Ralphe Armstrong

By the time Detroit bassist Ralphe Armstrong  was just 20 years old, his touring and recording accomplishments were beyond what the average musician strives a lifetime to achieve. But then, whether he’s playing bass violin or electric bass guitar, Ralphe Armstrong  is not your average musician.


HomeBASS , released in November 2013 on Mack Avenue Records’ Detroit Music Factory imprint, is a world-class Detroit musician’s ode to his roots. “This record is dedicated to the people of Detroit,” says Ralphe. “Especially to the young people, the young artists, they are truly the spirit of Detroit.”

HomeBASS  features some of Detroit’s finest jazz players as they took the stage at the Detroit Jazz Festival in 1996. Among the all-star ensemble are trumpet player Rayse Biggs , pianist Henry Gibson , drummer Gayelynn McKinney , vocalist Audrey Northington  and one non-Detroiter popped into the mix—Sicilian guitarist Toty Viola . The energy and musicianship, as on the cut “Miles We Got To Go,” is Detroit fusion at its best.

Son of legendary visual artist/musician/composer/poet/storyteller Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong, Ralphe came from a musical family. His father, a violin virtuoso, was a member of the last known African American string band and was declared a National Treasure by the National Endowment for the Arts; his aunt was a guitar player; his brother played with Miles Davis. But it was his stylish and charismatic uncle, bassist Lee (L.C.) Crockett, who inspired his fascination with the bass when Ralphe was just 7 years old.

In 1974, 16-year-old Ralphe had just finished his musical studies in classical and jazz at Michigan’s Interlochen Arts Academy. He auditioned for and landed a spot with John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra, famously beating out a young Jaco Pastorius. “I got the job because I had a fretless bass,” remembers Ralphe. McLaughlin loved the sound, as did Jaco, who, as the story goes, went home and ripped the frets from his bass.

 In the next few years, Ralphe went on to tour and record with an endless list of illustrious names including Frank Zappa and the Mother’s of Invention, Herbie Hancock, Jean-Luc Ponty, Santana and Beatles producer George Martin.

 An innovator and originator of fusion fretless bass, Ralphe’s unique and powerful style, as well as his technical mastery, would soon catch the attention of Gibson® Guitar Corporation. He was chosen to endorse the company and served as an advisor. He was instrumental in the development of Gibson basses known as the Ripper, G-3, RD Artist and Victory.

 “Ralphe is the torchbearer of the Detroit bass tradition,” says fellow world-renowned Detroit bass player and educator Rodney Whitaker. “He studied with Ron Carter and James Jamerson, so he’s got it all.”
 In spite of being at the height of his career at the time, Ralphe left touring life for most of 1980s to stay home and raise his children, much to the delight of the many Detroit musicians who enjoyed his presence on the local circuit.

 Always a fan of Detroit’s rich music culture, Ralphe was at home as much in the clubs of Detroit as in any stadium abroad. A musician emblematic of Detroit’s diversity of style and capacity of talent, Ralphe Armstrong has always been an ambassador between the Detroit sound and the rest of the world.

These days, with his family grown, Ralphe is back on the international stage playing and recording with an ever impressively diverse cross section of musical genres such as Sting, Roger Daltrey and even Eminem’s group D-12. From jazz to pop and orchestral theater to hip hop, Ralphe has played it all—and always with his signature passion, power and precision.

As Ralphe puts it, “Detroit keeps producing more great musicians than any other place on Earth, and that’s a true story.”

The Art of Soul

The ART of SOuL Featuring Alise King
Saturday, November 22nd 8pm-11pm
JazzCafe Detroit at The Music Hall
350 Madison St., Detroit, MI 
Doors open 7pm. Admission $10

Detroit Comics Unleashed

Are you ready to get your laugh on!!!

Key Expressions Productions LLC in collaboration with The Black Diamond Empire


Detroit Comics Unleashed!!!

Featuring some of the funniest comedians from the “D”

We are bringing 5 of the hottest comedians to the Music Hall Jazz Café on November 29, 2014. Hosted by the one and only, Cornell “Popcorn” Spivey from (Robert Townsend presents Partners in Crime Next Generation, and BET Comic View). Also featuring comedians Tony Roney from (Comic View AllStar), BlackBerry, and Mary Ann DeMoss. Headliner comedian Bill Hill, (seen on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, and Comic View).

They will have you “Cryin laughin”!!!

You don’t want to miss this!!!!

Come on out and enjoy a night of food, fun, and lots of laughs!!!

Purchase your tickets before November 29, 8:00pm and get a discount of $20.00 per ticket!!!

For the tickets and more info call 586-359-5174

A Poem Called Detroit

A Night of Poetry, Music, and Pictures Inspired by Our Fair City...

Living in city like Detroit, you find inspiration everywhere. This show is dedicated to the people that see art in the grit...the grime...the storefronts...the churches...the people.

Poet, author and event producer, Joel Fluent Greene, will give a special reading dedicated to Detroit. There will also be guest performers, live music, a vendors marketplace, and more. Additional music will be supplied by DJ Equad. There will also be an open mic. Bring your best poems about our city to share with the crowd!

If you love our city and believe in the power of words...this is the event for you! Spend a weekend in a beautiful venue with some amazing talent.

There will be a full bar available and the kitchen will be open. Prepare for a fun and sophisticated Saturday...

Saturday, November 15
JazzCafe Detroit
350 Madison, Downtown Detroit 
Doors 8pm. Showtime 9pm. $10 
Tickets will only be available at the door.
Arrive early for best seating options.

A portion of all proceeds will go towards supporting Friends School Detroit.

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R.J. Spangler Trio w/ Ralph Tope & Duncan McMillan

November 1, 9pm $5

The RJ Spangler Trio is all about the organ/guitar/drums format. If you dig Jimmy Smith, Grant Green, Wes Montgomery, Jack McDuff, then this group is for you.  

RJ (drums) has been playing with Duncan McMillan (organ) & Ralph Tope (guitar) for a number of years & last year the Eastlawn label released their debut CD called "This Is What We Do. The Trio held down a steady Wednesday night gig at Cliff Bell's Jazz Club in downtown for four years.On November 1st, the RJ Spangler will be playing swinging renditions of fairly obscure tunes from the Great American Song Book as well as funky organ jazz standards.

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Dominick Shelton

November 2, 8pm

Keeping it warm into the Fall , The longest running all Live R&B Music showcase of its kind in Detroit, R&B LIVE DETROIT continues to bring it with the hottest R&B in the "D"!! 

R&B LIVE DETROIT presents . .
 an intimate evening of Live Soul with Soul vocalist 

 MILE HIGH.... ..



It all goes down


ADV. TIX/ 12.00 DOOR/ 15.00




FOR MORE INFO CALL 313. 471. 4724 / 1stmynd@gmail.comWE, ARE MOTOWN. AND THIS, IS WHAT WE DO!!

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Music and Birthday Celebration for Dee

November 6, 7pm $15


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Malik Alston

November 7, 8pm $5

Beyond JazzMalik Alston QuartetJazz Cafe Music Hall Center for the Performing ArtsThursday, November 7, 20137 p.m. - 11 p.m.$10.00Blaze the edge of your senses with heat from the Malik Alston Quartet. Beyond Jazz features Malik Alston, Gabe Gonzalez, Bubs Fiddler, and Dave McMurray, for a sublime evening. This set delivers premium fusion, house and funk wrapped in the magic of jazz. Aficionados of fine music will appreciate the diverse flavors, as the quartet soars to the outer limits. Special guest Badriyyah Wazeerud-Din brings exquisite, dynamic vocals. Beyond Jazz – oh, yes it is, indeed.Malik Alston fuses a multitude of styles to create a new innovation in sound. He has delighted audiences in the United States and abroad, inviting them into his unique world of sound. His use of keyboards, voice, effects and composition sets a new standard. Malik has performed and shared the stage with Dwele, Les Nubians, Amp Fiddler, Martin Luther, Sky Covington, Paul Randolph, MonicaBlaire, Marcus Belgrave, Allan Barnes, Baatin, and Robert Glasper, among many artists. He has written and produced for many artists, including Neco Redd, Maurissa Rose, Souldeacon, Sean Blackman, Craig Huckaby, Alton Miller, Recloose, John Arnold, :brownstudy, LaVeda Davis, Roy Davis, Jr., Al McKenzie, Doc Link, The Linwood Ensemble, Painted Pictures, Javontte, Badriyyah Wazeerud-Din and Howard Wazeerud-Din II. Malik is the CEO of his label, Truth Manifest Records, founded in 1997. He continues to be a creative vessel and convey passion in his music, with new and exciting projects soon to be released on Truth Manifest. Gabe Gonzalez is a master drummer, well-versed in many genres of music. His powerful, funky and diverse approach to his instrument has taken him around the world. Gabe has had the pleasure of performing with many artists, including the P-Funk All Stars, Enema Squad (aka Enemy Squad), 420 Mob, The Process, David Winans Pi, Malik Alston & The Linwood Ensemble, The MistersHip, Gabe Gonzilla Monsters Trio, G.T.O. and the Kenny Olson Project. His artistry and production skills have earned recognition at the 2012 Detroit Music Awards as Outstanding Electronic Dance Writer/Producer. Gabe received nods at the 2011 Detroit Black Music Awards, including an award as Funk Artist of the Year and a nomination for Best Funk Instrumentalist.Bubs Fiddler plays the bass with fire and finesse, incorporating straight-ahead jazz, funk, fusion, and R & B. His smooth, seductive sound has entranced audiences at home and abroad. Bubs has performed and recorded with Faruq Z. Bey, George Clinton & the P-Funk All Stars, Amp Fiddler, Larry Fratangelo, Michael Brock, Moodymann, Three Chairs, Generations, Davina and Inner City, among many artists. He is an accomplished writer and producer, and has worked with many artists.Dave McMurray began playing tenor saxophone in his youth and gained experience playing in Detroit clubs. He was influenced by John Coltrane and Cannonball Adderley, and by Detroit veteran Willie Metcalf. Dave gained further experience on the road with blues guitarist Albert Collins and has performed with pop, funk and rap artists. It is this eclectic mixture of influences and interests that have helped him develop a following among many audiences. His blending of jazz and rap caught the imaginations of many. Dave has toured as the musical director and featured soloist with Motown R&B artist KEM. He also tours as a featured soloist with Kid Rock. Dave has performed and toured with Bob James, Was (Not Was), Chuck Loeb, and the Geri Allen Electric Band. He has recorded with Was (Not Was), Gladys Knight, Bob Dylan, the B-52's, the Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, Bootsy Collins, Nancy Wilson, Bob James and Iggy Pop, among many artists.Badriyyah Wazeerud-Din is an accomplished vocalist and lyricist. She uses her silky, multi-octave range in many genres, including jazz, soul, gospel, funk and classical music. Badriyyah has performed with many artists, including Painted Pictures, The Linwood Ensemble, Malik Alston, Allan Barnes, Blue Nefertiti of Les Nubians, Javontte, Craig Huckaby, Phil Hale, Paul Randolph, Dwayne Jensen, Sean Blackman, Yolanda Day, Omega, Joshua Adams, Howard Wazeerud-Din II, Neco Redd. She has written and recorded with Malik Alston, Veronique, Painted Pictures, The Linwood Ensemble, and Marissa Guzman, to name a few.

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A Man Can Change #16

November 8, 9pm $10

Join us for a night of REAL words by some of the cities REALEST wordsmiths. This show is all about speaking from the CORE...the SOUL.
 and MORE!!!
 Hosted by Joel Fluent Greene
 Music by DJ LaJedi
 Friday, November 8th
 Jazz Cafe at Music Hall
 350 Madison. Downtown Detroit
 Doors open at 8pm. Show starts at 9pm (Arrive early for better seating options) Tickets are $10 and are only available at the door day of show.

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Marvin Thompson Jr.

November 9, 7pm $10/$12

Marvin Thompson Jr. hosts Songwriters & Storytellers

Keyboardist Marvin Thompson Jr. and his band perform. Special guests include singer/songwriter Jill Grandison ,
 poet Nathan Drizz Johnson .
 Tickets: $10/advanced, $12/door.
 To purchase tickets:

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Elle Casazza

November 14, 8pm, $8

Elle Casazza  personifies her music, bold fearless and ethereal. Based in Chicago, Elle writes and performs music that is the love child of blues, soul, jazz and pop. "There's no one way to describe the music I write, it's a culmination of all the music I love to sing." Her powerful vocals send chills to those who listen. Elle performs along with the Elle Casazza Band to create an energetic live show that won't soon be forgotten.

Listening to Amy Winehouse, Billie Holiday, KT Tunstall, Joni Mitchell and Ella Fitzgerald have influenced Elle’s eclectic writing style. Elle has performed at Daley Plaza, the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, Ace Bar, SPACE, the Jazz Showcase, and other venues in the Chicago area.

Elle’s debut EP For Your Pleasure  was released in the Spring of 2013. The EP shows off all of the styles Elle sings in, each song acting as a window into her life. Elle is looking forward to what 2013 has to offer.

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L-13 Band

November 16, 8pm $5

L-13 band is a family oriented group that continues to receive high acclaim through -out the music industry,they do it all,R&B jazz,the motown sound,old school,top 40,rock,&ROLL,and blues.they performed through out detroit,at the princess boat,the scarab club,marygrove college,belle isle detroit yacht club,and a host of fund raisers. the band members are joe bell bass,sandy percussions, pro on drums,mike dobbs- on keys.mike hicks lead guitar,sassie bleu lead/background vocals,will-lead/background vocals,and magic mike lead/background let L-13 take you on a fantastic voyage and keep it real with there music.

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Mike Stern

November 19, 8pm & 10pm $30/$40

(Detroit, MI)  Guitaristextraordinaire, Mike Stern , returnsagain to the cozy confines of the JazzCafe On Tuesday, November 19th   for two sets at 8 and 10PM. Sternwill be accompanied by Tom Kennedy onBass  and Richie Morales on drums .

Since his days with Blood Sweat & Tears in themid-1970s, followed by stints with Billy Cobham and Miles Davis’ band in the‘80s, and a solo career that now spans more than 25 years, guitarist MikeStern  has used his jazz roots as a starting point for exploring a range ofalternate territories that include R&B, rock, swing, funk, world music andnumerous other regions along the musical topography. The recipient of GuitarPlayer magazine’s Certified Legend Award for 2012, he’s an artist who’s notafraid to bring numerous styles and ideas – however diverse – into the sameplace just to see what happens.

All Over the Place  is Stern’s latest recordingon Heads Up International , a divisionof Concord Music Group. Set for release on June 19, 2012, the 11-song setaligns the characteristically diverse and adventurous guitarist with a cadre ofbrilliant guests, including trumpeter Randy Brecker; saxophonist Kenny Garrett;and drummers Dave Weckl, Keith Carlock and Lionel Cordew. Also on hand is adelegation of high-caliber electric and acoustic bass players: EsperanzaSpalding, Richard Bona, Victor Wooten, Anthony Jackson, Dave Holland, TomKennedy, Will Lee and Victor Bailey.

In a career that spans three decades and a discography thatincludes more than a dozen eclectic and innovative recordings, six-time GRAMMYnominee Mike Stern  has established himself as one of the premier jazzand jazz-fusion guitarists and composers of his generation.

Mini Bio-

Born in Boston in January 1953, Stern grew up in Washington,DC, then returned to Boston to study at the Berklee College of Music. Aftercollege, he got his start as a guitar player with Blood, Sweat & Tears atage 22. Following a brief stint with Billy Cobham’s powerhouse fusion band from1979 to 1980, he moved to New York City, where he was recruited by Miles Davisto play a key role in Miles’ celebrated comeback band of 1981 (which alsoincluded bassist Marcus Miller, drummer Al Foster, percussionist Mino Cineluand saxophonist Bill Evans). During his three-year period with Miles, Sternappeared on three recordings with the jazz maestro – Man with the Horn , StarPeople  and the live We Want Miles . He toured with Jaco Pastorius’Word of Mouth Band from 1983 through 1985 and returned to Miles’ lineup for asecond tour of duty that lasted close to a year.

A more detailed bio can be found here-

Ticket prices are $30 (advance)& $40 (door).  To buy tickets at Music Hall Box Office visitaddress at 350 Madison Ave., Detroit, MI.  Call 313.887.8501 for BoxOffice


Jazz Cafe

350 Madison

Detroit, MI 48226

313 887-8500

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Detroit Tonight Live

November 21, 7pm FREE!!!

John D. Lamb well known Detroit area singer songwriter
Melinda Phillips Southern Gothic Jewish Novelist
Pat Barnes acclaimed Metro Detroit Poet
Leigh Mosley Detroit poet and slam champ
Anita Schmaltz innovative, experimental poet, artist and musician 

Ted Nagy singer songwriter formerly of The a Magic Poetry Band

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Ingenious Band

November 27, 8pm $10

Kamal Smith (vocals), Arica Lorick (vocals), Freeman Spells (Bass), William Jones (Keys), Terrence Neal (Drums), Thomas Mehall (Guitar), Shavon Johnson (Sousaphone/congas), Melanie White (trombone), Dameon Gabriel (trumpet)

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Dion Price

November 29, 8pm

BLACK FRIDAY takes on a whole new Meaning as , The longest running all Live R&B Music showcase of its kind in Detroit, R&B LIVE DETROIT continues to bring it with the hottest R&B in the "D"!!


presents . .

an intimate evening of Live Soul with GRAND SLAMM RECORDING ARTIST









        CORI BLACK

- See more at:

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Dave Sharp CD Release

November 30, 8pm $5

Bassist, composer and band leader   Dave Sharp  and his band "Secret 7" celebrate the release of his new CD "WORLDS" (National Release Date Nov 19, 2013), the follow-up to his acclaimed Secret 7 release "7." "WORLDS" is an expansive soundscape featuring his brand of ‘World Jazz” music. Recognized in the JazzTimes 2010 Critic’s Poll, Dave Sharp’s Secret 7 masterfully blends rhythms, sounds, textures – and musicians – from across the globe. This evening of "World Jazz" music will feature Chris Kaercher on Saxophone, Dan Bennet on Baritone Saxophone and Clarinet, Gayelynne McKinney on Drums, Carolyn Koebel on Percussion and John Churchville on Tabla, and Dave Sharp on Electric and Upright Bass.

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