Detroit Jazz City is a compilation album that simultaneously spotlights the past and present of one of America’s great jazz cities while also serving as a benefit album for the organization Focus: HOPE. All proceeds from the album will be donated to Focus: HOPE to aid in their on-going pursuit of intelligent and practical solutions to the problems of hunger, economic disparity, inadequate education, and racial divisiveness in Southeastern Michigan.
Detroit Jazz City was produced by one of Detroit’s native sons, Blue Note Records president Don Was. Was assembled the album by selecting catalog tracks by Detroit-born jazz legends from the Blue Note vaults, and alternating them with new recordings that he produced featuring many of the city’s current jazz elite including vocalist Sheila Jordan (who recorded her debut album Portrait of Sheila for Blue Note in 1962), bassist Marion Hayden, saxophonist James Carter, guitarist Spencer Barefield, and the recently departed trumpeter Marcus Belgrave. The new recordings were made in the lead up to the 2012 Concert of Colors where the artists were featured as part of the festival’s long-standing Don Was Detroit All-Star Revue