The great tenor, saxophonist, and composer, Sonny Rollins, once said that Jazz is an “Umbrella Music” because so many other styles of music were birthed from it, including R&B, Soul, Afro Beat, Rock & Roll, Hip Hop, and Funk, just to name a few.

Specifically, when you talk about the origin and roots of Jazz you must consider important historical events and references such as the North American Slave Trade, the Middle Passage, the evolution of the drum, “Field Hollers”, Congo Square, the Great Migration, the Industrial Revolution, the importance of the Black Church, the development of the Blues, the Civil Rights and Women’s Movements, as well as the Harlem Renaissance.  Most of all you MUST recognize Detroit.

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The history of Jazz in Detroit dates back to the early 1900’s, making it one of the Jazz capitals of the world.  However, there has been a lack of consistent national and international press about the Detroit Jazz scene and its rich history.  

In an effort to focus on Detroit’s rich Jazz history, BLAC Magazine will be offering its first annual summer Jazz series, starting this summer. The BLAC Magazine Summer Jazz Series runs from May 2021-August 2021 and is curated by saxophonist, composer, and historian, Mike Monford, who is a product of the Detroit Jazz Scene. Monford is one of the musicians striving to preserve Detroit Jazz, making it an integral part of the global Jazz scene and Jazz history in general. 

BLAC Magazine will feature a different Detroit Jazz artist each month, in a pre-taped live stream concert, with a biography of the artist. BLAC is also working to advertise and promote the artist’s music on BLACs website to provide a platform for artist to receive national and international press for the Detroit Jazz scene.

Mike Monford 

BLAC Summer Jazz Series Episode 1