Music in Homes 2016-17

Jazz, Classical & World Music in Mansions and Historic Homes

A series of eight concerts featuring world-class, Detroit rooted musical artists
All concerts include delicious food, beverages & desserts

Friday, December 30, 2016 • 8 pm
Pre-New Year’s Eve Celebration

A. Spencer Barefield, Marion Hayden, Djallo Keita

Carla Cook photo by ©Barbara Barefield

Celebrate New Year’s Eve a night early at our 10th season kickoff of Palmer Woods Music in Homes. Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Carla Cook is a “straight ahead jazz diva with a gospel soul, big band heart, classical cool and improvisational hot. And what a beautiful voice,” raves JazzTimes. Internationally acclaimed, Cook is a native Detroiter and Cass Tech grad based in New York with her longtime collaborators, famed violinist Regina Carter and pianist Cyrus Chestnut. An all-star ensemble will accompany Cook: guitarist A. Spencer Barefield, bassist Dave Young (Canadian Juno awardee who performed with Oscar Peterson for decades), and percussionist Sean Dobbins. The festivities include a delicious light meal, gourmet pastries and desserts, and sparkling wine. This concert promises to be a very special evening of stellar traditional and contemporary jazz. Share a champagne toast, ­delicious food, and memorable music to ­celebrate the New Year in a majestic room designed for chamber music­. Soaring carved wooden walls and ­a bay window stage with sparkling stained glass surround this enchanting space inside an ­English Tudor built in 1925. Tickets: $60/VIP: $70

Sat. January 28, 8 pm: Mardi Gras Celebration
Alvin Waddles & Fats Waller Review

Alvin Waddles photo by ©Barbara Barefield

An evening of rich jazz history comes alive when pianist/vocalist Alvin Waddles tickles those ivories and plays the music of stride and ragtime legends Fats Waller, Jelly Roll Morton, and other greats. Bassist Marion Hayden, saxophonist Gene Parker and percussionist Djallo Djakate Keita round out this superb quartet. Waddles won glowing reviews for his central roles in “Ain’t Misbehavin” and “Too Hot to Handel.” He served as musical director/pianist for Cook, Dixon and Young (formerly the Three Mo’ Tenors), and worked with some of the world’s finest musicians, including Robert Shaw, Brazeal Dennard, Aretha Franklin, Anita Baker, Placido Domingo, George Shirley, Marcus Belgrave, Tramaine Hawkins, and others. Don a mask and costume to really get in the spirit, if you wish. During intermission, fill your plate with creole-style favorites—jambalaya, red beans, rice, corn bread.

Saturday, February 25, 8 pm
Black History Month Jazz Tribute:
Dave McMurray  Trio Plus

Bassist Ibrahim Jones and saxophonist Dave McMurray. Photo by ©Barbara Barefield

This tribute to jazz giants features the thundering Dave McMurray on sax, Ibrahim Jones on bass, Jeffrey Canady on drums, plus A. Spencer Barefield on guitar.

The musicians will perform innovative and legendary works of jazz, widely considered to be America’s true Classical Music genre.

Music Director and featured soloist with Motown artist KEM, McMurray also has toured with Bob James, pianist Geri Allen, composer Mark Isham, Algerian Räi artist Cheb Khalid, and most recently with French pop star Johnny Hallyday. He performed and recorded with the eclectic funk band Was (Not Was) and with Kid Rock; he’s recorded with the Rolling Stones, B 52’s, Herbie Hancock, BB King, Bonnie Raitt, Temptations, Patti Smith, Bootsy Collins, and many others.

Sat, March 25, 8 pm
Wendell Harrison World Music
Quintet featuring Pathe Jassi

Pathe Jasse. Photo by ©Barbara Barefield

Pathe Jasse. Photo by ©Barbara Barefield

Wendell Harrison. Photo by ©Barbara Barefield

Jazz master saxophonist/clarinetist Wendell Harrison, African bassist/vocalist Pathe Jassi, pianist/2016 Kresge Arts Fellow Pamela Wise, guitarist Jacob Schwandt and drummer Louis Jones III will explore jazz and its African rhythms, as they perform original compositions, as well as music from Senegal, the Caribbean, and New Orleans. The concert will contrast the different approaches to expression of Black life, and also define and illuminate rhythms from the three music idioms—Blues, Reggae, and Samba—which tell stories of African linkage and various cultures of the African diaspora.

Saturday, April 29, 8 pm
Classical Pianist Maria Meirelles &
Violinist Jannina Norpoth

Jannina Barefield Norpoth. Photo by ©Barbara Barefield

Pianist Maria Meirelles.

Pianist Maria Meirelles.

Celebrate springtime with Brazilian-born piano virtuoso Maria Meirelles and New York violinist Jannina Barefield Norpoth. Praised for her eloquent style, beautiful tone and brilliant technique, Meirelles has received acclaim throughout the U.S. and Latin America. She is widely known for her mastery of Beethoven’s 32 Piano Sonatas. Norpoth, who grew up in Palmer Woods, performs with the innovative New York-based PQ (PUBLIQuartet), who debuted at Carnegie Hall and are the 2016-17 Quartet-in-Residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. She has performed with PQ at the Detroit Jazz Festival, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, and throughout the U.S. Repertoire will include Sonata(s) by Prokofiev, Beethoven, Nico Muhly, a surprise guest to perform a tribute to Duke Ellington’s 118th birthday with Norpoth, and more.

Saturday, May 20, 8 pm • Garden Concert*
Orquesta La Inspiracion

Concert Sponsor: Be Well Medical Center
Orquesta La Inspiracion photo by ©Barbara Barefield

Orquesta La Inspiracion photo by ©Barbara Barefield

Our annual Latin Jazz World Music concert is always a favorite. Orquesta La Inspiracion, founded by Puerto Rican congera Ozzie Rivera and under the musical direction of pianist Bill Meyer, is a large ensemble of some of the Detroit area’s most talented and knowledgeable Latin musicians.

In addition to Meyer on piano, La Inspiracion features a hot horn section led by saxophonist Chris Kaercher with trombonist Steve Hunter and trumpeter Ken Ferry; explosive percussions driven by top Latin musicians Miguel Gutierrez on timbales, Luis Hernandez on bongos, and Bobby Guzman on congas and vocals; plus Latino bassist Eddie Caraballo and soulful vocals with the dynamic Dulce Checkler and and special guest jazzy songstress Audrey Northington. The rhythms of salsa, merengue, cumbia and Afro-Caribbean jazz are sure to entice the audience to dance and sway out of their seats, and on a star-filled evening the lawn will be the dance floor.

The beats of salsa, merengue, cumbia and Afro-Caribbean jazz may entice you to dance and sway on a grassy dance floor beneath a star-studded sky. Festivities are held in a spacious tent in a Palmer Woods garden, with a tasty Latin-style meal lovingly prepared by our own Eva Garza Dewaelsche and served during intermission.

You may tour the home prior to the concert at 7:30 pm.

Friday, June 16, 8 pm • Garden Concert*
James Carter Quartet

A. Spencer Barefield, Marion Hayden, Djallo Keita

James Carter. Photo by ©Barbara Barefield

International saxophone sensation James Carter fills enormous festivals and concert halls around the world, so it is a rare treat to hear him in a more intimate setting. Extraordinarily virtuosic, Carter soloed with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Neeme Järvi in 2002 and 2003, performing a saxophone concerto written for him and commissioned by the DSO, which he since has performed with major orchestras worldwide. He crosses boundaries in both the jazz and classical worlds.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch describes Carter as “… among the genre’s most engaging practitioners, an improviser of boundless imagination and barnstorming energy. Whether he’s roaring or rhapsodizing, Carter is the kind of performer who makes listeners extremely grateful that they’re within earshot.”

Carter is a powerhouse saxophonists and one of the most admired musicians of his generation. Composer/guitarist A. Spencer Barefield, who describes Carter as “the John Coltrane of our era” will join him. Carter and Barefield can be heard on Blue Note Records release “Detroit Jazz City” with other legendary Detroit artists. In the 1980s-’90s, Barefield and Carter toured the world with jazz legend Lester Bowie and others. A Kresge Arts Fellow, Barefield has received numerous awards for his music. Bassist Marion Hayden and percussionist Djallo Djakate Keita completes this incredible ensemble of world-acclaimed jazz stars.

Saturday, June 17, 8 pm • Garden Concert*
Broadway, Blues, Jazz & Beyond:
Miche Braden Quintet

Concert Sponsor: City Living Detroit

Miche Braden. Photo by ©Barbara Barefield

A. Spencer Barefield photo by ©Barbara Barefield

A. Spencer Barefield photo by ©Barbara Barefield

Marion Hayden photo by ©Barbara Barefield

David Alan Grier, who was scheduled to perform on June 17, will be filming a new TV show and will not be able to join us in Detroit. We are thrilled to announce that Miche Braden will replace Grier. 

An extraordinary Diva who’s well known for her portrayals of Billie Holiday, Ma Rainey, Valaida Snow and other legends, Miche Braden is famous for her role as blues giant Bessie Smith in the award-winning sensation “The Devil’s Music, The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith.” The musical, which premiered off-Broadway at St. Luke’s Theatre in 2011, has won high praises from the New York Post to The New York Times for Braden’s portrayal of the “Empress of the Blues.”

The musical continues to thrill audiences across the country. In a recent performance, The LA Times raves, “Bessie Smith’s outsized talents — and personality — are vividly channeled through a powerhouse performance by Miche Braden.”

The New York Times describes Miche as “A big voice full of blues, bawdy and unapologetic… she knows when to let it soar and when to keep it at an insinuatingly low simmer.” Detroit-raised Braden returns home for the Palmer Woods Music in Homes grand finale concert to share her bold and brilliant talents, from devilish to angelic.

A versatile artist, actress, singer, poet and songwriter, Braden was mentored by Motown’s Thomas “Beans” Bowles, Funk Brother Earl Van Dyke and  T. Harold Bowles, in addition to Jazz Master Harold McKinney. She has sung with Milt Hinton, Lionel Hampton, Regina Carter, and James Carter. She is featured on the James Carter release “Gardenia’s for Lady Day” (Sony/Columbia), and appeared with him at Carnegie Hall. Braden is featured on CDs to be released this year by Regina Carter and Gayelynn McKinney, with whom she shared the stage in the ensemble Straight Ahead.

This will be an exciting night of music from the great divas of jazz and blues, not to mention Braden’s own fabulous compositions. Braden’s Detroit band includes virtuoso musicians: guitarist A. Spencer Barefield, pianist Buddy Budson, bassist Marion Hayden and drummer Djallo Djakate Keita. Tickets: $60; VIP seating in front rows with additional leg room: $70.

* All concerts include a delicious light dinner, beverages and dessert during intermission. Concerts in May and June are held in spacious tents set in the gardens of homes. You may tour a ­portion of the home prior to the concerts on Friday and Saturday. In the case of severe weather, Palmer Woods Music in Homes (MIH) will move the concert to the beautiful art deco Detroit Unity Temple or other appropriate nearby venue. Tickets are not refundable. MIH reserves the right to make program changes if necessary.

 VIDEO: 2008 Mardis Gras Celebration

Our very first Palmer Woods Music in Homes Mardi Gras Celebration in January 2008 featured the legendary clarinetist/vocalist Charlie Gabriel, who is now one of the leading members of the famed New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band.

The musical heritage of Charlie Gabriel can be traced back as far back as the 1850s. Great-grandson of New Orleans bass player Narcesse Gabriel, grandson of New Orleans cornet player Martin Joseph, and son of New Orleans drummer and clarinetist Martin Manuel Gabriel, Charlie is truly a living legend. At eighty-one (plus) years old, the extensive list of musicians with whom he’s played includes well-known PHJB alumni Kid Howard, Kid Sheik, Jim Robinson, and George Lewis.

VIDEO: 2015 Orquestra La Inspiracion Click here to view