The historic 25th annual Michigan Jazz Festival is Sunday. Presented by Schoolcraft College, MJF25 will be July 21, from noon to 9 p.m., on the grounds and in the facilities of Schoolcraft College in Livonia.
Per tradition, the very best jazz musicians in Metro Detroit and Southeastern Michigan converge for this legendary one-day event to showcase their wares, and prove once again why they collectively are some of the very best performers in the world. Click here for full schedule.
Seven stages of jazz music – admission and parking are free. Plus, Henry’s Cafe will serve selections from its award winning cuisine. It’s considered the biggest one-day free jazz happening in the Midwest.
Details from the team whose hard work make it possible:
Following the grand legacy of musicians who came from this area like Tommy Flanagan, the Jones Brothers, Sir Roland Hanna, Roy Brooks, Harold McKinney, Ron Carter, Yusef Lateef, Geri Allen, Marcus Belgrave, Paul Chambers, Paul Klinger, James Dapogny, Louis Smith and Tad Weed among many others, the current crop of veterans and younger players keep that lineage strong and true to its roots and traditions.
Conducted annually on the third Sunday in July, the Michigan Jazz Festival is poised to present a diversified line-up of local all-star jazz names as strong as any festival in the U.S.A.
Seven stages run concurrently at Schoolcraft College at 18600 Haggerty Rd. in Livonia from 12 noon to 9 p.m. Admission is free to attend the event. Handicap accessibility is available, as is free parking in the north lot of the college.
The beautiful and modern Vis-Ta-Tech Center houses six of the stages, with advanced graphics, high tech electronic audio and visual enhancements. A solo piano room, big band showcase hall, small ensemble concert theater, underground Rathskeller stage, outdoor tent, an expanded seventh stage in the Brew Pub for duets, and the main cafeteria for student performers – are all open throughout the day.
You can also eat in style, as Henry’s Café features world class cuisine from the Schoolcraft College culinary program. Several organizations who promote jazz will be there, musicians will have a place to sell their CD’s, and many top local media professionals will be on hand to introduce the acts. Souvenirs, t-shirts and other clothing apparel will be available on site, buoying the festival in a financial way.
Continuing is the Give 5 – Keep The Festival Alive drive where patrons can contribute $5 to assure the Michigan Jazz Festival remains a free of admission charge event. These contributions are accepted at the festival all over the grounds, and on-line.
And then there’s the music – with showstoppers like the Walter White Big Band feat. Johnny Trudell, the Planet D Nonet, Latin Jazz veterans Los Gatos, saxophonist/clarinetist Janelle Reichman, a memorial edition of the late James Dapogny’s P.O.R.K – Phil Oglivie’s Rhythm Kings, *GayeLynn McKinney’s Quintet feat. Trunino Lowe, bassist Paul Keller’s At Sundown Ensemble, the legendary vocalist Ursula Walker with her husband pianist Buddy Budson, *The Detroit Tenors with Steve Wood & Carl Cafagna, the Rick Roe / Rob Bickley / Jesse Kramer Trio, the James Hughes/Jimmy Smith Quintet, a tribute to the late Tad Weed courtesy of drummer Sean Dobbins, the Dave Bennett Quartet, great pianists Bob Seeley, Taslimah Bey, Terry Lower, Kerry Price, Jerry “The Wolverine” Perrine, Cliff Monear, Ian Finklestein, Zen Zadravec and Bill Meyer, singers Joan Belgrave, Naima Shamborguer, Ramona Collins, Stephenie, Camille Price, Sheila Landis, Kate Patterson, Edye Evans Hyde, Emma Aboukasm and Barbara Ware, guitarists Rick Matle and Chris Buzelli, *The Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestra, drummer Jerry McKenzie’s Just Jazz with Kim Buehler & Lori LeFevre, Ron Kischuck’s Masters Of Music Big Band and CSO – Craig Strain’s Orchestra, the Paul VornHagen Quartet, trumpeter Dave Tatrow’s Dixieland All Stars, members of two Schoolcraft College student bands and more!
Many tributes to past heroes of our Metro Detroit scene will be paid during the entire event.
* = Detroit Music Factory recording artists
The festival this year is dedicated to Festival Founders John Trudell, Midge Ellis, Emil Moro, Tom Saunders, and those who established the event at Freedom Hill in Sterling Heights before moving to the Botsford Inn and then Schoolcraft.
BREAKING NEWS: The legislators of the State of Michigan and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have authored a declaration celebrating the history and anniversary of the Michigan Jazz Festival. The award will be presented at the event. You will receive a separate email copy of the document. The presenter during the festival from the government is T.B.A.
MC’s include Barrie Woodey, Jim Gallert, John Penney, Jerry Arlen, Jerry McKenzie, Zoltan Jung, Ken Murray, Ron English, Alisa Zee and Michael G. Nastos. Special guests
T.B.A. Will be included.
Sponsors include host Schoolcraft College, the Bonten Family, The Greater Detroit Jazz Society, The Leven Trust Group, Nancy Salden, Vosgerchian, Friends of Morry Cohen, the Blue Llama Jazz Nightclub, SEMJA – the Southeastern Michigan Jazz Association, the Greater Detroit Jazz Society and Friends Of The Michigan Jazz Festival.
The MJF Board Of Directors are; John Trudell – President, Craig Strain – Vice President, Joan Schott -Treasurer, Michael G. Nastos – Recording Secretary/MC-Stage Manager/Production Assistant, Mary Sen – Correspondence Secretary, Barton Polot, Webmaster/New Media Director, Sally Bolle, Fundraising/Volunteer Coordinator, and Dennis Tini, GayeLynn McKinney & Scott Gwinnell – BOD members.
A complete line-up of scheduled performers on each individual stage is listed below as well as at the newly upgraded website michiganjazzfestival.org. Photos are also available on the website, all authorized for publication. Please credit our festival photographers. Call 734-462-4403 for more information.
They also have a new You Tube channel. Please search for links.
Johnny Trudell Big Band
Leven Open Air Big Tent
12 noon – P.O.R.K – Phil Oglivie’s Rhythm Kings (In Memoriam)
1:30 p.m.- Dave Bennett Quartet
3 p.m. – Los Gatos
4:30 p.m. – Rick Roe / Rob Bickley / Jesse Kramer
6 p.m. – James Hughes / Jimmy Smith Quintet
7:30 p.m. – Paul VornHagen Quartet
Vosgerchein Solo Piano Stage – Rennolds Room
12:30 p.m. – Bill Meyer
1:45 p.m. – Terry Lower
3 p.m. – Kerry Price
4:15 p.m. – Jerry “The Wolverine” Perrine
5:30 p.m. – Bob Seeley
6:45 p.m. – Taslimah Bey
Cohen Rathskeller – Lower Waterman
12:15 p.m. – Planet D Nonet
1:45 p.m. – Paul Keller / At Sundown
3:15 p.m. -Sean Dobbins (Tribute To Tad Weed)
4:45 p.m. – Detroit Tenors (Steve Wood & Carl Cafagna)
6:15 p.m. – Kate Patterson Quintet
7:45 p.m. – GayeLynn McKinney Quartet
Bonten Kehrl Presentation Room
12:30 p.m. – Janelle Reichman Quartet
2 p.m. – Jerry McKenzie’s Just Jazz
feat. Kim Buehler & Lori LeFevre
3:30 p.m. -Terry Lower Trio
feat. Edye Evans Hyde
5 p.m. – Dave Tatrow’s Dixieland All Stars
6:30 p.m. Cliff Monear Trio + Stephenie (Oasis revival)
8:00 p.m. – Ursula Walker / Buddy Budson Quintet
Nancy Salden Big Band Room – DiPonio Room
12:15 p.m. – Schoolcraft College Jazz Big Band
2 p.m. – Scott Gwinnell Jazz Orchestr
3:45 p.m. – Ron Kischuck / Masters Of Music
5:30 p.m. – Craig Strain’s CSO feat. Emma Aboukasm
7:15 p.m. – Walter White Big Band (photo) feat. Johnny Trudell and special guests t.b.a.
SEMJA Future Of Jazz Stage – Henry’s Cafe
12 noon – Matthew Dobbins Quartet
Dobbins – drums, Rowen Tucker – piano, Austin Aldrich – bass
1:30 p.m. – Community Music School Of Ann Arbor
Jazz Ensemble, dir. Paul Finkbeiner – electric bass guitar
Alex Kuckucha – drums, Charles DiMagno – piano,
Jake Lee – trumpet, add on students T.B.A.
3 p.m. – Millennium Jazz Quintet,
Kurton Harrison – trumpet, Noah Sklar – piano / leader,
Jackson Stone – bass, Taylor Atkinson – drums
4:30 p.m. – Playing With The Pros;
Scott Gwinnell / Marion Haden / GayeLynn McKinney
6 p.m. – Schoolcraft College Jazz Ensemble
American Harvest Cabaret Brew Pub
12:15 p.m. – Ramona Collins & Chris Buzelli
1:30 p.m. – Sheila Landis & Rick Matle
2:45 p.m. – Camille Price & David Thomas
4 p.m. – Barbara Ware & Cliff Monear
5:15 p.m. – Naima Shamborguer & Ian Finkelstein
6:30 p.m. – Joan Belgrave & Zen Zadrevec