Marcus Belgrave is the Door to Jazz

Marcus Belgrave is the Door to Jazz, photo by Derek Farr

“In order to get to the future, you have to go to the past. I try to instill that you learn from the masters in your presence and go back and forward from there. In order to find yourself, you have to be cognizant of what went down before you. That’s always been my philosophy.”
~Marcus Belgrave

The Freep reports that world-renown trumpeter Marcus Belgrave has passed away at the age of 78.

It’s impossible to overstate the impact that Belgrave has had on musical culture in Detroit as a musician, teacher and standard-bearer of jazz. Like an African griot (historian, storyteller, praise singer, poet and/or musician), he came to embody the soul and mythology of the city’s jazz history, handing down the values of swing and blues to multiple generations of students — many of whose fame would eventually outshine his own. Belgrave symbolized Detroit’s continued vitality as an incubator and epicenter of jazz, and he remained a key link between the city and the international jazz scene.

“He became a mentor to entire generations of musicians, and a lot of us would not have found the music without him,” said bassist Rodney Whitaker. “He brought us together. I have not met one musician from the last 50 years in Detroit that Marcus has not had some sort of impact on.”

Belgrave’s A-list resume included a long tenure with Ray Charles in the 1950s and early ’60s and associations with jazz royalty like Max Roach and Charles Mingus. Ultimately, however, Belgrave’s greatest contribution was the remarkable honor roll of his former students who graduated to leading roles on the national scene — including pianist Geri Allen, bassists Whitaker and Robert Hurst, alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett, violinist Regina Carter, and drummers Karriem Riggins, Ali Jackson and Gerald Cleaver.

Read on for lots more about this Detroit jazz legend and also check out their compilation of Belgrave recordings & videos – it’s some wonderful music. Be sure to also check out this great interview with Belgrave about the Detroit jazz scene and a bit of a performance from Eastern Market.

Derek says that four paintings including this one were put on doorways of an abandoned building on Gratiot Avenue near Downtown in 2005, but were taken down for some reason in 2008. View it bigger and see more in his massive Detroit Ruins (and other cities) slideshow.

Milky Otter

Milky Otter, photo by Heather Higham

The stars don’t look bigger, but they do look brighter.
~Sally Ride

Google reminded me this morning that today would have been astronaut & physicist Sally Ride’s 64th birthday. The Wikipedia entry for Sally Ride says that on June 18, 1983, she became the first American woman in space. Along with her NASA career, Ride also wrote a number of books aimed at encouraging children to study science, something I strongly believe that all of us should remember to do with the young girls & boys who look up to us.

To put a Michigan bow on this, be sure to check out the Women in Aviation and Space exhibit at the AirZoo in Portage. The exhibit honors women including astronaut Sally Ride and aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart. It includes original uniforms, a visual history mural, photo collages, a timeline and a unique mosaic, which includes each of the 1,102 WASP plus Jacqueline Cochran, founder of the Women in Aviation and Space organization.

Heather took this incredible shot at Otter Creek in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. View her photo bigger and see more in her Night Sky slideshow.

PS: If you want to get your Night Sky fix at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, check out their Your Park After Dark program this summer!

Don't Forget Why You Have Today Off Work.

“Don’t Forget Why You Have Today Off Work, photo by J.M.Barclay

Indeed. Enjoy your extra weekend day but take some time to remember the incredible sacrifices that have been made for our nation.

View J.M.’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.


May 23, 2015

Lower Harbor Massive Rainbow

lower harbor massive rainbow, photo by Lake Superior Photo

I’ve featured a photo of a rainbow and one of Marquette’s harbor in the last couple of days, but I haven’t featured a photo of both! Have a great weekend folks.

Shawn writes: prismatic is on the mind right now, recalling one of the most brilliant rainbows I’ve ever witnessed. View the photo background bigtacular and head over to Lake Superior Photo to view and purchase photos (including a stunning double rainbow) in her Lake Superior Landscapes gallery.

More rainbows & rainbow science on Michigan in Pictures.

White Washed Fence

White Washed Fence, photo by RSchmidt Loads

Where would we be without humor?

I hope that everyone who’s traveling this weekend has a safe and pleasant trip and is able to meet any challenges with a smile or a chuckle.

View RSchmidt’s photo of this fence in Northville bigger and see more in their Objects slideshow.

More funny business on Michigan in Pictures.

Rainbow Season

May 21, 2015

Another Amazing Sky

Another Amazing Sky, photo by Ben Thompson

Gotta love Spring!

View Ben’s photo bigger and see more in his Weather/Clouds slideshow.

More Michigan weather fun and more Ann Arbor on Michigan in Pictures.

Out of the fog

May 20, 2015

Walking the breakwater in the fog

Walking the breakwater in the fog, photo by Ann Fisher

View Ann’s photo of the Marquette breakwater background bigtacular and see more in her 2015 UP slideshow.

There’s more spring wallpaperfog & mist & Marquette on Michigan in Pictures.


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