Edgefest 2020 is going virtual!

Preparations for Edgefest 2020, scheduled for four days in October, were all but complete when the now ongoing national health crisis hit the nation, shutting down businesses and necessitating the practice of social distancing for months, creating much uncertainty about the near future and requiring us to cancel all in person performances. Given all the work that had gone into this and the joyous anticipation among artists and fans alike, this was a difficult and painful decision, but one that had to be made to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone involved. 

But as we promised at the time, we have been hard at work preparing an alternative way of keeping the spirit of Edgefest 24 alive, as we pivot towards and look forward to the grand 25th edition of the festival in October of 2021.

Virtual Edgefest Series to kick off in October

We can now announce that a six-event schedule of streaming performances by a wonderful collection of musicians, arranged for the most part to adhere to the original brass theme “Partial to the Edge,” has been developed, with many thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts and our other generous donors. Each online concert event (one per month from October through March) will feature major artists from all over the country with opening sets by distinguished musicians from the southeast Michigan area. The roster of national artists is set and we will be completing the Michigan artist roster over the next few weeks.  All events will take place on a Friday evening at 7:30 PM;  other details will follow soon.

This unique Edgefest series will kick off on October 23rd with the group Purple Gums, a freely improvising brass ensemble featuring Bobby Bradford (cornet), Francis Wong (tenor saxophone), and William Roper (tuba & voice). We are particularly thrilled to welcome back the magnificent Bobby Bradford, whose musical artistry, storytelling, and collaborative spirit contributed so much to the success of last year’s Edgefest.  

Preceding Purple Gums will be two of Detroit’s finest and most versatile improvisers, woodwind multi-instrumentalist Skeeter Shelton and drummer Djallo Djakate.

See below for individual concert dates and listings, or click the images above!

This unique Edgefest series will kick off on October 23rd with the group Purple Gums, a freely improvising brass ensemble featuring Bobby Bradford (cornet), Francis Wong (tenor saxophone), and William Roper (tuba & voice). We are particularly thrilled to welcome back the magnificent Bobby Bradford, whose musical artistry, storytelling, and collaborative spirit contributed so much to the success of last year’s Edgefest.  

Preceding Purple Gums will be two of Detroit’s finest and most versatile improvisers, woodwind multi-instrumentalist Skeeter Shelton and drummer Djallo Djakate.

Click here for more info, artist bios, and photos.

The second concert, on November 20, will feature the duo of trombonist Steve Swell and baritone saxophonist Dave Sewelson. Steve is an old friend and a veteran of the festival, having appeared in many groups, and we welcome Dave to the family for the first time.

Click here for more info, artist bios, and photos.

The third presentation, on December 18, will offer two national artists; first an Edgefest debut featuring virtuoso trombonist, Jen Baker, who will demonstrate her mastery of so-called extended techniques, including the use of simultaneous multiple sounds, as part of her Silo project; performance inside a Michigan Silo!  Next a rare solo appearance by the trumpet hero Dave Douglas, who has appeared at Edgefest several times from the very first years.

Click here for more info, artist bios, and photos.

Another solo recital will herald the new year on January 22 performed by trumpeter Jaimie Branch, another musician who has been prominently featured at earlier editions of the festival.

More info coming soon!

Our fifth event on February 19 features Jason Hwang’s Human Rites Trio that includes bassist Ken Filiano and drummer/percussionist Andrew Drury, all dear friends and Edgefest regulars in many different configurations. They will be celebrating, if somewhat delayed because of the times, the release of their first album, which has already garnered very admiring reviews.

Click here for more info, artist bios, and photos.

 

The Edgefest 24 series concludes on March 26 with a trio led by the great tuba master Joe Daley and includes percussionist Warren Smith and multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson, all three beloved Edgefest veterans. 

Click here for more info, artist bios, and photos.

Edgefest 2020: Partial to the Edge

OCTOBER 14 - 17

The focus of this year’s festival will be on brass instruments. The sheer power of the cornet or trumpet dominated many early jazz bands and made heroes of players such as Buddy Bolden, King Oliver and Louis Armstrong; but, in modern times, players of brass instruments, not just of trumpets, but also of the trombone, tuba, euphonium and French horn have made their mark on the music and provided a broader sound palate for ensembles. Brass players are creating new paths of sound and direction within their ensembles, developing extended technics and compositional methods that move the music forward.

Among the featured ensembles that include brass is Anthony Braxton’s ZIM Sextet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cn7AwLLRPqs; celebrating Braxton’s 75th birthday!

Stay tuned, more info coming soon!

Last year – Edgefest 2020: OUT West

Current Lineup

• Ray Anderson
• Jen Baker
• Andrew Bishop
• Bobby Bradford
• Jaimie Branch
• Anthony Braxton
• Joe Daley
• Dave Douglas
• Andrew Drury
• Jennifer Ellis
• Ken Filiano
• Jason Hwang
• Frank Lacy
• Ingrid Laubrock
• Dan Peck
• William Roper
• Steve Swell
• And More!