Jazz, Classical & World Concerts
Palmer Woods Music in Homes
Palmer Woods Music in Homes showcases the best of Detroit’s jazz, classical and world-music artists — musicians with international acclaim — in the ambiance of magnificent Palmer Woods mansions and cool homes.
Our series begins with a Pre-New Year's Holiday Concert on Saturday, Dec. 28 with world-acclaimed “Lady of Cool” singer Kathy Kosins and Detroit-area jazz luminaries: guitarist A. Spencer Barefield, pianist Cliff Monear, bassist Marion Hayden, and drummer Sean Dobbins, for an evening of incredible vocal and instrumental jazz.
The series continues with seven more outstanding concerts. Our annual Mardi Gras party will be held on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014, followed by a concert each month in a different stunning home.
As we enjoy spring-summer warmth, we move the concerts to tents set in the lush gardens of wonderful homes:
- On Saturday, May 24, celebrate jazz legend Sun Ra's 100th Birthday with Planet D Nonet
- Our grand finale will have you dancing to Orquesta La Inspiracion with our Latin feast on Friday, June 20, and doing more foot-tapping to the fabulous homecoming reunion on Saturday, June 21 with jazz great pianist/saxophonist Kamau Kenyatta and friends Shahida Nurullah, Marion Hayden, A. Spencer Barefield and Djallo Keita.This two-day grand finale on June 20-2q, 2014 includes the opportunity to tour a portion of the homes.
pianist Ciff Monear & guitarist A. Spencer Barefield
Saturday, December 28, 8 pm
World-acclaimed “Lady of Cool” Kathy Kosins — “one of the most alluring voices in Jazz” according to the Chicago Tribune — will be joined by Detroit-area jazz luminaries: guitarist A. Spencer Barefield, pianist Cliff Monear, bassist Marion Hayden, and drummer Sean Dobbins, for an evening of incredible vocal and instrumental jazz.
ASCAP award-winning vocalist Kosins has won the hearts of critics and fans around the globe with her eclectic musical palette that expands the rich history of jazz. “Kosins is a delightful surprise…reminiscent of Peggy Lee…worthy of Dinah Washington,” according to Jazz Times.
Born in Detroit during the Motown era, she began singing and arranging background vocals for producer Don Was in the early eighties, which led to her being one of the most sought after session singers. As a lead vocalist, she recorded for both Carrere (Sony) and Quality Records and later toured with Was/Not Was. Kosins has a jazz pedigree dating back to Detroit greats J.C. Heard and Nelson Riddle Orchestras. She has recorded with many well-known R&B and jazz artists, including James Moody, Cyrus Chestnut, Randy Brecker, Kevin Mohagany, Robert Hurst, and others. Her most recent release on the Mahogany label is receiving rave reviews around the world.
Join us for a champagne toast, delicious food and a memorable concert to celebrate the New Year. Held in an enchanting and majestic room designed for chamber music, soaring carved wooden walls and a bay window stage with sparkling leaded, stained glass surround this perfect space.
Saturday, January 25, 8 pm
Taslimah Bey’s Mardi Gras Celebration
Party to the music of Jelly Roll Morton, Scott Joplin, and New Orleans with accomplished Ragtime pianist Taslimah Bey. Her all-star quintet features trumpeter Dwight Adams (a regular in Stevie Wonder’s band), saxophonist Ben Pruitt, bassist Marion Hayden, and percussionist Djallo Djakate Keita. Bey, Detroit’s resident Ragtime master, was mentored by and has performed with Charlie Gabriel, leader of the famed New Orleans Preservation Hall Jazz Band, as well as Marcus Belgrave and others. Experience a slice of jazz history and a creole-style feast during intermission—jambalaya, red beans, rice, corn bread and the Mardi Gras spirit will get you reveling!
Saturday, February 15, 8 pm
Black History Month Jazz Tribute
Celebrate Black History month with the classic jazz of African American composers, including Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Oscar Peterson, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, guitarist Spencer Barefield, and others. This special music demands top-notch chops. 2010 Kresge Artist Fellow A. Spencer Barefield has received numerous prestigious commissions for composition, performance, touring and recording internationally. Saxophonist Dave McMurray has worked with Herbie Hancock, Geri Allen, Don Was, the Rolling Stones and many more. Juno award winner bassist Dave Young played with the great Oscar Peterson for 30 years and many other jazz legends; he’s considered a national treasure in Canada. Detroit percussionist Djallo Keita has performed with Detroit royalty Marcus Belgrave, Charlie Gabriel, Kenn Cox and many others.
Brazilian-born piano virtuoso Maria Meirelles has appeared in concert under the baton of many notable maestri, including Arthur Fiedler, Sixten Ehrling and Gyora Bernstein. Her distinguished career has won her national honors and critical acclaim throughout the U.S. and Latin America, where she often performs. She widely known for her mastery of Beethoven’s 32 Piano Sonatas and the music of Franz Liszt. Assistant Principal Violist of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra James VanValkenburg is an accomplished chamber musician and soloist, and has collaborated with many of his favorite musicians, including Menahem Pressler, Gidon Kremer, Mischa Maisky, David Shifrin and Isaac Stern. A. Spencer Barefield will trade his Gibson jazz guitar for a one-of-a-kind handmade classical guitar made by local luthier Peter Psarianos. Repertoire will include works by Prokofiev, Brahms and other classical greats, as well as 20th century Brazilian composer Radamés Gnattali.
Sponsored by City Living Detroit
Saturday, April 19, 8 pm
Xiao Dong Wei Trio: Chinese Journey
Journey to China and back with the exotic sounds of Xiao Dong Wei, who is considered a master of the erhu (a Chinese two-stringed, bowed instrument, similar to a violin). A multi-instrumentalist and vocalist who began studies at the prestigious Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing at age 11, she also plays the guzheng (21-stringed zither) and the pipa (four-stringed Chinese lute). A 2012 Kresge Artist Fellow, Xiao has performed internationally as soloist, with chamber ensembles and orchestras—including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO)—playing Chinese and Western classical music, world music and more. She will be joined by two highly accomplished DSO members, violist Hang Su (also from China) and cellist Dave LeDoux. Music will include Western and Chinese classical favorites, as well as Chinese traditional selections.
Saturday, May 24, 8 pm
Planet D Nonet & Sun Ra’s 100th Birthday
Planet D Nonet (PD9) is an exciting nine-piece ensemble featuring saxophones, trumpets, trombone and a full rhythm section. PD9 was founded by Detroit jazz mainstays, drummer R.J. Spangler and trumpeter James O’Donnell, who were original members of the popular Sun Messengers. PD9's repertoire includes the swing music of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Fletcher Henderson, Count Basie and Benny Carter, the jump tunes of Louis Jordan, as well as more modern jazz by the legendary Sun Ra and Pharoah Saunders…always played with a Detroit twist. The concert will include a special tribute celebrating Sun Ra’s 100th birthday. Ra was a one-of-a kind pioneer, who led a trailblazing big band that performed avant garde jazz, fusing classic jazz with improvisation, galactical themes, experimental sounds and Egyptian mythology. PD9’s vertsatility allows them to play a wide range of swing, blues, space‐age jazz and classic American songs, all served up with joyfullness and skill. It’s also garnered them Detroit Music Awards for Best Jazz CD in 2011 and Best Traditional Jazz Band in 2013
Orquesta La Inspiracion
Ready to move to the high-spirited rhythms of merengue, cumbia and Afro-Caribbean jazz? It’s difficult to stay seated when Orquesta La Inspiracion’s soulful vocals, horns and intricate percussions explode from one of the Detroit area’s most authentic and exciting exponents of Latin Jazz. Inspired by Puerto Rican-born congero Ozzie Rivera and led by award-winning music director/pianist Bill Meyer, La Inspiracion is a large ensemble that weaves a classic Afro-Carribean tapestry to make dancing and smiles irresistible! A gourmet Latin-style feast served during intermission is prepared by our own Eva Garza Dewaelsche. This annual festive event is held in a tent set in the beautiful backyard gardens of a resplendent Palmer Woods home. Read more
GRAND FINALE Sponsored by Creative Arts Collective
Saturday, June 21, 8 pm
Kamau Kenyatta, Shahida Nurullah & Friends
Beloved songstress Shahida Nurullah has performed with some of the greatest of our home-grown musicians and keeps those connections alive, even when musicians are spread globally. She will be reunited with one of her favorites at a homecoming concert with former Detroiter, composer, producer, saxophonist and pianist Kamau Kenyatta, who now lives in San Diego, California. His music credentials are extensive and notable: he is the musical director/ producer of Gregory Porter’s latest Grammy-nominated recording; he’s on the jazz faculty at University of California; and his resume includes Donald Byrd, Earl Klugh, Hubert Laws, the Supremes, New Kids on the Block, TV and film scores, and much more. He will be joined by his equally-impressive friends: jazz vocalist extraordinaire Shahida Nurullah, who has performed internationally and recorded with pianist/composer Geri Allen and many others; Marion Hayden (bass/composer) of Detroit’s cherished “Straight Ahead” ensemble; Djallo Keita (drums); and A. Spencer Barefield (guitar). Expect a smoking finale of jazz, including traditional, modern and Latin styles, with a smattering of blues and funk.
All concerts include delicious food and beverages 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 concert. Tickets are not refundable. Palmer Woods Music in Homes reserves the right to make program changes if necessary.