Friday, September 4, 2009

Detroit Jazz Festival is one, uh, tasty happenin’

The white guy with the gray ponytail was sweet. Earlier today, he was lounging under a tent next to a stage in Campus Martius Park, getting ready for this weekend’s Jazz Festival.

“Be sure to check out the Chase stage tonight, too,” he said, pointing toward a second stage a half-block away. “There’ll be some tasty jazz happenin’ tonight.”

Jazz people are great.

Of the many of Detroit’s annual events, the Jazz Festival, I’ve been told, is probably the coolest one I’ve never been to. In addition to those two stages at Campus Martius, there are three others down along the river, and a weekend lineup of music that has jazz people slobbering.

In seeing it during set-up today, though, I realized that the Jazz Festival is not just an event for the jazz aficionado, music types. Woodward Avenue, from Campus Martius nearly all the way to Jefferson, looks like the main strip at a carnival, lined with vendors selling elephant ears, cotton candy and all that other healthy stuff.

Many of the streets are blocked to traffic, and people on foot were settling in four hours before the music was scheduled to start. If you’re looking for a non-sports reason to make it downtown before summer ends, this might be the perfect time. The weather is supposed to be beautiful. The two areas of downtown hosting the festival are renovated and ready. And the music, by all reports, will be tasty.