Intro: This is “Warriors in the Community” brought to you by Wayne State University, and now to learn about how Wayne State is positively impacting our community, here is Darrell Dawsey.
Darrell Dawsey: Joining us today is Chris Collins, professor director of Jazz Studies and the Valade Endowed Chair in Jazz. He's also president and artistic director of the Detroit International Jazz Festival, which is the largest free jazz festival in the world each year.
We're excited about the Detroit Jazz Festival. Can you share with our listeners what they can expect to hear this year?
Chris Collins: Well, you know, it's in its 44th year. It's a long Detroit tradition, culturally and throughout the community, but it attracts a global audience. It's one that focuses on the true art of jazz, which is, you probably know in Detroit, it's in the blood, it's in our genes.
Darrell Dawsey: Why is it that the festival remains such an enduring part of the Detroit cultural landscape?
Chris Collins: As a musical form, it is the absolute foundation of American culture, of American music. And in Detroit, it's a very important part of everyday life.
You know, Grandma and Grandpa playing John Coltrane on the record player, man, passing it on from generation to generation. And that speaks to all of us in a way that we can gather around such an important art form and know that we're all welcome, we're all invited, and we all own a piece of the culture that is derived from this wonderful music
Darrell Dawsey: Now behind the festival is also a foundation that does work in our community. Can you share a little bit about this foundation and what it does?
Chris Collins: Yeah. The Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation is one of the creations that was brought about when Gretchen Valade stepped up. She insisted that there be a nonprofit public foundation created that would actually be a year-round entity. So there are educational community outreach, concerts and then it all culminates Labor Day weekend for 44 years this year. September one through four at the festival itself, making sort of that, that final statement of our years of activities.
Darrell Dawsey: Thanks so much for joining us.
Chris Collins: Pleasure's been mine. Thank you.
Extro: This has been “Warriors in the Community.” For more Wayne State News, please visit us online at today.wayne.edu/wwj and join us here next Monday at the same time for more warriors in the community.