Sunday, July 19th was the 21st Annual Michigan Jazz Festival at Schoolcraft College in Livonia, Michigan. This free event had over 30 Jazz performers across 6 different stages to keep your ears happy and a smile on your face. The event was well attended with many performances at standing room only. I haven’t been to a better place where you could get such a high level of talent across a variety of performances.
One of the outside stages was under a tent and a bit toasty, but that just matched the music being performed there. The remaining indoor stages hosted solo pianists up to big band orchestras to satisfy a wide range of interests. The timing was well laid out so you could catch several performances by moving around the schedule. The college did an amazing job hosting with the cafeteria up and running full out and accommodations kept neat and clean. There was ample space allocated for booths to set up and for artists to sell their CD’s and other merchandise.
You can catch some of these musicians at the various Jazz clubs we are still so lucky to have in and around our city of Detroit. The Dirty Dog Jazz Café in Gross Pointe Farms presents live jazz several times a week in an intimate setting right along Main Street. Catch some legendary performers with some amazing history here. Cliff Bells near Tiger Stadium (ok – Comerica Park) offers a larger setting and again has live jazz on most nights. Be sure to add this one to your next trip to a Tigers, Lions, or Wings game – you’ll be happy you did. The last to mention for now is Baker’s Keyboard Lounge on Livernois near 8 Mile which is now the oldest continuously operating jazz club in the country. Although you could go here just for dinner, it’s best to schedule that meal around the amazing jazz performances you can again catch here several times a week.
Here’s the website for the festival if you want to see this year’s festival information and add it to your calendar for next year. In the meantime, make a plan to visit one of these clubs to see what you missed. http://michiganjazzfestival.org
greatlakesmom is a Michigan native who loves her home state and exploring it’s many splendors. She is the mother of two college age sons and enjoys teaching, learning, and growing in all ways possible.