Detroit Jazz Festival returns in person following a two-year hiatus

The world's largest free jazz festival returned to Detroit this weekend for the first time following a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.

There are a lot of hometown artists on stage, along with names known around the world at Campus Martius and Hart Plaza.

Among the headliners is trumpet player Allen Dennard who is originally from Detroit's east side.

"I would come here every year from when I wasn’t 63 to now. I would come with my mom with my dad," Dennard said.

Growing up, Dennard didn't just come to the Jazz Festival. He also attended jazz week at Wayne— a free program by the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation and Wayne State University.

"They pack in so much education and knowledge that can really plant a seed with these kids," he said.

Chris Collins is the Detroit Jazz foundation's president. He says they have free programs year-round to level the playing field and help make jazz accessible to all kids. The programs are also in schools across Detroit.

"A great student, a great potential musician, maybe in a school in an outer part of the city where they don’t have all the access or attention someone may get it at downtown school, so we wanted to put these locations and opportunities for engagement at all of those places," said Collins.

The event runs from Sept. 3 through Sept. 5. Visit for more information.