Joan Belgrave Reflects on Meeting Marcus Belgrave and her Journey Back to Detroit

August 20, 2018

Joan Belgrave loves to make music in Detroit.

That's definitely the message that shined through during her recent interview on Behind the Mic with Pam Rossi.

The Grammy-nominated jazz singer has performed around the world, and even lived in California for a 30-year stint before returning back home to the Motor City to continue on her journey as an artist.

Soon after moving back home, Joan was introduced to her eventual partner of 11 years, the late musician Marcus Belgrave; a trumpet player and a Detroit icon.

The two met during an open jam session in Eastern Market and hit it off, but it wasn't until a tragedy occured that they ended up solidifying their relationship.

"We were doing a Ray Charles tribute in Chicago," Belgrave recalled. "It was the day that Katrina hit... All of us musicians were just devastated, because we had a lot of friends that were down there. We were just thinking about how awful this was and it made us contimplate life and look how quickly this could turn. And so that's the night we got together."

Though she's been many different places, Joan says there's still no where she's ever been that she's loved more than her hometown.

"There's no place like Detroit," she said. "I spent a couple of years in New York after Marcus passed, and again, there's nothing like Detroit. You don't realize it until you go away, what you have. I've been a lot of places and I've seen a lot of things...I know what's here."

Watch Joan Belgrave's entire interview and performance below.