Detroit Joins Cities to Honor Hip Hop Legend J-Dilla’s Birthday Today

Hip-Hop Producer J-Dilla


It’s about to be a party tonight and all this month.

The City of Detroit is celebrating 22 days of programming in honor of Black History Month with a commemoration at 7 p.m. tonight with Culture writer Biba Adams chatting with Suai Kee, Detroit native, musician and former Motown Records artist, about legendary hip-hop producer J-Dilla.

Detroit will join cities around the world in celebrating the late James DeWitt Yancey who was born ­­­February 7 and rose to become a Grammy-nominated hip-hop producer.

Dilla started playing the violin when he was 4, began composing orchestral music at 10, and took up the viola at 12. The first musician he truly loved was Bach. Jay D died on February 10, 2006. His custom-made Minimoog Voyager synthesizer used to create his famous and distinctive beats, and his Akai MIDI Production Center 3000 are on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History Culture in D.C.


7 p.m. Tuesday, February 8

The second installment of The Carr Center Presents “Duo and Duets,” a series of weekly, pre-recorded, mostly duet performances by artists who include: Terri Lyne Carrington and Danilo Perez; Patrice Rushen and Billy Childs; Ben Williams and Marcus Grisholm + Jean Baylor; Lisa Fischer & Louis Cato; Thornetta Davis; Terri Lyne Carrington & Jack DeJohnette + Matthew Garrison; and Terri Lyne Carrington & Danilo Perez + Sonja Sanchez.

7 p.m. Wednesday, February 9

Want to see what the fuss was all about?

Relive Mayor Mike Duggan’s Broadway debut as he joined hundreds of Detroiters to walk the red carpet for Detroit on Broadway, a celebration of a record number of Detroiters appearing in or having Broadway shows, none more iconic than Dominique Morisseau.

Mayor Duggan with Detroiter S. Epatha Merkerson at Detroit on Broadway


Duggan spoke before the curtain rose on her latest work, the highly praised “Skeleton Crew” at the Samuel Friedman Theatre. The powerful play about workers at a Detroit auto stamping plant at the start of the Great Recession features Detroiter and Cass Tech grad Chanté Adams in her Broadway debut and comes as she garners acclaim for her role in Denzel Washington’s film “A Journal for Jordan.”

The Friday event honored Morisseau and also gave the mayor a chance to highlight a century of the rich history of Detroit’s contributions, in people and productions, to Broadway’s greatness.

7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10

Detroit ACE will host a re-airing of last year’s popular Art Undefeated, Black History Month jazz programming that gave Detroit artists a chance to shine.

7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 11

Detroit ACE is hosting a re-airing of a special Black Heritage film sponsored by Walker-Miller Energy Services.

For more information about the City’s Black History Month programming, contact Detroit ACE at 313.480.5265.

For more information on overall programming during this month click here.

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