Saxophones, flutes and trombones – oh MI! Michigan is known for many things, and that certainly includes our eclectic music scene. If you’re looking for some fun (and free!) festivals to enjoy this summer, add these five Michigan jazz festivals to your list.
Jazz on the River – Trenton (August 5-6)
Tens of thousands of jazz fans are expected to gather in Trenton’s Elizabeth Park for Wayne County’s annual Jazz on the River event. Pack up the family to enjoy one of the community’s favorite annual events where you can enjoy the smooth sounds of jazz for two full days. The event is free to the public; however, there is a $5 suggested donation for parking.
River Raisin Jazz Festival – Monroe (August 10-13)
Join more than 50,000 jazz enthusiasts for four exciting days of free music at the River Raisin Jazz festival in St. Mary’s Park and in Downtown Monroe on the banks of the Historic River Raisin. A second stage will host local entertainment on Saturday & Sunday of the festival and there will be a free fine art fair running consecutive days downtown. The River Raisin Jazz Festival has hosted some of the biggest names in Jazz including Kenny G, Chuck Mangione, David Sanborn, Bob James and many more, so be don’t this annual favorite!
St. Clair Jazz Festival – St. Clair (August 19)
Head to the Blue Water Area for the first-ever St. Clair Jazz Festival on Saturday, August 19. Here you can revel in the sights and sounds of some of the industry’s favorite musicians while enjoying the quaint town of St. Clair. Headlining the event is former American Idol winner Ruben Studdard, along with The Voice winner Javier Colon, Alexander Zonjic and friends, Larry Lee & Back In The Day and Charles & Gwen Scales. Music will begin at 1 p.m. with Ruben closing the evening at 9 p.m.
Grand Jazz Fest – Grand Rapids (August 19-20)
The 6th annual family-friendly GrandJazzFest will bring notable jazz performers as well as up-and-coming artists for diverse audiences in bustling downtown Grand Rapids. Bring folding chairs, blankets and snacks, and get ready to relax for a couple of hours or for the whole weekend in Beer City, USA. The central-downtown location is ideal for supporting local businesses, restaurants and pubs, and for visiting other Grand Rapids attractions.
Shoreline Jazz Festival – Muskegon (August 24-27)
Alexander Zonjic’s 4th Annual Shoreline Jazz Festival returns to Heritage Landing in Muskegon for another year of smooth and relaxing music. Enjoy your favorite jazz artists on beautiful Muskegon Lake as fan favorites Boney James, Peabo Bryson, Gerald Albright, Keiko Matsui, Alexander Bugnon, Jeff Lorber, and Steve Cole play into the night.
Detroit Jazz Fest – Detroit (September 1-4)
The Detroit Jazz Festival, the world’s largest free jazz festival, is a major cultural institution, providing year-round concerts and educational programming that culminates in one of the world’s premier jazz festivals on Labor Day Weekend. Now in its 38th year, the festival takes place over several city blocks in downtown Detroit from Hart Plaza to Campus Martius with five stages and 100 acts over four days. It also offers educational activities for adults and children, fireworks, late-night jam sessions, rare opportunities to meet the artists and much more.
Check out our other Your Neighborhood blogs for other fun events and happenings taking place across Michigan!