“This extraordinary presentation of jazz and hip hop gives the festival an opportunity to step out of the box and attract a new audience while maintaining the connection to the festival’s artistic core – jazz,” said Terri Pontremoli, festival artistic director. “The connections and gaps between the two genres will be celebrated on Labor Day on the JPMorgan Chase Stage.”
This kind of project is not unusual for Riggins, who has spent the better part of his career successfully straddling the two worlds of jazz and hip-hop. The Detroit native established his jazz chops under the tutelage of Betty Carter, Ray Brown, Oscar Peterson, Mulgrew Miller and Kenny Burrell. In addition to being a mainstay in Diana Krall’s quartet, he has made a name for himself in hip hop circles as a producer and collaborator with the likes of Common, Erykah Badu, Talib Kweli, The Roots, Slum Village and Kanye West.
Common rose to prominence as one of hip hop’s most poetic and respected lyricists, having recorded over eight albums and garnering multiple Grammy Awards. The album Be with Kanye West garnered four Grammy nominations, and the Grammy award-winning Finding Forever debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 Album Chart. His ninth album, The Believer, The Dreamer, will be released in November 2011.
Other special guests joining Common and Riggins will be announced at a later date. For more information on Karriem Riggins, go to www.karriemriggins.com.
For the full 2011 Detroit Jazz Festival artist roster, visit detroitjazzfest.com.