John Ball Zoo Park
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m
Every Monday Night Through August 11th
Bring a chair or a blanket or come early to get a picnic table. Several vendors will be on hand to sell a variety of food items.
You are welcome to bring your own as well. Listen, dance, eat and drink. But most of all, come and enjoy some of the great music West Michigan performers have to offer. FREE!!!
23 – Wonderland Jazz Ensemble
Led by composer/saxophonist Tom Elferdink, they have recently released their first CD, A Wish, which is garnering rave reviews. This dynamic group blends traditional jazz with original composition and innovative arrangements. (Ken Morgan-reeds, Eric Thorne – piano, Jeff Beaven – bass, Larry Ochiltree – drums).
30 – Max Colley III Sextet
Max Colley III is West Michigan Jazz Society’s 2014 Jazz Musician of the year. This multi-award winning, multi-instrument playing bundle of talent will lead this sextet and bring to our stage some of the nation’s finest musicians. All the members are on the summer faculty of the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Featured on piano is Dan Karlsberg from Cincinnati, Ohio, on bass is Steve Whipple living in NYC, John Hill on drums, from the Detroit area David Jensen on trombone and James Hughes on saxophones.
7 – Bluemonk Jazz
Performing since 2009, the group specializes in the American Songbook, Bebop, Latin jazz, and jazz funk. They are committed to both preserving and exploring jazz idioms. The group is led by vocalist Susan Morris who is a professor of Philosophy at Ferris State University. (Carlos Melendez-guitar, Matt Moresi – keyboard, Mark Weymouth – drums, Rob Smith – saxes, trumpet and flugelhorn).
14 – Big Band Nouveau
A newer big band on the Grand Rapids scene, this 16 piece group’s musical presentation is a continuation of hard bop and modern mainstream jazz. Their library material covers a variety of very modern jazz styles including some Latin along with original compositions and arrangements written by some of the musicians in the band.
21 – The River Rogues Jazz Band
This is a toe-tapping, crowd pleasing, high energy Dixieland band that combines world class musical artistry with good “old school” professional showmanship. Jim Everhart founded the group in 1996. The River Rogues invigorates the spirit of the traditional New Orleans sound and showcases a Dixie-jazz collaborative that is enjoyed by both the seasoned and casual listener.
28 – Checkers Morton
This venerable band of brothers has been playing music together for forty years and will present their original world and free music. (Dave Collee – bass, Dan Giacobassi – saxes and flute, Jim Beegle-trumpet, flute and congas, Bob VanStee – keys, and a newer addition is Steve Harris – drums).
4 – Mary Rademacher and the Rad Pack
Featuring the energetic Mary Rademacher Reed on vocals, dancing and shenagins, this group has played together for over 20 years, their tight harmonies and stage presence creates not only great music but an entertaining and fun experience. (Mark Kahny – keys, vocals and bass, Timothy P. Johnson- drums and vocals, Michael Lutley on saxes & flute. Alex Johnson will join the band for a few special guitar renditions.
11 – The Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra
Founded in 1977 by the late Bruce Early, this premier jazz ensemble has been featuring some of the area’s finest musicians for the past 35 years. Led by Mr. Bob Nixon, they play swinging original compositions and arrangements as well as traditional favorites. It has become tradition that they close the zoo season!