DSO announces 2021-2022 Paradise Jazz Series

- In-person subscriptions starting at $109 on sale now at dso.org/jazz; digital offerings to be announced

- Terence Blanchard returns as DSO’s Erb Jazz Creative Chair, will perform with The E-Collective and Turtle Island Quartet, plus the Paradise Jazz Series Big Band

- Guest artists include the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Lizz Wright, Pat Metheny, Dianne Reeves, Kris Johnson, Joel Ross, Brandee Younger, and Robert Hurst III

Detroit, (August 31, 2021) – The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) today announced the 2021-2022 Paradise Jazz Series featuring seven concerts on the Orchestra Hall stage, with in-person ticket packages now available for purchase; digital tickets (for select concerts) will go on sale at a future date. The new season’s artists include Terence Blanchard (Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Chair at the DSO), the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, Lizz Wright, Pat Metheny, Dianne Reeves, Kris Johnson, Joel Ross, Brandee Younger, Robert Hurst III, and more.

The series kicks off on Friday, October 8, 2021, as acclaimed vocalist Lizz Wright makes her Paradise Jazz Series debut as a bandleader. Later in the month, 20-time Grammy-winning guitar icon Pat Metheny presents his latest band project, “Side-eye,” featuring pianist and keyboardist James Francies and drummer Joe Dyson.

On Friday, November 19, 2021, Terence Blanchard featuring The E-Collective with Turtle Island Quartet performs music from Absence, Blanchard’s newly released Blue Note Records album featuring music written and inspired by jazz legend Wayne Shorter. In a holiday concert on Friday, December 3, 2021, acclaimed jazz vocalist Dianne Reeves rings in the season with music from her celebrated album, Christmas Time Is Here

On Friday, March 4, 2022, former DSO Erb Jazz Chair Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra make their highly anticipated return to the Orchestra Hall stage to perform music by beloved jazz giants. Later in the season, trumpeter and arranger Kris Johnson will lead top jazz musicians performing as the Paradise Jazz Series Big Band with special guest soloist Terence Blanchard in commemoration of 80 years since Orchestra Hall reopened as the Paradise Jazz Theatre in 1941. The series wraps up on Saturday, June 25, 2022 with a double bill of the Joel Ross + Brandee Younger Duo and Robert Hurst III and Black Current Jam.

In-person subscriptions are on sale now for the 2021-2022 Paradise Jazz Series, beginning at just $109 for the entire season. Digital offerings are to be announced. Subscribe by visiting dso.org/jazz, calling 313.576.5111, or visiting the DSO Box Office (3711 Woodward Avenue, Detroit; open Monday-Friday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.). Single tickets for Paradise Jazz Series concerts will go on sale at a later date.

Currently in its 22nd season, the Paradise Jazz Series is named for and honors the legacy of the Paradise Theatre, the historic Detroit jazz venue that was on the site of Orchestra Hall from 1941-1951 after the DSO moved to the larger Masonic Auditorium. The DSO is one of few major American orchestras to present regular jazz programming on its main stage. Learn more about the series at dso.org/jazz.

The Paradise Jazz Series is supported by Huntington and MGM Grand Detroit.

The well-being of our patrons, staff, and musicians is of utmost importance, and the DSO appreciates ticket holders' patience as we work to finalize our safety policies for the upcoming concert season. Look for updates later this week, and all ticket holders will be notified by email prior to their scheduled event.



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.



Friday, October 8, 2021 at 8PM

in Orchestra Hall

Acclaimed vocalist Lizz Wright is a steward of American music, bringing brilliant color and vibrancy to singular original works and compositions by some of the greatest songwriters of our time. Her unique style encompasses a variety of musical styles including jazz, gospel, R&B, and folk music. Lizz makes her Paradise Jazz Series debut as a bandleader.



with James Francies & Joe Dyson

Sunday, October 17, 2021 at 7PM

in Orchestra Hall

NEA Jazz Master Mater and 20-time Grammy-winning guitar icon Pat Metheny presents his latest band project “Side-eye,” featuring pianist and keyboardist James Francies and drummer Joe Dyson.



Featuring The E-Collective with Turtle Island Quartet

Friday, November 19, 2021 at 8PM

in Orchestra Hall

Erb Jazz Chair, two-time Oscar nominee, trumpeter, and composer Terence Blanchard performs the music of Wayne Shorter and new original music alongside his internationally acclaimed band The E-Collective and the double--Grammy-winning Turtle Island Quartet. Blanchard celebrates both the brilliance of Shorter’s legacy and the inspiration he has given Blanchard, influencing his ever-expanding amalgam of music and storytelling.


Terence Blanchard featuring The E-Collective 

Terence Blanchard, composer and trumpeter 

Charles Altura, guitar

James Francies, piano

David “DJ” Ginyard, bass

Oscar Seaton, drums 


Turtle Island Quartet

David Balakrishnan, violin

Gabriel Terracciano, violin

Jeremy Kittle, viola

Malcolm Parson, cello



Friday, December 3, 2021 at 8PM

in Orchestra Hall

Dianne Reeves is one of the pre-eminent jazz vocalists in the world today. Ringing in the holiday season with music from her celebrated album, Christmas Time Is Here, Reeves melds her timeless grace, elegance, and charisma into unforgettable jazz renditions of holiday favorites and more. Renowned for her breathtaking virtuosity and improvisational prowess, Reeves will warm your heart with holiday cheer.



Friday, March 4, 2022 at 8PM

in Orchestra Hall

Former DSO Erb Jazz chair Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra make their highly-anticipated return to the Orchestra Hall stage to perform original compositions, arrangements, and music by beloved jazz giants!


Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

Wynton Marsalis, music director, trumpet

Ryan Kisor, trumpet

Kenny Rampton, trumpet

Marcus Printup, trumpet

Chris Crenshaw, trombone

Vincent Gardner, trombone

Michael Dease, trombone

Walter Blanding, tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinet

Sherman Irby, alto and soprano saxophones, flute, clarinet

Ted Nash, alto and soprano saxophones, flute, clarinet

Victor Goines, tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet

Paul Nedzela, baritone and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet

Dan Nimmer, piano

Carlos Henriquez, bass

Obed Calvaire, drums



Featuring Terence Blanchard | Directed by Kris Johnson

Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 8PM

in Orchestra Hall

Commemorating 80 years since Orchestra Hall reopened as the Paradise Theatre in 1941, the DSO is thrilled to debut its Paradise Jazz Big Band, comprised of top jazz musicians from Detroit and special guests from around the world. Led by trumpeter and arranger Kris Johnson, the newly formed ensemble will feature music by some of jazz giants who graced the Paradise Jazz Theatre stage between 1941 and 1951, big band charts by our Erb Jazz Chair Terence Blanchard, and new arrangements by Johnson.





Saturday, June 25, 2022 at 8 PM

in Orchestra Hall

“Detroit native Robert Hurst III has enjoyed a stellar career spanning 30 years and become one of the most in-demand bassists in music, performing alongside the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Dave Brubeck, Yo-Yo Ma, Diana Krall, and countless others. Hurst’s Black Current Jam features the bassist’s compelling compositions that distill an encyclopedia’s worth of African American music, including swinging post-bop, African and Caribbean influences, contemporary beats from hip hop, and more.” – (Mark Stryker)

Brooklyn-based vibraphonist Joel Ross and recently recognized Rising Star Harpist in Downbeat Magazine’s 2020 Critics Poll Brandee Younger make their Paradise Jazz Series debuts with a unique duo set.


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. 

A two-time Oscar nominee, six-time Grammy winner, and 2018 USA Fellow trumpeter/composer, Blanchard has been a consistent artistic force for making powerful musical statements concerning painful American tragedies – past and present.

From his expansive work composing the scores for Spike Lee films ranging from the documentary When the Levees Broke – about Blanchard’s hometown of New Orleans during the devastation from Hurricane Katrina – to the epic Malcolm X; and the latest Lee film, Da 5 Bloods, which was released by Netflix in June 2020, Blanchard has interwoven melodies that created strong backdrops to human stories.

The 2018 Spike Lee film BlacKkKlansman earned Blanchard his first Academy Award nomination, with a second Academy Award nomination in 2021 for Da 5 Bloods. He was also BAFTA nominated for his original music for BlacKkKlansman. He won a Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition for writing “Blut Und Boden (Blood and Soil)”, a track from BlacKkKlansman.

More recently, Blanchard has composed his second opera, Fire Shut Up in My Bones, based on the memoir of celebrated writer and The New York Times columnist Charles Blow. The libretto was written by Kasi Lemmons and commissioned by Opera Theatre of Saint Louis where it premiered in June 2019. The New York Times has called Blanchard’s opera “inspiring,” “subtly powerful,” and “a bold affecting adaptation of Charles Blow’s work.” The Metropolitan Opera will premiere Fire Shut Up in My Bones on September 27, 2021 to open their 2021-22 season in New York, making it the first opera composed by an African American composer to premiere at the Met. Blanchard’s first opera, Champion, also premiered to critical acclaim in 2013 at OTSL and starred Denyce Graves with a libretto from Pulitzer Prize Winner Michael Cristofer.

With his current quintet, The E-Collective, featured on the score to BlacKkKlansman with a 96-piece orchestra, Blanchard delivered “a soaring, seething, luxuriant score,” - The New York Times. In Vice magazine, Blanchard elaborates, “In BlacKkKlansman it all became real to me. You feel the level of intolerance that exists for people who ignore other people’s pain. Musically, I can’t ignore that. I can’t add to that intolerance. Instead, I have to help people heal from it.”

Some of Blanchard’s other film and television credits include Spike Lee’s Jungle Fever, Summer of Sam, 25th Hour,Inside Man, and Miracle at St. Anna; Kasi Lemmons’ films Eve’s Bayou, Talk to Me, and Harriet; George Lucas’s Red Tails; Tim Story’s Barbershop; the powerful documentary On the Record, which was directed and produced by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering and premiered on HBO Max in May 2020; and the critically acclaimed drama series Perry Mason starring Matthew Rhys with episodes directed by Tim Van Patten, which premiered on HBO in June 2020.

Blanchard scored One Night in Miami, which marks Regina King’s feature directorial debut and was acquired by Amazon Studios. The film premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in September 2020, opened in select theaters on December 25, 2020, and launched on Prime Video on January 15, 2021. Blanchard also wrote the music for the feature film Bruised, which marks the directorial debut for Halle Berry, who also stars. The film premiered at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival and is scheduled to be released by Netflix in November 2021.

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. Blanchard’s latest album with the E-Collective, Absence, features music written and inspired by jazz legend Wayne Shorter and was released by Blue Note Records in August 2021.

Regarding his consistent attachment to artistic works of conscience, Blanchard confesses, “You get to a certain age when you ask, ‘Who’s going to stand up and speak out for us?’ Then you look around and realize that the James Baldwins, Muhammad Alis, and Dr. Kings are no longer here...and begin to understand that it falls on you. I’m not trying to say I’m here to try to correct the whole thing, I’m just trying to speak the truth.” In that regard, he cites unimpeachable inspirations. “Max Roach with his ‘Freedom Now Suite,’ John Coltrane playing ‘Alabama,’ even Louis Armstrong talking about what was going on with his people any time he was interviewed. Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter who live by their Buddhist philosophy and try to expand the conscience of their communities. I’m standing on all of their shoulders. How dare I come through this life having had the blessing of meeting those men and not take away any of that? Like anybody else, I’d like to play feel good party music but sometimes my music is about the reality of where we are.”

Learn more at terenceblanchard.com

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 organization. In January 2020, Italian conductor Jader Bignamini was named the DSO’s next music director to commence with the 2020-2021 season. Conductor Leonard Slatkin, who concluded a decade-long tenure at the helm in 2018, now serves as the DSO’s Music Director Laureate. 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 the world’s most acoustically perfect concert halls, Orchestra Hall celebrated its centennial in 2019-2020. In addition, the DSO presents the William Davidson Neighborhood Concert Series in eight 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.