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Cover Story

Family affair

Tracing generations of jazz at this year's fest

AUDIO

WDET interviews W. Kim Heron about the Detroit International Jazz Festival (MP3)
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Published 9/2/2009

The Detroit International Jazz Festival celebrates its 30th Labor Day weekend with a tagline of "Keepin' Up With the Joneses" and a theme of jazz families. Most notably, there's Hank Jones, the survivor of a mighty Pontiac bop triumvirate that comprised him and his late brothers Thad and Elvin. The fest that opens with Hank on Friday also includes, among others, Detroit's McKinney clan (McKinfolk) and the Heath Brothers; the father-child pairings of Larry and Julian Coryell, Peter and Juan Escovedo, and John and Bucky Pizzarelli; not to mention children following in the musical footsteps of parents: T.S. Monk, Chuchito Valdez, Gerald Clayton, Johnny O'Neal, the Clark Sisters and Karriem Riggins.

But "family" in music can be both genetic and aesthetic. "We're all connected. It's amazing how extended the family is and how deep it goes," the former Detroiter Bennie Maupin said the other day, while noting his musical kinship to the late Eric Dolphy. These stories explore some of those varied connections, among other things.

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Detroit-born Karriem Riggins grooves at the corner

The last king of swing
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Gerald Wilson paints his hometown in sound

Time's still on her side
by Bill Holdship
Irma Thomas brings the soul to this year's Jazz Festival

Life lesson
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A tribute to Eric Dolphy — years in the making

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Some high notes among fest offerings

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