For the second straight year, the Detroit Jazz Festival will be streamed online on the online news magazine and music channel JazzPlanet.tv.
Last year’s streaming effort brought the festival to more than 700,000 fans worldwide.
JazzPlanet.tv is an interactive Web experience that streams live and taped performances, news flashes, interviews and behind-the-scenes commentary. Last year, fans in 157 countries visited the JazzPlanet.tv site.
“Streaming JazzPlanet.tv over the Internet brought the Detroit Jazz Festival to jazz fans all over the world, which was wonderful, but people without laptops had to watch the programming from their homes or offices,” said Sheldon Nueman, CEO of the Livonia audio visual production service Joseph Productions Inc. and founder of PlanetNetworks.tv, the home of JazzPlanet.tv. “Now, with the ability to watch JazzPlanet.tv from a smart phone, we are truly bringing the sights and sounds of the Detroit Jazz Festival to a global, mobile audience. People can literally watch it anywhere now.”
The mission of JazzPlanet.tv is to showcase Detroit as an important center for American music, to provide a unique platform for musicians to showcase to the world and to reacquaint the mainstream with jazz through social media.
In partnership with PlanetNetworks.tv, Livestream.com and Detroit Public Television, the JazzPlanet.tv stage at Hart Plaza will stream via the web what is cool about the Detroit Jazz Festival and the city, in real time. Users around the globe — artists as well as fans — will be able to Skype, tweet and Facebook message fans, artists and media hosts in Detroit through JazzPlanet.tv, detroitjazzfest.com and the social media networks of Detroit Jazz Festival and JazzPlanet.tv.
JazzPlanet.tv adds several new features this year including “Planet Afterhours” where viewers can enjoy a “virtual hang” at the jam sessions with world renowned musicians at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, the official festival hotel and “Jazz Planet University,” which focuses on jazz education. For 2011, JazzPlanet.tv will feature a larger, more prominently located stage on Hart Plaza, with seating for a live studio audience.
In addition to streaming live performances and interviews from the festival, JazzPlanet.tv will present the first-ever live video stream of the infamous Downbeat Blindfold Test. The Blindfold Test challenges an artist to identify and discuss the music and musicians on selected recordings. Hosted by Dan Ouellette, it will feature 2011 Detroit Jazz Festival artist in residence Jeff “Tain” Watts in the hot seat.
“Viewers all over the world will experience the ‘hipness’ of the world’s largest free jazz festival, how it blends urban chic and an informed and diverse audience with some of the best music on the planet,” said festival director Terri Pontremoli. “For the artists, JazzPlanet.tv allows them to share some of their special projects — not only their performances — but what inspired them and what went into their works, with hundreds of thousands of people on the Web.”
Detroit Jazz Festival organizers are expecting a big turn-out for this year’s event, according to Pontremoli. With the theme “We Bring You the World,” this year’s event will honor the global melting pot in jazz, showcasing cross-cultural influences and artists from Japan, South Africa, Cuba, Israel, Brazil and northern Europe, as well as from the United States.
Artists include Dianne Reeves, Angelique Kidjo, Regina Carter, Gary Burton, Kevin Eubanks, Chuck Jackson, Dave Holland, Ivan Lins, Paquito D’Rivera, Luciana Souza, Karriem Riggins Ensemble with Common and more. For a complete listing of artists, visit www.detroitjazzfest.com.
A complete online and smart phone schedule will be announced late August. Visit www.jazzplanet.tv for a sneak preview of what to expect Labor Day weekend.