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Marion Hayden's Legacy Ensemble

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Sunday, June 26, 2 pm
Grand Finale with Bassist Marion Hayden & Legacy Ensemble

If you haven’t seen or heard Marion Hayden perform, you’re in for an spectacular experience. The ubiquitous bassist is one of the most sought-after Detroit musicians for local and national artists. She is a founding member of the all-women Straight Ahead ensemble, band leader, composer, educator and recording artist.

The Legacy Ensemble celebrates the compositions of the Detroit jazz icons—Kenn Cox, Donald Walden, Roy Brooks, Marcus Belgrave, Kamau Kenyatta and others—whose tutelage brought along Hayden and other members of the sextet to create a new generation and keep alive the Detroit way.

In addition to the predecessors whose music is honored, Hayden has performed and recorded with Kirk Lightsey, Ralph Peterson, Kenny Burrell, Regina Carter and James Carter. The Carters (they’re not related) are two Detroit-born superstars who also were mentored by a generation that raised them in the jazz spirit.

Hayden’s cohorts are trumpeter Dwight Adams, saxophonists Cassius Richmond and Vincent Bowens, keyboardist Henry Gibson and drummer Djallo Djakate Keita—who bring vast and intimate experience with the music of these masters. All of them have performed with musical luminaries such as Stevie Wonder (Adams), James Carter (Richmond), Sam Sanders (Bowens), Charles McPherson (Gibson) and Martha Reeves (Keita).

That’s a short list, but plenty to show that this lineup of musicians can take you deeply into bebop and beyond.

Most of these compositions can be found on recordings, but jazz is a living form and these musicians keep the music alive and vibrant. Hayden has referred to Cox and Walden’s recording Duet at Kerrytown as: “A musical conversation between two longtime friends. This is a personal conversation, the kind that friends of over 40 years have; full of understanding, recollection, nuance, blues, fire and life.” The conversation continues with the Legacy Ensemble and may it never end.

 

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