One of the major highlights of this year’s 2012 Detroit Jazz Festival was Mack Avenue Record’s own Superband set that took place during Saturday night. The Detroit, Michigan based and now internationally known record label boosting a wide-range of artists and musical genres, has become a major player in the jazz game for well over a decade. Founded by Detroit philanthropist and businesswoman Gretchen Valade, she has taken the roots of her support of the arts and has been a major player in contributing to the survival of the Detroit Jazz Festival.
In the last decade the label has been spearheaded by music visionary Denny Stilwell and has added other label subsidiaries Sly Dog Records, Artistry Music, and Rendezvous Music. In addition to the many labels they boost a great line-up artists like The Yellowjackets, Gary Burton, Kevin Eubanks, Carl Allen & Rodney Whitaker, Stanley Jordan, Kenny Garrett, Brian Bromberg, Gerald Wilson, Christian McBride, Danilo Perez, and the late blues great Johnnie Bassett.
The Mack Avenue Records Superband set at this year’s festival consisted of many of the new and up-and-coming musicians on the label including trumpeter Sean Jones, saxophonist Tia Fuller, pianists Alfredo Rodriguez and Aaron Dielh, vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant, and guitarist Evan Perri of the Hot Club of Detroit. The elder statesman of the Mack Avenue Records also graced the stage as well featuring performances by Kevin Eubanks, Gary Burton, Carl Allen. Bassist and composer Rodney Whitaker served as the musical director for the set and legendary producer Al Pryor served as the set’s Executive Producer.
The Superband set showcased the diverse and talented musicians that Mack Avenue Records has continued to exhibit to the world as did Motown Records did for soul music and continues the rich tradition of music that comes out of Detroit. Mack Avenue Records as a small independent label has blown the roof out of the old mold of the big corporate record labels in they place an emphasis on music and musicians that represent a future of the legacy of jazz and American roots music. This segment will allow you to get an inside view of the many personalities of this growing record label and hope that you support their artists.
For more information on Mack Avenue Records or to order discs from their catalogue, please visit them online at mackavenue.com or facebook.com/mackavenue