The MichiganDaily - Weekend etc. - Thursday,_September 16, 1993 - 3
What Ann Arbor Hazz Is Lots of Blues and Jazz
By TOM ERLEWINE
In the early '70s, Ann Arbor played
host to a wealth of talent with the Ann
Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival. Everyone
fromMilesDavis, Ray Charles, Howlin'
Wolf, Magic Sam and Sun-Raperformed
at the festivals. In retrospect, the diver-
sity and magnitude of the artists is abso-
lutely staggering. Sadly, as the decade
progressed, the Festival disappeared.
Fortunately, it was revived last year and
it gained enough support to warrant a
second straight year. This year's festi-
val runs September 17-19, andthelineup
is as rich and diverse as any of the
Kicking the festival off Friday at the
Michigan Theater is tenor saxophonist
Joe Henderson, with Detroit's own
Harvey Thompson as a special guest
vocalist. Henderson has long been ad-
mired within the jazz world but only
recently has he entered the spotlight
with his 1992 tribute album to Billy
Strayhorn, "Lush Life." Henderson's
concert begins at 8 p.m.
On Saturday the 18th, the festivities
move to Gallup Park, located at Fuller
Road and Geddes. Starting at noon,
local stars Big Dave and the Ultrason-
ics will open the show with their good-
time, rocking blues. Following Big
Dave will be the duo of Madcat-Kane
- Peter Madcat Ruth is an acclaimed
blues harmonica player, Shari Kane is
a guitarist. Their music is steeped in
traditional Delta blues yet offers a new
spin on its roots.
The mind-bending free-jazz guitar
of Sonny Sharrock is next on the bill.
Ex-NRBQ guitarist Steve Ferguson &
the Midwest Creole Ensemble follow
with their original blend of blues, rock
and Cajun. A.J. Croce, son of the late
folk singer Jim Croce, has absorbed a
wide range of American roots music,
developing a distinct style that is sepa-
rate from his father's.
Closing Saturday's show at Gallup
Park will be former Gang Starr leader
Guru's new ensemble, Jazzmatazz,
which features an eclectic fusion of
jazz and hip-hop.
On Saturday evening at the Michi-
gan Theater blues legend Etta James
will perform with her special guests the
Blues Disciples. After nearly 40 years
in the business, James' voice sounds as
good as it ever did.
The final day of the festival begins
with big-band jazz from the II V I Or-
chestra. Local blues and rock 'n' roll
guitarist George Bedard follows with
his lively interpretation of classic '50s
rock and country.
Foracomplete changeofpace, check
out trumpeter Michael Ray & the Cos-
mic Krewe who follow with a tribute to
the late jazz sensation Sun Ra. After
Ray, the Holmes Brothers offer their
dynamic interpretation of American
roots music. Terrance Simien & the
Mallet Playboys offer their powerful,
jumping zydeco, energized by frontman
Closing the entire weekend long fes-
tival is the godfather of British Blues,
John Mayall. Mayall discovered such
enormously influential guitarists as Eric
Clapton, Fleetwood Mac's Peter Green
and Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones.
His new version of the Bluesbreakers
features the immensely talented Coco
Tickets for the Festival are available
at all TicketMaster outlets and the
Michigan Theater Box Office; tickets
can be purchased for individual
shows or as a package. For the
Gallup Park shows, admission is
$12.50 per day, $20 for both Saturday
and Sunday; student tickets are $10
per day, $15for both days. Evening
performances at the Michigan
Theater run $20 or $15 depending on
the seats. A pass for the entire
festival, covering all four events, is
$50. The gates to Gallup Park will
open at 11 a.m. Food and drink will
be provided by various local
merchants. No coolers, glass
containers, cans, alcohol, pets or
bicycles are allowed beyond the
Festival gates. Gallup Park will also
offer a gallery of photos from
previous Festivalperformances as
well as local art and a children's
Legendary saxophonist Joe Henderson will kick off the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival.
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More than most contemporary vocal soul groups, the Holmes Brothers have a masterful grasp not only on their chosen genre but
also on a wide array of American roots music. One listen to their new Rounder records release, "Soul Street," proves how
accurate a statement this is. Throughout the course of the record, the Holmes Brothers switch between the gritty blues of Jimmy
Reed's "Honest I Do," the muscular New Orleans' swing of Fats Domino's "My Girl Josephine," the gospel of "Walk in the Light"
and the straight country of "There Goes My Everything" without ever once sounding unfocused. They manage to thrive on this
diversity because their singing is so deeply rooted within all of these traditions - they can pull all of these elements together
into a cohesive whole. The Holmes Brothers will be performing at the Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival this Sunday, September 19
at Gallup Park. Tickets for the Festival are available at all TicketMaster outlets and the Michigan Theater Box Office; admission
for Sunday's concert is $12.50 or $10.00 for student tickets. A pass to all events may also be purchased for only $50.00. The
Holmes Brothers will also perform at the Detroit Festival of the Arts on Saturday, September 19.
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