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GRandJazzFest Announces Lineup for FREE Aug. 17-18 Event

Monday, 29 April 2013 12:21
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GRandJazzFest Announces Lineup for FREE Aug. 17-18 Event

GRandJazzFest presented by DTE Energy Foundation is pleased to announce the lineup for the FREE two-day jazz festival coming to Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids, August 17-18:

  • Nick Colionne (headliner) 
  • Deon Yates
  • The Paul Keller AT SUNDOWN Quintet 
  • Sheila Landis & Brazilian Love Affair 
  • The Kinsey Report
  • Randy Marsh Organ Trio
  • Mind’s Eye
  • Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra with Edye Evans Hyde
  • Edye Evans Hyde
  • Phil Denny

Chicago-based guitarist and vocalist Nick Colionne headlines GRandJazzFest, now in its second year. With the festival expanding to two days more performances have been added, for a total of ten jazz performers/bands slated. A student jazz jam session has also been added.

“We’re so excited to be expanding the festival and bringing internationally known jazz guitarist and vocalist Nick Colionne and his band to Grand Rapids to headline our festival,” GRandJazzFest Founder Audrey Sundstrom said. “The complete lineup is an eclectic offering that expresses the full diversity of the jazz art form.”

In addition to Chicago’s Colionne, artists for 2013 include saxophonist Deon Yates, The Paul Keller AT SUNDOWN Quintet, Sheila Landis & Brazilian Love Affair, The Kinsey Report, Randy Marsh Organ Trio and Mind’s Eye. Performers returning from GRandJazzFest 2012 include Lansing-based saxophonist Phil Denny and the homegrown Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra (GRJO). Popular local vocalist Edye Evans Hyde returns to perform with GRJO and also with her own band. Street-funk blues-rock band The Kinsey Report hails from Gary, Indiana. The other bands and performers are all from Michigan.

In keeping with a format modeled after the highly successful River Raisin Jazz Festival in Monroe, Michigan, GRandJazzFest 2013 will open with the returning Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra. “We always plan to open with big-band jazz, and here in Grand Rapids, that big band is our own Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra,” Sundstrom said.

GRandJazzFest Artist Selection Committee members have been researching performers since December. “Phil Denny is back by popular demand, headlining on our second day of the festival. He was a big hit and well-received at the 2012 GRandJazzFest,” committee member Steve Hilger said. “He is a rising national star, a great performer, and we are excited to have him perform again at the festival.”

Hilger, in addition to serving on the Artist Selection Committee and having performed at the 2012 GRandJazzFest, will lead a special “student jazz jam session” to be held during GRandJazzFest 2013. Hilger and his Trio Jazz Band are in the process of vetting potential student performers. Jazz students interested in being considered for this opportunity are encouraged to learn more here.

The GRandJazzFest 2013 lineup announcement occurs during Jazz Appreciation Month, a music festival held every April in the United States in honor of jazz as an original American art form. JAM was created by John Edward Hasse, curator of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. 

According to the website: The National Museum of American History has designated April as Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM). In partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities as well as several other national organizations, JAM sponsors a number of programs to promote jazz, including concerts, lectures, educational materials, and exhibitions. Details about events and materials related to JAM can be found at the website Smithsonian Jazz. April was chosen for JAM, now in its twelfth year, in recognition of the birthdays of jazz greats such as Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Gerry Mulligan, and Tito Puente. In 2013, JAM honors jazz legends Lionel Hampton, Andy Weston, and John Levy. Learn more about these three great musical innovators at the JAM website. Download the 2013 JAM Poster, a 1997 portrait of Lionel Hampton by the late Frederick J. Brown, an African American artist whose passion for jazz, blues, and American culture provided the artistic inspiration for this work. 

Also, International Jazz Day is April 30. Learn more about this international event at http://jazzday.com

More information on GRandJazzFest can be found at www.grandjazzfest.org

Source: Intent PR Photo: Tim Motley