after the storm, actually. A powerful thunderstorm blew
through the Detroit Jazz Festival (DJF) Saturday evening,
September 3rd, with stinging airborne gravel and horizontal
rain propelled by 60 mile per hour winds.
by Sunday morning, DJF's resilient organizers had once again
turned the September 1-5, 2011 event into "Jazz Disney World"
(without the four day pass $219 admission fee and long lines)
for those who love the music and the artists who make it.
On location to cover this largest free jazz festival in
the entire world for WCBE's Jazz Sunday, I had the privilege
of meeting Columbus's own Aaron Diehl, a pianist who is
among the brightest young stars in the jazz firmament.
Diehl Performing in concert
featuring Wes "Warm Daddy" Anderson on reeds, Dominick Farinucci
on trumpet, Yasushi Nakamura on bass and Lawrence Leathers on
drums---delivered a stunning set on an overcast Sunday afternoon
by the Detroit River. Diehl displayed his jaw-dropping range,
including his mastery of classical music, a rhythmic zest for
stride, soulful gospel and elegant arpeggios that would have made
Keith Jarrett smile. And, the young man (25 years old) can swing.
Diehl, Farinucci and Anderson created their own summer storm on
stage with their whirling rendition of Nat Adderley's "Little
Boy With The Sad Eyes."
Diehl with son Aaron backstage
Mack Avenue Records has signed Aaron Diehl to its burgeoning
roster of A-list jazz talent. Diehl, who in April of this
year won the prestigious American Pianists Association's
Cole Porter Fellowship for Jazz competition, will be going
into the studio later this month to record his debut album
for the label. Mack Avenue Records president Al Pryor is
bullish on Diehl's prospects for success. Aaron Diehl is
a man of Christian faith, who serves as music director for
Harlem's St. Joseph of the Holy Family Church. Despite his
hectic touring schedule, Diehl strives to be back in Harlem
to direct the music for church services as many Sundays
as frequently as he can. Still, I'm glad he chose to take
a sabbatical this particular Sunday to share his God-given
talents with an appreciative audience in Detroit.
Images by Jack Marchbanks
Language Universal Co-Founder and Contributing Writer
September 6, 2011