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March 10, 2021

Swing University: Jazz in Detroit is coming this April!


Swing University

Following the incredible response to our Swing University collaboration with Jazz at Lincoln Center, UMS is delighted to offer an all-new series focused on Jazz in Detroit.

Swing University: Jazz in Detroit is a four-session course that invites participants to explore Detroit’s rich legacy and present contributions to jazz. Each class will be an informal lecture and discussion format led via Zoom by Seton Hawkins, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Director of Education Resources and Public Programming. Seton will be joined each week by a special guest expert or an artist from the Jazz at Lincoln Center family with ties to Detroit. Classes are sequential, but each session can be enjoyed as a standalone experience.

UMS is pleased to offer this course in collaboration with Ann Arbor Public Schools Community Education & Recreation.

Reserve all 4 Sessions and save

Reserve all 4 sessions for just $30, or explore individual classes below ($10 per session; $5 for students). All sessions are Tuesday evenings at 7 pm ET.

Apr 6 – Early Jazz through the Swing Era

Look at some of the early pioneers of Detroit’s jazz scene. We’ll explore the rise of some of the most iconic ensembles of the 1920s and 1930s, and how these bands shaped the jazz landscape in Detroit and beyond.

Guest speaker: Rodney Whitaker

Reserve Individual Class


Apr 13 – BeBop and Hard Bop

The contributions of Detroit to the BeBop revolution and to subsequent styles like Hard Bop cannot be overstated. In our second class, we’ll look at a mix of artists, including world-renowned artists from Detroit whose impact was felt around the globe and local heroes whose crucially important impact remained closer to home.

Guest speaker: Mark Stryker

Reserve Individual Class


Apr 20 – Experimental Sounds, Artist-Directed Action, and New Talents

Some of Detroit’s most astonishing musical innovations in jazz have never received the attention they so richly deserve. Iconic labels like Strata or Tribe Records represent self-directed moves by artists to control their economic and artistic destinies. The musical results were extraordinary, boundary-breaking works that deserve a deep dive.

Guest speaker: Rodney Whitaker

Reserve Individual Class


Apr 27 – Jazz in Detroit Today

Detroit’s jazz scene over a century has innovated and completed mastery of the music for the next generation of jazz performers. We’ll explore the more recent decades of the city’s music scene, learn about contemporary artists in Jazz from Detroit, and how Detroit is leveling the playing field for female jazz artists.

Guest speaker: Endea Owens

Reserve Individual Class