Collaborating with Bert

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Bert’s Marketplace, also known as Bert’s Entertainment Complex, which has been a staple in Detroit for over 30 years. This venue, created by Bert Dearing Jr., is more than a restaurant; it’s a center of community life and a cultural hub that has preserved black history and culture in Detroit through its murals, museum, and live performances​​.

Bert’s Marketplace, situated in the Eastern Market area, features a variety of venues including the Jazz Room, which holds a special place in Dearing’s heart. It’s here where the spirit of family and community is most felt, where “everybody is a family.” This space is emblematic of Dearing’s philosophy that “Entertainment doesn’t have a color,” promoting inclusivity and unity through the universal language of music​​.

The Jazz Room has hosted a myriad of performances from local talents and notable bands, with the R.G.B. Trio Open Mic gracing the stage for 18 years, the John Douglass Jazz Quartet for about nine years, and Blues Lady Champagne for a decade. Dearing has been instrumental in maintaining employment and exposure for these artists, including the famous Motown backing band, the Funk Brothers, when they weren’t touring​​.

In the spirit of this rich musical tradition, Bill Foster’s programming at Bert’s has been pivotal. His role in scheduling jazz acts on Bert’s legendary stage continues to contribute to the vibrant cultural life for which Bert’s Marketplace is known. Foster’s collaboration with Bert’s and its founder reflects a shared dedication to celebrating and preserving the rich tapestry of Detroit’s jazz heritage.

Foster, through his work with the Jazz Network Foundation, and Bert Dearing Jr., through his dedication to Bert’s Marketplace, both strive to ensure that jazz remains a beating heart in the community, offering a space where the past and present of Detroit’s musical history are honored and where the future of jazz is nurtured.

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