A New York City jazz festival comes with a musical slice of Motown.
The Winter Jazzfest was set to include in its lineup a show on Sunday entitled “From Detroit to the World: Celebrating the Jazz Legacy of Detroit and Honoring Marcus Belgrave.” The Le Poisson Rouge show was created to honor the late trumpeter, who graced stages and studios with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie and Motown artists galore.
Scheduled performers for Sunday’s show were to include Ron Carter, Sheila Jordan, Robert Hurst, Karriem Riggins and Belgrave’s wife, Joan Belgrave. Also set before the show is a discussion about the history of Detroit jazz, moderated by Detroit-area author Mark Stryker.
Joan Belgrave said she sought to feature some of her husband’s proteges for the first “Marcus Belgrave Legacy Ensemble” show.
Marcus Belgrave came to Detroit in 1962 and became a studio musician for Motown Records, playing on “My Girl,” “Dancing in the Street” and others. After Motown moved to California in the early ’70s, Belgrave stayed and co-founded Tribe Records.
He became an original member of Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in 1988 at the request of Wynton Marsalis and in 2006 was featured at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s presentation, “Detroit: Motor City Jazz.”
Belgrave died in 2015 at 78.