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2020 Detroit Jazz Festival Goes Virtual

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The 2020 Detroit Jazz Festival presented by Rocket Mortgage will be streamed and broadcast live for free this coming Labor Day weekend. The festival begins on Friday, September 4 and runs through Monday, September 7.

The announcement was made by Chris Collins, Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation president and artistic director, in conjunction with Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, Rocket Mortgage Director of Community Sponsorships Jasmin DeForrest, and the City’s Director of Arts and Culture Rochelle Riley.

The festival, which will be held without audiences, will offer this new virtual format in recognition of current city, state, and federal safety guidelines for public gatherings during the pandemic. All performances will be streamed or broadcasted live (no replays or on-demand) from indoor sound stages at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center and closed to the public.

“The Detroit Jazz Festival is one of our city’s most popular events, and we’re thrilled to know that this 41-year tradition will continue this summer — safely and with a spotlight on our world-class local artists,” said Mayor Duggan.

Jazz enthusiasts will be able to view or listen to performances for free in a number of ways including: Channel 22, the city’s new Arts and Entertainment Channel; the Festival’s web page; on public radio and television stations; and on the DetroitJazzFest LIVE! app.

“The Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation is taking health and safety and the use of technology to a new level of excellence this year,” said Collins. “Working with City, State and Federal authorities, we evaluated several contingency plans to ensure the health and safety of our extensive audience during the pandemic. After much consideration, it was decided to create a virtual performance environment that will duplicate the ‘live’ performance experience. We are also pleased to announce Rocket Mortgage as the Festival’s 2020 Presenting Sponsor. They are overwhelmingly supportive and enthused about this unique and health-conscious format.”

“This virtual format marries convenience with the excitement of a live performance that embodies the constant innovation in Detroit,” said Jasmin DeForrest, Director of Community Sponsorships at the Quicken Loans Community Fund. “JazzFest will be paving the way and reaching jazz lovers on a worldwide scale through this virtual format. Once again, we are pleased to highlight the festival and Detroit as a whole through music, art and celebration.”

In addition, the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation will partner with the city to create its iconic Jazz Festival Poster.

The Office of Arts, Culture and Entrepreneurship, Detroit ACE, will issue an open call to identify an outstanding Detroit artist to create the 2020 Detroit Jazz Festival presented by Rocket Mortgage poster. The selected artist will receive a commission fee, receive media and public recognition at the 2020 festival, and join the diverse collection of global artists who have created 40 years of posters.

The 2020 poster is intended to capture the spirit of this year’s festival – the art of jazz, the Detroit vibe and the defining events and realities of the year, potentially including the need (due to public health and safety) to stream/broadcast the festival in place of its traditional live/outdoor/downtown Detroit format, the global pandemic, the quest for justice, equality and freedom brought to the forefront by the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation will donate all proceeds from the sales of this year’s poster to the Detroit Arts Fund, which ACE established to support arts and culture in the city.

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