Subscribe Today for the 2016-2017 Paradise Jazz Series

“DSO Paradise Jazz Series is WORTHY!” -Trip Advisor

“The entire history of jazz came into clear view and the universe exploded.”
Detroit Free Press
“On the music from Porgy And Bess, he blew the polar vortex out of town”
I Dig Jazz

Announcing the 2017-2018 Paradise Jazz Series

Joey Alexander, The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra, Kenny Barron, and more will appear on Orchestra Hall stage

Terence Blanchard returns as the DSO’s Erb Jazz Chair and will reunite onstage with Brazilian superstar Ivan Lins for the first time in over a decade

Trumpeter, bandleader, composer, and multiple Grammy Award-winner Terence Blanchard remains the DSO’s Fred A. & Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Chair and the host of the Paradise Jazz Series. Blanchard will appear as a performer and special guest of Brazilian jazz star Ivan Linsat the final concert of the season, on June 9, 2018.

“It is an honor to serve as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Fred A. & Barbara M. Erb Jazz Creative Chair,” says Blanchard. “I’m so excited for the next season of the Paradise Jazz Series. We’ll continue to honor the rich legacy of jazz in this great hall by bringing to our dedicated jazz fans in Detroit performances by living jazz giants, internationally acclaimed artists, and some new faces—such as Joey Alexander and two Thelonious Monk Competition winners, Melissa Aldana and Jamison Ross. I’m also excited to welcome a dear friend and great artist, Ivan Lins, who has created beautiful and passionate music in the Brazilian tradition that has already become classic.”

Click HERE to purchase or renew your 2017-18 Paradise Jazz Series subscription online.

The Paradise Jazz Series is sponsored MGM Grand Detroit.

Friday, October 20, 2017 at 8 p.m.

JOEY ALEXANDER with special guest Jamison Ross

13-year-old jazz prodigy and Grammy Award nominee Joey Alexander develops fresh takes on well-known tunes, combining them seamlessly with his own original compositions in a way which invites both new and seasoned listeners in. His mentor Wynton Marsalis says: “I love everything about his playing—his rhythm, his confidence, his understanding of the music.” Don’t miss this chance to hear Alexander as he makes his highly-anticipated Detroit debut in Orchestra Hall. Drummer and singer Jamison Ross will open the show.

Friday, November 17, 2017 at 8 p.m.


Dubbed “the most explosive force in jazz,” 18-time Grammy Award-winning Count Basie Orchestra, directed by Scotty Barnhartt, brings its signature sound to the orchestra Hall stage for a special concert featuring the best of the Basie Band tunes, standards, and more!

Friday, February 9, 2018 at 8 p.m.


Jason Moran plays Thelonious Monk

A hundred years after his birth, celebrate the artistry and legacy of Thelonious Monk in a unique multimedia program from MacArthur “genius” Jason Moran. In My Mind features a live musical performance by Moran and his Big Bandwagon interspersed with spoken word, audio recordings, photographs, and video. The New York Times declares the program a “stunning project—connecting with Monk beyond the surface of his music.”

Friday, April 20, 2018 at 8 p.m.


The SFJAZZ Collective is an all-star award-winning jazz ensemble comprising eight of the finest performers and composers at work in jazz today. After exploring the work of John Coltrane, Horace Silver, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson, the Collective now takes on the material of jazz icon Miles Davis. 

Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 8 p.m.

KENNY BARRON QUARTET with special guest Melissa Aldana Quartet

Kenny Barron is recognized the world over as a master of performance and composition. His unmatched ability to mesmerize audiences with his elegant playing, sensitive melodies, and infectious rhythms is what inspired The Los Angeles Times to call him “one of the top jazz pianists in the world.” Chilean tenor saxophonist and Monk Competition winner Melissa Aldana, described as “a bold new talent…with her own style” by NPR, will open the show with her quartet. 

Saturday, June 9, 2018 at 8 p.m.

“A NIGHT IN BRAZIL” – IVAN LINS with special guest Terence Blanchard

Grammy Award-winning Brazilian superstar Ivan Lins is a master of harmony and melody! Lins has written and performed numerous songs which have become jazz classics recorded by Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Quincy Jones, George Benson, Sting, and countless others. He makes his Paradise Jazz Series debut to perform originals and sizzling classics that will fill your heart and stir your soul. Erb Jazz Chair Terence Blanchard will sit in for a few tunes with Lins.




                                                                                                  Friday, March 9, 2018 8pm – Sunday, March 11, 2018 2:30pm
                                                                                                                               Mahalia Jackson Performing Arts Center – Buy Tickets 

 “I kill a man and the world forgives me. I love a man and the world wants to kill me.” The story of Emile Griffith–the closeted gay welterweigunspecifiedht boxer whose knockout of a homophobic rival led to unexpected tragedy–comes roaring to the stage in this riveting and haunting opera. Through flashback, an aging Emile reflects on his tumultuous life, from his Caribbean upbringing and conflicted sexuality to his meteoric rise in the ring and ensuing decline in health. Battling years of guilt, regret, and denial, he now faces his greatest fight: to come to terms with his true self.

Five-time Grammy-winning jazz powerhouse Terence Blanchard, whose music ranges from film to Broadway to the concert hall, has composed a soulful, groundbreaking score filled with jazz-inflected vocals, bluesy harmonies, and Afro-Caribbean beats. Mixing bold characterizations with visually stunning multimedia and a jazz trio within the orchestra,


Champion blew critics away when it premiered in 2013. The New York Times said the opera “strikes a resonant chord,” while the Chicago Tribune called it “a new work of quality and staying power.”

I’m seeing a lot of wonderful African American singers at WNO…I love it. I have to go sing for Washington.
–Aubrey Allicock (Opera News)

unspecified-1CAST & CREATIVE TEAM

Emile Griffith: Arthur Woodley
Young Emile: Aubrey Allicock
Emelda Griffith: Denyce Graves
Benny Paret: Victor Ryan Robertson
Howie Albert: Robert Orth
New Orleans Opera Chorus

Director: James Robinson


Champion Photo Credit: Ken Howard

“Terence Blanchard’s Opera is a new American Masterpiece.”The Denver Post
“Visually a Treat”
New York Times
“Champion may be the single most important world première in the 38-year history of Opera Theatre of St. Louis.”
St.Louis Post-Dispatch
“A new work of quality and staying power, one that deserves to be taken up by other opera producers far and wide.”
Chicago Tribune

Champion In the News

Opera Parallele Announces 2015-16 Season

A Deadly Night in the Boxing Ring Is Grist for an Evening at the Opera, NY Times 5/16/12

OTSL announces a new commission for 2013, Stltoday.com 5/16/12

Grammy Award-winning Composer Terence Blanchard And Pulitzer Prize-winning Playwright Michael Cristofer To Premiere New Opera At Opera Theatre Of St. Louis, All About Jazz 5/16/12

UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music

Terence Blanchard has been named the first Kenny Burrell Chair in Jazz Studies at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, which was established to honor Kenny Burrell, a legendary jazz guitarist and composer, as well as the founder and director of jazz studies at UCLA from 1996 to 2016.

32nd Annual Havana Jazz Festival 2016 – December 15-18, 2016 

This engagement is supported by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through USArtists International in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. www.midatlanticarts.org



Absence // Absence
  1. Absence // Absence
  2. The Elders // Absence
  3. Fall // Absence
  4. I Dare You (Intro) // Absence
  5. I Dare You // Absence
  6. Envisioned Reflections (Intro) // Absence
  7. Envisioned Reflections // Absence
  8. The Second Wave // Absence
  9. When it was Now // Absence
  10. Dark Horse // Absence
  11. Diana // Absence
  12. More Elders // Absence