, and George Gershwin all paid visits. Rachmaninoff, Horowitz, Rubinstein, Heifetz, Casals, Marian Anderson, Enrico Caruso, and more performed with the DSO, setting a standard of excellence that continues to this day.
When the DSO departed Orchestra Hall in 1939 for the Masonic Temple and later Ford Auditorium, the building stood dark for two years before finding a second life as the Paradise Theatre, presenting the finest jazz, bebop, and blues. Opened by Louis Armstrong, the Paradise was a major Midwest tour stop for such artists as Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, Sammy Davis Jr., and Lena Horne, among others.
After being saved from the wrecking ball in the 1970s by a community alliance of musicians, architects, and concerned citizens, Orchestra Hall was renovated and once more became a beacon for the finest performers of all musical genres. The DSO played select weeks at Orchestra Hall during the ’70s and ’80s before permanently moving back to its historic home in 1989. The DSO launched the Paradise Jazz Series in 1999 in tribute to its past, and to this day has the distinction of being one of few major American orchestras with an annual jazz series presented on its mainstage.
The DSO celebrates Orchestra Hall’s centennial across all of its 2019-2020 programming, plus additional events and activities to be announced.
About Terence Blanchard
Trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and educator Terence Blanchard has served as the DSO’s Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb. Jazz Creative Chair since 2012.
Blanchard has performed and recorded with many of jazz’s superstars and currently leads the celebrated E-Collective. He is also well-known for his decades-long collaboration with filmmaker Spike Lee, scoring more than 15 of Lee’s movies since the early 1990s. 2018’s BlacKkKlansman earned Blanchard his first Academy Award nomination; in and out of the film world, Blanchard has received 14 Grammy nominations and six wins, as well as nominations for the Emmy, Golden Globe, Sierra, and Soul Train Music awards.
A New Orleans native, Blanchard was childhood friends with Wynton Marsalis and studied jazz at Rutgers University. He was invited to play with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra in 1982 and later joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He debuted his first solo recording in 1991 and has released more than a dozen acclaimed albums since; he has appeared as a collaborator or sideman on a dozen more. His latest, with the E-Collective, is Live, released on Blue Note in April 2018.
Blanchard has served as artistic director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz since 2000. He has also held artistic leadership positions at Monterey Jazz Festival, Berklee College of Music, and the Henry Mancini Institute at the University of Miami.
The 2019-2020 Paradise Jazz Series
All concerts at Orchestra Hall within the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center (3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit).
Programs and artists subject to change.
Please note: the DSO does not appear on these performances. A quartet of DSO musicians will appear on the Friday, January 24, 2020 performance with the Camela Meza Quartet.
An Evening with Branford Marsalis
Saturday, September 21, 2019 at 8 p.m.
Leader of one of the most innovative and forward-thinking jazz ensembles around today, saxophonist Branford Marsalis has become an avatar of contemporary artistic excellence. With likeminded support from pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Justin Faulkner, the band has long been a model of how to sustain and enlarge a musical outlook that is both historically and stylistically inclusive. The Quartet will perform music from their new record The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul.
The Duke Ellington Orchestra
Friday, December 6, 2019 at 8 p.m.
Relive the swinging days of the Paradise. In 1941, Duke Ellington and his Orchestra headlined the opening of the Paradise Theatre, ushering in a decade of performances by legends like Billie Holiday, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, and countless others!
The Duke Ellington Orchestra – the only ensemble directly carrying on the tradition from Duke himself – returns to the Orchestra Hall stage to perform celebrated classics!
Camila Meza Quartet + DSO String Quartet
Friday, January 24, 2020 at 8 p.m.
Inspired by jazz, South American music, and American popular song of many eras and genres, Chilean-born Camila Meza has uplifted audiences worldwide with her rare combination of talents: assured and beautiful singing; highly advanced guitar (both self-accompaniment and blistering solo work); and vividly colorful, melodic songwriting that reveals complex layers with every listen.
A Night of Duos:
Charles Lloyd & Gerald Clayton | Alfredo Rodríguez & Pedrito Martinez
Friday, March 20, 2020 at 8 p.m.
Saxophone legend and NEA Jazz Master Charles Lloyd was one of the first jazz artists to sell a million copies of a recording: 1967’s Forest Flower. Pianist Gerald Clayton's dynamic and award-winning sound has been praised by Jazz Times and the Los Angeles Times. Lloyd makes his Paradise Jazz Series debut with Clayton for a rare duo performance.
World-renowned percussion master Pedrito Martinez joins forces with Grammy-nominated pianist and Quincy Jones protégé Alfredo Rodríguez to perform Cuban classics, original compositions, and surprising covers.
Paradise Jazz Series/20 with Terence Blanchard
Saturday, May 2, 2020 at 8 p.m.
The DSO launched the Paradise Jazz Series in 1999, and to this day has the distinction of being one of few major American orchestras with an annual jazz series presented on its main stage. Erb Jazz Chair Terence Blanchard leads an all-star band featuring artists who have performed on the Paradise Jazz Series to celebrate decades of world-class jazz on the Orchestra Hall stage.
Dianne Reeves & Beleza Brazil
Sunday June 7, 2020 at 4 p.m.
Five-time Grammy-winning vocalist and Paradise Jazz Series favorite Dianne Reeves returns with an exciting new program devoted to the sounds of Brazil. Reeves’s timeless voice, exceptional personality, and enthralling performances mark her as a captivating world-class artist. Featuring a masterful band including guitarist Romero Lubambo, pianist Peter Martin, bassist Itaiguara Brandão, and drummer Rafael Barata, Beleza Brazil is an enchanting global experience from a natural wonder not to be missed.
Special Event: Dave Brubeck Centennial
Brubeck Centennial with Brubeck Brothers Quartet
Thursday, April 2, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
in The Cube
2020 marks the Centennial Year of jazz giant Dave Brubeck. To celebrate his life and legacy, Dave's sons Chris and Dan Brubeck, who performed and recorded with their father beginning in the 1970s, curate a multimedia show with their own Brubeck Brothers Quartet. Through stories told by Dave’s sons and music performed by the Quartet, the show invites audiences to travel along the timeline of Dave’s extraordinary life and career.
Please note: the DSO does not appear on this performance.
About the DSO
The most accessible orchestra on the planet, the acclaimed Detroit Symphony Orchestra is known for trailblazing performances, collaborations with the world’s foremost musical artists, and a deep connection to its city. As a community-supported orchestra, generous giving by individuals and institutions at all levels drives the continued success and growth of the institution. Conductor Leonard Slatkin, who recently concluded an acclaimed decade-long tenure at the helm, now serves as the DSO’s Music Director Laureate, endowed by the Kresge Foundation. Celebrated conductor, arranger, and trumpeter Jeff Tyzik is the orchestra’s Principal Pops Conductor, while the outstanding trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard holds the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Director Chair. Making its home at historic Orchestra Hall within the Max M. and Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, the DSO offers a performance schedule that features Classical, PNC Pops, Paradise Jazz, and Young People’s Family Concert series. One of America’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall will celebrate its centennial in 2019-2020. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in seven metro area venues, as well as a robust schedule of eclectic multi-genre performances in its mid-size venue The Cube, constructed and curated with support from Peter D. & Julie F. Cummings. A dedication to broadcast innovation began in 1922, when the DSO became the first orchestra in the world to present a radio broadcast and continues today with the free Live from Orchestra Hall webcast series, which also reaches tens of thousands of children with the Classroom Edition expansion. With growing attendance and unwavering philanthropic support from the people of Detroit, the DSO actively pursues a mission to embrace and inspire individuals, families, and communities through unsurpassed musical experiences.