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Songwriter Spotlight

Gretchen Valade

The greatest pleasure for Music on Mack Avenue is to introduce its mentor and leader, Gretchen Valade. 

As the Board Chair of Mack Avenue Records and The Detroit Jazz Festival, Gretchen combines the creative and artistic with the business savvy and knowledge to be successful at both.

Being a story teller in the songs she writes, and a strong advisor in the music businesses she directs, Gretchen shows strength, drive, compassion, warmth, and an obvious eye toward detail and quality.  She possesses a keen sense of art and structure, and is a magnum cum laude student of the world in general.

Much has been written and publicized about Gretchen both as a creative individual, and an executive. The daughter of an entrepreneur father and a concert pianist mother, she was encouraged to play piano and study the arts from an early age.  Her taste in music gravitated toward jazz, and her interest in songwriting and composing led to the launch of Mack Avenue Records in the late 90’s, a record label that, today, has released over 125 projects with a catalog of close to 2,000 songs, and supported the artistic visions and careers of nearly 100 artists.

In 2008, Gretchen opened the Dirty Dog Jazz Café in Gross Point Farms, Michigan, an oasis of fine dining and quality jazz to build a haven for jazz lovers, and to provide a place for jazz talent to perform all year round.   She continues to dedicate herself to supporting the arts -- whether it be through a small 65 seat jazz venue, the thousands of fans that attend the annual free-of-charge Labor Day Weekend Detroit Jazz Festival, or through all the music followers who have added Mack Avenue Records and its label imprints, Artistry Music, Rendezvous Music and Sly Dog Records, releases to their personal music libraries worldwide.  

Gretchen’s compositions have been performed, recorded and released by several artists including the acclaimed Jazz vocalist, Shirley Horn, and Russian-born virtuoso jazz pianist, Eugene Maslov

Listen to many of her compositions in our Music on Mack Avenue library -- under songwriter:  Gretchen Valade.