Joan Belgrave and Kirk Lightsey

Joan Belgrave

Joan Belgrave and Kirk Lightsey

Kirk Lightsey

Joan Belgrave and Kirk Lightsey

Marcus Belgrave





Joan Belgrave and Kirk Lightsey

Celebrate Her 60th Birthday and the Legacy of Marcus Belgrave

  • $35 Assigned Rows 1-2
  • $25 Assigned Rows 3-5
  • $15 General Admission
  • $5 Student


  • Joan Belgrave, voice
  • Kirk Lightsey, piano
  • Ibrahim Jones, bass
  • Alex White, drums

Event Details

Ann Arbor Native, vocalist Joan Belgrave first started singing at Ann Arbor's Second Baptist church, went on to study classical voice, and is now known in jazz, blues, gospel, and R&B circles. A versatile singer and natural entertainer, Belgrave is a proven crowd-pleaser with original compositions and new takes on classics—including a recent Dinah Washington tribute.  The widow of Jazz Legend Marcus Belgrave, this show will include music celebrating the legacy of her late husband.

Tonight she is joined by their good friend, 80-year-old piano legend Kirk Lightsey, who has worked with such greats as Dexter Gordon, Pharoah Sanders, and Kenny Burrell and has accompanied vocalists like Betty Carter and Gregory Porter. Joan and Kirk will be fresh off their performance at New York's Dizzy's Club Coca Cola.

*As a special gift, every assigned seat ticket holder will receive a copy of Marcus Belgrave’s 2009 Kresge Eminent Artists profile book and CD.

Joan Belgrave

Vocalist, producer, songwriter, Joan Belgrave, began her musical career like so many others, singing in the choir of the Baptist church. Her musical education continued while studying classical voice. Her versatility as a musical stylist allowed her to perform as a vocalist in various genres of music from Jazz, Blues, and Gospel to Soul. Joan arrived in Los Angeles from Michigan in the late 70’s performing primarily as a lead vocalist. A powerful voice and her own jazzy/blues style, her 2005 release CD Variations embodies all of this and more. Her new CD Excitable (2009) brings together a young New Orleans virtuoso pianist with veteran players, mixing the old with the new. Joan is a touring Lead Vocalist with 4th generation New Orleans Charlie Gabriel’s Traditional Jazz Ensemble and a lead member of the Motown Legends Gospel Choir.

Kirk Lightsey

A pianist who is not a trendsetter but is consistently excellent, Kirk Lightsey long ago developed his own sound within the hard bop tradition. He started playing piano when he was five, although he also played clarinet while in high school. Lightsey worked in Detroit and California in the early '60s, often accompanying singers. He gained some attention in 1965 when he recorded with Sonny Stitt and was on five Prestige records with Chet Baker. However, Lightsey mostly had low-profile gigs until he toured with Dexter Gordon (1979-1983) and became part of the Leaders (starting in the late '80s). Kirk Lightsey has recorded with Jimmy Raney, Clifford Jordan, Woody Shaw, David Murray, and Harold Land, among others, and has led his own sessions for Criss Cross and Sunnyside, including piano duets with Harold Danko. He released the duo album, The Nights of Bradleys with bassist Rufus Reid on Sunnyside in 2004.

Ibrahim Jones

Originally from Detroit, Ibrahim Jones is a graduate of Cass Technical High School and attended & studied music education at Wayne State University. Mr. Jones won a Detroit Black Music Award (D.B.M.A) as the 2012 “Bass Player of the year” & was a nominee for “Musician of the year” in 2011. With over 20 years of experience playing and studying Acoustic and Electric Bass, Mr. Jones has studied under Marion Hayden, Don Mayberry, Ralph Armstrong, Ray McKinney, and former DSO bassist John Kennedy. Mr. Jones is also the son of jazz trumpet great, Felton Jones. Ibrahim has performed workshops with Frank Foster, Marcus Roberts, & Herb Ellis. Read more.

Mr. Jones has served as the bassist in Oprah Winfrey’s Broadway hit show “The Color Purple”, “Christmas with the Rat Pack”, “Aint’ Nothin’ but the Blues”, “Rebirth of the Cool” as well as Music Director of many Detroit plays “Ain’t Ms. Behavin” and “Sarah, Ella, & Pops” with PlowShares and Bores Head theater companies.

Having toured and performed in jazz, R&B, and gospel bands, Mr. Jones has worked with a host of world renowned musicans that include Roy Ayars, Randy Brecker, K-Jon, Freda Payne, Mary Wilson, Diane Schuur, Jason Marsalis, James Carter, The Three Mo’ Tenors, Marcus Belgrave, Carla Cook & Benny Golson. Mr. Jones was also filmed & the bassist for Sony’s major motion pictures 2012 remake of the movie “Sparkle” staring Whitney Houston & Jordan Sparks; Playing behind many major R&B/Pop recording artist in the film such as Cee Lo Green, Jordan Sparks, Goapele, & many others. Ibrahim currently performs and records with a number of artists and is currently working on albums with trumpeter Rayse Biggs, saxophonist Dave McMurry, R&B recording artist K-Jon, & Detroit Music Award winner Jazz/R&B vocalist, Sky Convington. Mr. Jones has also taught music at Plymouth Educational Center & Youth Ville Arts School of Detroit. Mr. Jones plays for Trinity Baptist Church of Pontiac.

Mr. Jones greatest musical influences have been his father Felton Jones, John Pattituchi, Stanly Clark, Marcus Miller, and Ralph Armstrong. See less.

Alex White

Drummer Alexander White captivates audiences around Detroit and the world with his lively interpretation of swing and groove. On October 2nd White released his first original album Ubuntu with the Detroit Record Forge, which masterfully showcases a variety of styles and genres executed by some of the finest young musicians Detroit has to offer including De’Sean Jones, Rafael Statin, Ian Finkelstein, Sasha Kashperko, Ari Teitel, Marcus Elliot, Glenn Tucker, Ben Rolston, Jon Leavell, and more. Read more.

Alexander is yet another talent force to come from Marcus Belgrave’s renowned Civic Jazz Youth Ensemble, White’s earlier inspiration and musical education was fostered around fellow family musicians. He mastered the gospel style of drumming while playing at his grandfather’s church, but he also spent endless hours practicing to the music of Michael Jackson, Prince, Sly and the Family Stone, Fred Hammond, Motown Classics, and anything else he could wrap his ears around. Introduced to the Youth Ensemble by his cousin, cellist Cecilia Sharpe, he forged bonds that have lasted throughout the last decade of his young life. Later, he attended the Detroit School of Fine and Performing Arts and trained in the arts of classical percussion under Edward Quick.

As a teenager, White studied with other Detroit jazz greats that include Rodney Whitaker, Diego Rivera, John Douglas, Kris Johnson, Darrell Campbell, Jon Dixon, and several others who helped shape and mentor him into one of the city’s most creative young players.

Now eagerly accepting the torch as part of the next generation of Detroit musicians, White tours internationally with the James Carter Organ Trio. When he is not hitting the stage in Spain, France, Poland or Italy, he can be seen around SE Michigan playing with various artists including De’Sean Jones and Knomadik, The Marcus Elliot Quartet, Rafael Statin, Sky Covington and Club Crescendo, Ralph Armstrong and Damon Warmack. See less.

Planning Your Visit

Our historic Kerrytown neighborhood



21st Annual EDGEFEST 2017: Drums Along the Edge

21st Annual EDGEFEST 2017: Drums Along the Edge