Detroit Public TV | History of Detroit Jazz
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Detroit Jazz City

A multi-part video series exploring the history of Jazz in Detroit




Detroit Public TV and WRCJ 90.9 FM will spotlight Detroit’s role in helping introduce Jazz music to the world in the new nine-part video series, Detroit Jazz City.

Each video segment will focus on a different aspect of the history of Jazz in Detroit, while also sharing the stories of those Detroiters who have made monumental contributions to this original art form. 

Beginning February 2020, the nine-part video series will be distributed every month through DPTV’s locally produced television programs.

Watch One Detroit on DPTV – WTVS 56 at 7:30pm ET on March 5 to see the first video from the series, Introduction to Detroit City Jazz, which explains how the Detroit became the foundation of America’s only original art form.

Ultimately, the series will culminate in a 60-minute broadcast special in late-2020, comprised of content from nine segments.


1. Introduction - How many of us living in Detroit understand our city's importance on America's only original art form - Jazz? This introduction gets us started. The first in a series of documentary shorts called Detroit Jazz City.

2. Education & Mentorship - Back in the day, Detroit Public Schools was a first class education system and music education was a huge part of it. Outside of the classroom, important jazz musician mentors like Barry Harris and Marcus Belgrave extended the education into the many, many jazz venues throughout the city.

3. NEA Jazz Masters - It's the Hall of Fame for Jazz musicians. And guess which city can claim the most? That's right, Detroit Jazz City. This episode runs through the staggering number of jazz geniuses that Detroit has produced.

4. Strata and Tribe: Detroit Jazz empowerment labels - Forming in the wake of the '67 Uprising, Strata, and then a few years later Tribe, helped musicians take control of their own destiny and captured classic recordings of Jazz's giants along the way including Charles Mingus, Herbie Hancock and others.

Sponsored by

Dr. Alexander Nakeff &

Carole Anne Nakeff 


Sandy Koltonow & 

Mary Schlaff

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