Walter Blanding Presents: Dwight Adams and the Music of Donald Byrd


Local jazz artists will gather at UrbanBeat 7:30 p.m. Friday (May 24) for the fifth event in a series of concerts hosted by saxophonist, composer and educator Walter Blanding.

Blanding, a Cleveland native who grew up in New York City, is a performing artist and a professor of jazz saxophone at Michigan State University. Over his more than three decades in the industry, he’s performed and recorded songs with Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Willie Nelson, Diana Ross, Paul Simon and many more celebrated musicians. He also served as the jazz ambassador for Jazz at Lincoln Center Shanghai from 2018 to 2020.

The evening will also feature special guest Dwight Adams, a trumpeter and music educator who’s become a fixture of Detroit’s jazz scene and has been touring internationally with Stevie Wonder for two decades. The pair will be joined by Jordan Anderson on piano, Randy Gelispie on drums and Brandon Rose on bass as they play music spanning their own catalogs, plus selections by the late jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd.

The performance will begin with a brief discussion between the audience and the artists. Attendees are invited to bring their own instruments for an open jam session following the show.

General admission tickets are $25, and student tickets are $10 at


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