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Sunday, May 19 | Live at the SC: PD9 Spring Concert

Sunday, May 19, 3pm
The Sixth Annual
Planet D Nonet Spring Concert  2019
“Swinging Guitars: Eddie Durham & Danny Barker”

$25 general admission / $20 students, seniors, SC members

Purchase tickets for the concert

This year we pay tribute to two guitar players; Eddie Durham, from Texas, the first important jazz soloist on the electric guitar – predating Charlie Christian by a year. And Danny Barker, from New Orleans, a great rhythm guitarist, composer and singer. Eddie was also a great arranger in addition to playing the trombone. These are two unheralded figures in jazz that are perfect for this concert where we shine a light on significant if lesser known artists. We will present two sets of exciting swing music! Danny’s wife Blue Lu will get some attention as well!

Eddie Durham (August 19, 1906 – March 6, 1987) was an American musician who pioneered the use of the electric guitar in jazz. He was a guitarist, trombonist, composer, and arranger for the orchestras of Bennie Moten, Jimmie Lunceford, and Count Basie.  With Edgar Battle he composed “Topsy”, which was recorded by Count Basie and became a hit for Benny Goodman.  In 1938 Durham co-wrote “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire”, with Bennie Benjamin, Sol Marcus and Eddie Seiler. During the 1940s, Durham created Eddie Durham’s All-Star Girl Orchestra, an African-American all-female swing band that toured the United States and Canada. (born in San Marcos, Texas, on August 19, 1906)

Born January 13, 1909 New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S. Died March 13, 1994 (aged 85) New Orleans Genres Jazz, blues, zydeco Occupation(s) Musician, vocalist Instruments Vocals, guitar, banjo, ukulele Associated acts Cab Calloway, Blue Lu Barker, Fairview Baptist Church Marching Band. He was an American jazz musician, vocalist, and author from New Orleans. He was a rhythm guitarist for various bands of the day, including Cab Calloway, Lucky Millinder and Benny Carter throughout the 1930s.  One of Barker’s earliest teachers in New Orleans was fellow banjoist Emanuel Sayles, with whom he recorded. Throughout his career, he played with Jelly Roll Morton, Baby Dodds, James P. Johnson, Sidney Bechet, Mezz Mezzrow, and Red Allen. He also toured and recorded with his wife, singer Blue Lu Barker. From the 1960s, Barker’s work with the Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band was pivotal in ensuring the longevity of jazz in New Orleans, producing generations of new talent, including Wynton and Branford Marsalis who played in the band as youths.

Singer Blue Lu Barker was born, raised, and buried in New Orleans; her funeral even turned into a popular video broadcast spotlighting the town’s jazz funeral traditions. Like many early Louisiana performing artists, claims to her paralyzing influence over the entire country’s jazz and blues scenes tend to be made with great regularity. Thus, the tale of Blue Lu Barker is one in which jazz critics on one side of the fence comment on her limited vocal range, while others come up with quotes such as this one, attributed to legendary jazz vocalist Billie Holiday: “Blue Lu Barker was my biggest influence.” In both the ’30s and ’40s she was one of the more popular blues performers, often appearing alongside artists such as Cab Calloway and Jelly Roll Morton. Sometimes it was her husband, musician Danny Barker, who opened the doors to musical groups such as Sidney Bechet’s, but no bandleader ever tossed her offstage when she clambered up for a vocal, especially once she started cutting hit records. Barker’s most famous recordings were done in 1938. “Don’t You Feel My Leg” was a well-crafted song that seemed to encourage promiscuity and restraint simultaneously, always a good thing for the music business. The song got a second round of popularity in the ’70s courtesy of Maria Muldaur. The early Barker material features her husband on banjo and guitar and the couple would continue performing together until his death. Her career continued after that, all the way up to a last recording taped live in 1998 at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. That’s unless the video of her funeral is counted, as her presence is majestic enough to almost be considered a performance. Players who are still alive and jamming at this event include the majestic Big Al Carson on tuba.

The Planet D Nonet plays speakeasy era jazz by Louis Armstrong, Harlem Jive by Fats Waller, swing era tunes by Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson and plenty of music from New Orleans. They do an annual concert every Spring at the Scarab Club where the focus is different themes and each time brings a new book of charts to the band.  Past shows have focused on early Kansas City jazz by Benny Moten and Count Basie, Duke Ellington at the Cotton Club, the proto R&B of Buddy & Ella Johnson, as well as Louis Jordan. Our Billy Strayhorn show resulted in a CD that hit #17 on the JazzWeek chart and #23 on the Billboard Traditional Jazz chart and was considered for a Grammy and a Detroit Music Award. So far, the PD9 has garnered six Detroit Music Awards and is nominated for a seventh as this goes to press.

This event is made possible by a grant from the Knight Foundation.

The Scarab Club Announces New Executive Director

The Scarab Club Announces New President

How to Spend 72 Hours in Vibrant Detroit

There are two things to do this last afternoon in Detroit, and if you have time you have to do both! Start by visiting the Scarab Club. They have two gallery spaces in their building with rotating exhibitions that change every six weeks. It is a super cool spot and free and open to the public!

Source: Flight Network | Full Post Here

Wednesday, February 21| Americans in Paris


Michigan Opera Theatre and Chamber Music at the Scarab Club are pleased to present Americans in Paris, a vocal and chamber music concert, on Wednesday, February 21, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the Lounge Gallery of Detroit’s historic Scarab Club.

In anticipation of MOT’s upcoming production of Ricky Ian Gordon’s 27, an opera based on the lives of Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, this concert will explore the Parisian salon culture of the early 20th century of which Stein was a prominent fixture. Artists from Michigan Opera Theatre and Chamber Music at the Scarab Club will offer works by Virgil Thomson, George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Lili Boulanger, Paul Bowles, and Ricky Ian Gordon. Tickets are $25 at the door, $20 in advance, and $10 for students.


Purchase tickets by emailing or calling 248 474-8930.

Scarab Club sparkles on its 110th anniversary – Crain’s Detroit

A long-hidden gem gains more brand awareness, expanded programs and increased financial support ahead of a landmark anniversary.

Source: Scarab Club sparkles on its 110th anniversary – Crain’s Detroit

Archive PDF – Scarab Club sparkles on its 110th anniversary

The Steward: Ashley Hennen | Detroit People | Detroit Metro Times

The Scarab Club was founded 110 years ago as a sort of do-it-yourself project by Detroit’s upper-crusters to celebrate, discuss, and enjoy art. It set up shop a stone’s throw from the Detroit Institute of Arts when the DIA was brand-new, and celebrates its 90th anniversary next year. It’s a one-of-a-kind club, and the rafters of its second-floor lounge have been signed by such artists as Marcel Duchamp, Diego Rivera, Norman Rockwell, and Gilda Snowden. It’s a priceless piece of history.

PDF: The Steward_ Ashley Hennen _ Detroit People _ Detroit Metro Times

Source: The Steward: Ashley Hennen | Detroit People | Detroit Metro Times

Fruits Reborn as Sculpture

To those who consume it, fruit may be among nature’s most delicious treats, but fruits are also reproductive bodies.

“Its [fruit’s] entire design is to better produce the next generation,” said Mary Eddy, one of four participating artists in the group show May Contain Fruit at the Scarab Club. “That vessel to produce another vessel to produce another vessel, which so closely mirrors our anatomy.”


PDF: Fruits Reborn as Sculpture – Hyperallergic

Source: Fruits Reborn as Sculpture

American Dreaming, Corvette: Media Coverage Round-up

Car and Driver


GM Authority


Car News HQ


Street Muscle Mag


Hemmings Daily

Unique Corvette designs on display at Scarab Club | Detroit Free Press

The free exhibition is a once in a lifetime chance to see a sketch by Harley Earl, and 100-plus paintings and models

Read More

PDF | Detroit Free Press 2017-02-04

Source: Unique Corvette designs on display at Scarab Club

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