May 27, 2015
“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.”
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.
May 26, 2015
The stars don’t look bigger, but they do look brighter.
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.
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!
May 23, 2015
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.
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.
More funny business on Michigan in Pictures.