On May 29th, Detroit Sound Conservancy (DSC) put on a truly happenin’ concert in Detroit’s Capitol Park called “Flyin’ the Coop: Jazz Downtown” to represent how Detroit has served and still serves as the ‘coop’ for influential jazz musicians both past and present. Two exceptional performers were featured, the seismic De’Sean Jones and the fastly developing Tariq Gardner.
Already a phenomenally accomplished musician, having played with top-tier jazz bands while still in collegiate training, not to mention Mozartian-grade composer AND founder of the group Evening Star. Tariq Gardner should be considered one of the new faces of the Detroit Jazz scene. Mentored by Detroit Bass icon Marion Hayden, Gardner represents the contemporary, enterprising Detroit sound to a T, in thought word and deed. After graduating from University of Michigan’s prestigious Jazz Studies program, he quickly solidified his name in the local scene culture and became fully engrossed in the historically multifaceted culture of Detroit Jazz. After performing for a bit with the John Douglas Quartet and absorbing their danceable lingo of jazz-funk, he expanded into festivals across Michigan, spreading Detroit’s nu-jazz, synthetic cool wherever he went, especially through the Evening Star Trio!
But what’s Nu-jazz? Combining many attributes of jazz’s many faces, like experimentalism, smooth melodicism, funk and dance, electronica, rock, and free-form improvisation, Nu-jazz takes a backseat approach and let’s you revel in the music without getting overly involved. Another important tenant is nu-jazz’s priority of ambience and down-tempo [accented beat] catharsis. When listening to Tariq, try sensing the changes in style and how it feels!
This past Memorial Weekend’s festivities showed that Detroit’s diverse musical heritage is blossoming and flourishing thanks to jazz’s movers and shakers of the past, present, and future. To catch more of what Tariq is offering, be sure to check out his Facebook and Instagram for updates, posts, and more stellar, Detroit innovation!
DSC’s main project, the preservation of The Blue Bird Inn (now designated Historic District) is the key! Because the Blue Bird was the place for artistic genesis, the ‘Detroit Sound’ has been forever changed. To protect this site and preserve it for the next generation, we need your help. If you’d like to contribute to DSC’s plan to restore this landmark, consider clicking here to aid in the preservation of Detroit culture!
As always, thank you for the support, and in the words of Miles Davis, “In improvisation, there are no mistakes.”