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September 01, 2011 - Image 48

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-09-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

arts & entertainment

MoreLabor Day Fests

Dr. Jazz

Music promoter Bob Cohen
anticipates some great music at
the annual Detroit Jazz Festival.

A

Bob Cohen, aka Dr. Jazz

Suzanne Chessler

Contributing Writer

A

fter the music ends at this
weekend's 32nd annual Detroit
Jazz Festival, some of the
sounds will linger on for quite some time.
That's thanks to Bob Cohen, 56, better
known as Dr. Jazz.
Serving as liaison to the national radio
press for the 10th year of the event, he will
prepare audio CDs representing two of the
five stages in a best-of-festival program.
Distribution will go to about 200 radio
stations across the country to capture
the styles played Sept. 2-5 in downtown
Detroit.
"This year's festival theme is 'We Bring
You the World," says Cohen, who spends
the rest of the year running Dr. Jazz
Operations, working with radio stations to
program the latest CDs recorded by a long
list of clients.
"There will be a combination of a lot of
world musicians performing here and also
a focus on how our music, jazz, has influ-
enced people all over the world."
Cohen, who has many Jewish clients,
calls attention to three Jewish performers
in this year's festival: Israeli-born clari-
netist Anat Cohen (4:45-6 p.m. Sunday,
Sept. 4, on the Absopure Pyramid Stage),
Brazilian-born vocalist Luciana Souza
(1:45-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3, on the
Absopure Pyramid Stage) and baritone
saxophonist Gary Smulyan (5:15-6:15
p.m. Friday, Sept. 2, on the Education
Stage as special guest with the Henry Ford

._

4.ews

Jewish performers at this year's Detroit Jazz Festival include, left to right,

clarinetist Anat Cohen, vocalist Luciana Souza and saxophonist Gary Smulyan.

Community College Big Band).
Dr. Jazz, who says he operates among
the oldest independent record promotion
firms in the country, gives his attention to
all kinds of jazz adaptations.
Based in Oak Park, he remains close
to what used to be the family business:
Dexter Davison Markets, owned by his
grandfather Norman Cooler, his uncle
Ruby Cooler and his dad, Bernard Cohen.
The younger Cohen carried on the fam-
ily interest in food by starting the first
kosher kitchen at the Alpha Epsilon Pi
fraternity at the University of Michigan in
Ann Arbor. A fascination with molecular
biology surpassed his interest in food,
however, and he earned a Ph.D. in that
subject at the University of Vermont.
Before finishing his degree, jazz began
to take hold.
"I always enjoyed listening to music
when I studied',' he explains. "I started
with classical and got into jazz. In Vermont,
the campus radio station wasn't playing a
lot of jazz so I went there and complained.
They made me the jazz music director and

40 I Nate Bloom
Special to the Jewish News

Ls
.gek

1

181

I

-

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Toronto Festival Update

In the Jewish News article "Neighbor
to the North" (Aug. 25, page 46),
I wrote about 25 features and
documentaries with a strong Jewish
connection coming to the Toronto
International Film Festival, which runs
Sept. 8-18 (for a complete schedule,
go to tiff.net/thefestival) . Since then,
five more films of note have been
added.
In Darkness is based on the true
story of Leopold Socha, a Pole and
small-time crook who, with two
partners, saved the lives of a dozen
Jews by hiding them (for pay) from
the Nazis in the amazingly extensive

44

September 1 . 2011

gave me a four-hour show on Sundays."
The idea for the name Dr. Jazz came
from Cohen's pursuit of his doctoral
degree.
"I started hanging out with all the musi-
cians, and it just so happened that a top
folk label based in Vermont was putting
out its first jazz release,' he recalls. "I was
asked to promote it and did very well. I
decided that was what I wanted to do with
my life and have been in business for 31
years."
Cohen reminds jazz fans of the Detroit
jazz fest's mantra: "Keep It Free."
"Ours is the largest free jazz festival in
the world:' he says. "Even with our spon-
sorships, we're asking the public to help
keep it free by becoming members at dif-
ferent levels of donations." I I

sewer system of Lvov, then a city in
Poland. Motivated by wishing to atone
with God for his earlier life, Socha
reached into his own pocket when the
Jews' money ran out, paying off his
partners and feeding the dozen. (A
good summary of the true story can
be found at tinyurl.com/3vhouqw.)
The film's director, Agnieszka
Holland, 62, the secular daughter
of a Polish-Jewish
father and a Polish-
Catholic mother,
is probably best
known for her direc-
tion and screenplay
(Oscar-nominated)
of Europa, Europa
(1990), also a
Agnieszka
true story of the
Holland

For information on the Detroit Jazz
Festival, including a complete list
of performers, go to
detroitjazzfest.com .

Holocaust. Poland has already select-
ed Darkness as its selection for the
2012 Best Foreign Language Oscar.
Four Israeli films have also been
added. Footnote is a comedy-drama
about a father and son who are
competing talmudic scholars at the
Hebrew University. The film won the
Best Screenplay Award at the recent
Cannes Film Festival. Its director
and screenwriter is
Joseph Cedar, 42,
whose best-known
film is Beaufort
(2007). Lipstikka is
a thriller about the
complicated relation-
ship between two
Palestinian women
Joseph Cedar
who move to London

rts, Beats & Eats returns for

the second year to Royal Oak
this Labor Day weekend, run-
ning Sept. 2-5 and featuring juried art-
ists, a musically diverse lineup of more
than 200 acts on 10 stages and all sorts
of dining opportunities.
The Jewish Federation of
Metropolitan Detroit and JARC are two
of the nonprofit partners benefiting
from proceeds.
To catch some acts with Jewish con-
nections, look for Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Jr. (9 p.m. Friday on the Michigan
Lottery National Stage), the High
Strung (6:30 p.m. Friday on the Ford
Focus Alternative Stage), Klez Kids of
Michigan (1:30 p.m. Monday on the
Mirepoix Cooking School International
Stage), Howling Diablos (9:30 p.m.
Saturday on the Budweiser Rock Stage)
and Billy Brandt (11 a.m. Friday on the
Made in Detroit Stage).
Special entertainment also is being
arranged by the Royal Oak Music
Theatre.
For more information and tickets,
contact (248) 334-4600 or go to
artsbeatseatseats.com .
Other popular festivals planned for
Labor Day weekend include:
Michigan Renaissance Festival:
Through Oct. 2 in Holly. (800) 601-4848;
michrenfest.com .
Hamtramck Labor Day Festival:
Sept. 3-5, including music, food, car-
nival rides and more, in downtown
Hamtramck. hamtownfest.com .
Labor Day Round Up: Sept. 6,
including family fair, parade, classic
cars, games, food and the 30th annual
Art in the Village art fair, in downtown
Franklin. (248) 626-9666;
franklin.mi.us .

to begin a new life but cannot forget
the one they left behind. Last Days in
Jerusalem tells the story of an Arab
couple on the brink of separation.
Finally, Restoration, a big hit in Israel,
is about a family fighting to save their
business and themselves.

Howard vs. Andy

You've probably read about comedian-
actor Andy Dick's anti-Semitic remarks
about radio host Howard Stern.
However, I urge you to listen to Stern's
complete on-air Sirius Satellite Radio
response to Dick and his articulate
explanation of how many people whose
lives and/or careers have reached rock
bottom turn to anti-Semitism to justify
their failure. The complete audio can
be found on Huffingtonpost.com . II

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