Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra

The Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra is West Michigan’s premier Big Band Jazz Ensemble and has recently featured some of the world’s top Jazz Musicians such as Phil Woods and Randy Brecker as guest artists.

 Sun, Feb 1st

Time: 4:30-6:30 pm  (earlier time for Superb owl)

Founders Brewery, Co.

235 Grandville Ave SW

Jazz Happenings in West Michigan

jazz factory

Mondays from 6 to 10 p.m., Fridays 7 – 11 p.m. and Saturdays 6-10 p.m. The What Not Innfeatures a revolving cast of local musicians each weekend and Mondays hosts a jam session open tomusicians and vocalists. They have two good jazz shows coming up in. See thefull schedule here: The What Not Inn islocated at M89 and the Blue Star Highway, 2405 68th Street,Fennville, MI. (269) 543-3341.

Mondays from 8 to 11 p.m.with low lighting and an inviting closeness to the band,  pianist/vocalist John Shea holds for with realjazz played by unshakeable sidement, bassist Warren Jones III and drummer FredKnapp, at The Republic, 45 South

Monday night at 8 p.m.Swingtooth hosts the open mic jam at the Rockford Brewing Company, 12 E BridgeSt, Rockford, Michigan, (616) 951-4677. Swingtooth includes two acoustic hand-builtguitars played by Lee and David Middleman, with Chris Cudworth on bass.

Tuesdays at 7 p.m. it is divatime at Bar Divani, 15 Ionia Ave. N.W., Grand Rapids, as the finest femalesingers in the area step up and swing. For a full schedule: Phone (616) 774 –9463.

Wednesdays from 7 to 10 p.m. TheTom Hagen Trio with vocalist Rick Reuther at Noto’s Old World Italian Dining,6600 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids. (616) 493 – 6686,

Wednesday, Thursday,Friday and Saturdaylive piano jazz is heard from 7 to 10 p.m. at Mangiamo, 1033 Lake Drive S.E.,Grand Rapids. Information from (616) 742 – 0600.

Thursdays at 7 p.m. a varietyof jazz bands rotate the schedule at The Book Nook and Java Shop, 8744 FerryStreet in Montague. The last Thursday of the month belongs to trumpeter BradFritcher and Trios. See and click on thecalendar for Thursday night.

Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.,pianist-vocalist Robin Connell plays in the Lumber Baron Bar at the Amway GrandPlaza Hotel, 187 Monroe Avenue N.W., Grand Rapids.

Fridays, 7 p.m. the John SheaTrio plays at the J.W. Marriot Hotel, 235 Louis Street N.W., Grand Rapids.(616) 242 – 1448.

Saturdays at 7:30, pianist John Shealeads his trio at Noto’s Old World Italian Dining, 6600 28th StreetS.E., Grand Rapids. See or call (616) 493 –6686.

Onthe Third Saturday of each month,Hope Church, 2010 Kalamazoo, SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507, presents “Jazz andJustice” with jazz from 6 to 7:15 p.m. and a Justice conversation from 7:20 to8 p.m.

Sundays from 9:30 a.m. to1:30 p.m. guitarist Greg Miller brings his 6-1-6 guitar concept to the J.W.Marriot Hotel, 235 Louis Street N.W., Grand Rapids. (616) 242 – 1448.

Sundays, Randy Marsh’s SundayNight Jazz Hang at The Speak EZ Lounge, 600 Monroe Avenue N.W., Grand Rapids,is a fun jam session.  Information from(616) 458 – 2689.  Student musicians under 21 with a parent orlegal guardian will have a chance to play with Marsh from 7 to 9; the host trioplays from 9 p.m. – 10 p.m.

First Sunday of everymonth from5 to 7 p.m. the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra plays Founders Brewing Company, 235Grandville Avenue S.W., downtown Grand Rapids. The GRJO is the region’s premierprofessional jazz orchestra. Information from


Thursday, February 5th at 7:30 p.m. six timeGrammy award winning trumpeter Randy Brecker is Western Michigan University’s 2015Jazz Masters Artist. He’s joined by guest pianist Edward Simon in concert withThe Western Jazz Quartet, the WMU Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Lab Band at TheDalton Center Recital Hall, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. Ticketsfrom (800) 228 – 9858.

Friday, February 6 at 7:30 p.m. The HartCommunity Performing Arts Series celebrates its 100th concert atHart Public Schools Auditorium, 308 W. Johnson Street, Hart, MI 49420: This special eventfeatures guitarists Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniola, accordionist Julien Labro,saxophonist Carl Cafagna, bassist Tom Knific and drummer Tim Froncek. Moreinformation about the Hart Community Performing Arts Series available from TomKirk, (231) 873 – 6270.

Sunday, February 8th at 3 p.m. the newseries of piano concerts in Grand Rapids features Xavier Davis with bassistMatt Brewer. “Jazz in the Sanctuary” is held at Fountain Street Church, 24Fountain St. NE, Grand Rapids 49503Information or (616) 459 – 8386.

Thursday, February12that 8 p.m. Western Michigan University Jams with drummer Keith Hall at The UnionCabaret and Grille, 125 South Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. This is anOpen Jam Session. (269) 384- 6756 .

Sunday, February 15th at 3 p.m. TheLaFontsee Galleries in conjunction presents a new series of improvisedmusic concerts, “The Underground Concert Series,” with Grand Rapids’ first poetLaureate Linda Nemec Foster accompanied by music from composer/pianist SteveTalaga’s Nonet. Together they’ll perform Linda Nemec Foster’s poem cycle“Contemplating the Heavens.”  A stringquartet plus jazz quintet join Linda Nemec Foster as she reads from her 2001chapbook “Contemplating the Heavens” published by Ridgeway Press, in the uniquesurroundings of LaFontsee Galleries, 833 Lake Dr SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506;(616) 451-9820. Ticket are $20 in advance, $10 for students with a student I.D.and $25 at the door. Advance tickets available only from .

Sunday, February 15th at 4 p.m. Jazz atLincoln Center Orchestra with 2011 NEA Jazz Master and 2014 UMS DistinguishedArtist Award recipient, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, at Hill Auditorium, AnnArbor. Presented by the University Music Society,

Monday, February 16th at 6:30 p.m. the WestMichigan Jazz Series, “Monday Night at The B.O.B.” presents the Tom Hagen Triowith vocalist Rick Reuther. Tom Hagen’s musical vitae is rich with performing,arranging and recording experience. With wife Cherie Hagen on drums and voice,the group includes the versatile saxophonist Mike Lutley and special guestvocalist Rick Reuther. See for more information.

Tuesday February 17th at 7:30 p.m. theTruth in Jazz Orchestra returns to Watermark 920, 920 Washington Avenue,Muskegon, 49441. Fronted by drummer Tim Froncek, TIJO brings big band jazzexcitement to the lakeshore. See for more.

Thursday, February 19th at 7:30 p.m., worldrenowned bassist Christian McBride leads his trio with Christian Sands, piano,and Ulysses Owens Jr., drums, in the Jazz Series at St. Cecilia Music Center,24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, 49503. Information or by calling (616) 459 – 2224.

Friday, February 20, the Kris Bowers Trio appearsin “Dinner and a Show” presented by the Fontana Chamber Arts in Kalamazoo. 6:30p.m. dinner and 8 p.m. performance at Cityscape at the City Centre, Kalamazoo.Information from or (269)382-7774.

Friday, February 20that 8:00 Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater, a 50th Anniversary Celebration: The CampbellBrothers perform John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.” The Campbell Brothers, whoseunique sacred steel gospel music was created in African-American churches,revisit John Coltrane’s 4 part spiritual work on their signature slide guitars,marking the 50th anniversary of Coltrane’s great recording, paying particularattention to “A Love Supreme”’s transcendent spiritual message.  With Chuck Campbell, pedal steel; DarickCampbell, lap steel; Phillip Campbell, electric guitar; Carlton Campbell, drums;Daric Bennett, bass

See more at:

Saturday, February 21st at 8 p.m.trumpeter Brad Fritcher (see: and his band Moods appear at One Trick Pony, 136 Fulton Street East,Grand Rapids, 49503.

Thursday, March 12that 7:30 p.m. 2014Grammy nominated vocalist Rene Marie visits the St. Cecilia Music Center toperform in the historic Royce Auditorium, 24 Ransom Ave. N.E., Grand Rapids,49503. See .

Friday and Saturday,March 13th and 14th, Saxophonist Miguel Zenon is guest artist inresidence for the 35th Annual Western Invitational Jazz Festival. On Friday, March 13that 7:30Miguel Zenon performs with the Western Jazz Quartet at the Dalton CenterRecital Hall, WMU, Kalamazoo. Then, on Saturday,March 14th he’s heard at 7:30 p.m. with the Western MichiganUniversity Big Band at the Dalton Center Recital Hall, Western MichiganUniversity, Kalamazoo. On Saturday the 14 the Western Invitational Jazz Festival,featuring high school ensembles from across the region, begins at 8 a.m.  Advance tickets available from MillerAuditorium (269) 387-2300 or (800) 228-9858 & at the door.

Thursday, March 26that 8p.m. Hammond organist Bill Heid headlines with guitarist Ralph Tope and drummerJeff Shoup at The Tip Top Delux Bar, 760 Butterworth, Grand Rapids: (616)272-3910.

Friday, March 20that 8:00 p.m. SteveWilson and Wilsonian’s Grain plays the Dalton Center Recital Hall, WesternMichigan University, Kalamazoo. Featuring Steve Wilson, saxophones;

Orrin Evans, piano; Ugonna Okegwo, bass; and BillStewart, drums. Advance tickets available from Miller Auditorium (269) 387-2300or (800) 228-9858 & at the door.

Sunday, March 22ndat 3p.m. The LaFontsee Galleries in conjunction with http://www.adventuremusic.orgpresents “The Underground Concert Series” with Charlie Kohlhase’s ChicagoExplorers Club featuring the Boston/Cambridge area leader Charlie Kohlhase onalto, tenor & baritone saxophones; James Falzone, clarinet; Aaron Darrell,bass; Tim Daisy, drums; and Russ Johnson, trumpet. Ticket are $20 in advance,$10 for students with a student I.D. and $25 at the door. Advance ticketsavailable only The phone number at the LaFontseeGalleries is (616) 451 – 9820. The LaFontsee Galleries are wheel chairaccessible.

Wednesday, March 25th The Bad Plusperform at The Knickerbocker Theatre, 86 East 8thStreet, Holland,49423. See or phone (616)395 – 7890.

Thursday, April 16th at 7:30 p.m. anevening with pianists Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea at Hill Auditorium, AnnArbor.

Friday, April 17th at 8 p.m. theAustin-based Hot Club of Cowtown plays gypsy jazz at the Saugatuck CenterCenter for the Arts, 400 Culver Street, Saugatuck, MI 49453, (269) 857 – 2399,or With fiddler Elana James,guitarist Whit Smith and bassist Jake Erwin, the Hot Club of Cowtown plays offthe legacies of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys as well as jazz legend DjangoReinhardt.

Thank you sharing Lazaro Vega

Jazz Director

The New Black: Ethnicity in the Arts

The New Black: Ethnicity in the Arts

February 11 @ 7:00 pm8:30 pm

Debate rages about what is, or is not, Black art. Panelists will discuss what Black art is and how ethnicity has enhanced or hindered the current collection of artwork in the marketplace. They will examine the influence of ethnic art in West Michigan compared to national trends. Panelists include local artists Georgia Taylor, Monroe Bryant, Carol Johnson, Nina Muhammad and moderator George Bayard. Light refreshments will be served.


111 Library Street NE | Grand Rapids MI, 49503

“The Presidency, Politics and Public Service”

Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum

Wednesday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m.

“The Presidency, Politics and Public Service” featuring keynote speaker Frederick D. McClure, CEO for the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, 303 Pearl St. NW.

McClure started his career in public service as an intern in President Ford’s administration. His connection to the White House continued as he worked with both Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. He will speak about how politics, public service, and the presidency are connected.

A second event, a presentation of “King: A Reflection on the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” will be held Friday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. The spoken word performance by playwright Sandra Seaton will be accompanied by spirituals performed by tenor George Shirley and pianist Stanley Waldon.

A special musical tribute will also be performed by Grand Rapids Police Officer and tenor Wally Tett, and tenor Daniel Washington who is a professor of voice at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance.

Both events are free and open to the public but reservations are requested by phone at 616-254-0396 or email

The Christian McBride Trio @ St. Cecilia Music Center

Justifiably the most recorded and most honored jazz bassist of his generation, (McBride) boasts appealing sound …His beefy, earthy tone, often jaw-dropping technical abilities, and skills as an improviser, composer and bandleader are well displayed.”~ Jazz Times ~

Christian McBride is the most in-demand bassist of his generation.

Pictured is the Christian McBride Trio. This Jazz group will perform in November at Grand Rapids Michigan's St. Cecilia Music Center.

McBride consistently combines his deft musicianship with an innate ability to communicate his enthusiasm to an audience—a warm showmanship that transforms his own passion into infectious joy. It comes across whether he’s leading his own bands; sharing the stage with jazz legends like Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock or Pat Metheny; accompanying pop giants like James Brown, Sting or The Roots; or collaborating with classical masters like Kathleen Battle, Edgar Meyer or the Shanghai Quartet. With McBride’s fifth recording on Mack Avenue Records, he introduces his latest working group: a trio, fully embracing his role as standard-bearer and mentor.  Pianist Christian Sands and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. have been performing with The Christian McBride Trio for about three years.

SHOW: 7:30 p.m.

St. Cecilia Music Center

24 Ransom NE

Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Phone: 616.459.2224


February Jazz About Town in West Michigan

jazz factory

Sunday, February 1
Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra at Founder’s, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Randy Marsh w/ Robin Connell & Jack Dryden at SpeakEZ, 7-10 pm

Tuesday, February 3
Jazz Jam at The Grand, Grand Haven, 22 Washington, 7:30 – 10:30 pm, no cover

Wednesday, February 4
Tom Hagen Trio featuring Rick Reuther at Noto’s, 6:30 – 9:30 pm
Steve Hilger & Trio Jazz at the B.O.B., 7-10 pm

Thursday, February 5
Robin Connell at the Lumber Baron Bar, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, 6-9 pm
Third Coast Ensemble at the Book Nook, Montague, 7-9 pm
Randy Marsh with Jeff Haas Trio at Cambria Suites, Traverse City, 7-9:30 pm

Friday, February 6
Mark Kahny at the Melting Pot, Knapp’s Corner, 5 pm

Saturday, February 7
Kathy Lamar with Paul Lesinski at Porto Bello, Grand Haven, 7-11 pm
Robin Connell at Mangiamo!, 7-10 pm

Sunday, February 8
Robin Connell hosts Jazz at Sanctuary at Fountain St. Church @ 3pm w/ Xavier Davis & Matt Brewer in an all-acoustic setting, Benefits Heartside ministries, tickets $10/5 adult/student, $20 for reception

Randy Marsh w/ Steve Talaga & Tom Lockwood at SpeakEZ, 7-10 pm

Tuesday, February 10
Jazz Jam at The Grand, Grand Haven, 22 Washington, 7:30 – 10:30 pm, no cover

Wednesday, February 11
Tom Hagen Trio featuring Rick Reuther at Noto’s, 6:30 – 9:30 pm

Thursday, February 12
Robin Connell at the Lumber Baron Bar, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, 6-9 pm
Karen Cameron Trio w/ Mark Kahny at The Book Nook in Montague, 7-9 pm
Randy Marsh with Jeff Haas Trio at Cambria Suites, Traverse City, 7-9:30 pm

Saturday, February 14
Mark Kahny w/ Steve Hilger Jazz Band, 7 pm

Sunday, February 15
Randy Marsh w/ Organissimo at SpeakEZ, 7-10 pm

Monday, February 16
WM JAZZ AT BOBARINO’S, Tom Hagen Trio with Mike Lutley, 6:30 – 8:30 pm

Tuesday, February 17
Jazz Jam at The Grand, Grand Haven, 22 Washington, 7:30 – 10:30 pm, no cover
Truth in Jazz Orchestra at 920 Watermark, 920 Washington, Muskegon, 7-9 pm
Mark Kahny at Fountain St. Church, downtown GR at 6 pm
Checkers Morton Mardi Gras at the Book Nook, Montague, 7-9 pm

Wednesday, February 18
Tom Hagen Trio featuring Rick Reuther at Noto’s, 6:30 – 9:30 pm
Steve Hilger Jazz Quintet at the B.O.B., 7-10 pm

Thursday, February 19
Robin Connell at the Lumber Baron Bar, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, 6-9 pm
Forest Hills Northern HS Jazz Concert @ 7 pm
Mark Kahny at the Book Nook, Montague, 7-9 pm
Randy Marsh with Jeff Haas Trio at Cambria Suites, Traverse City, 7-9:30 pm

Friday, February 20
Mark Kahny at Porto Bello, downtown Grand Haven, 7 pm

Sunday, February 22
Randy Marsh w/ Terry Lower & Jack Dryden at SpeakEZ, 7-10 pm

Tuesday, February 24
Jazz Jam at The Grand, Grand Haven, 22 Washington, 7:30 – 10:30 pm, no cover

Wednesday, February 25
Tom Hagen Trio featuring Rick Reuther at Noto’s, 6:30 – 9:30 pm
Steve Hilger & the Mark Kahny Trio at HOME at the B.O.B., 7-10 pm

Thursday, February 26
Randy Marsh with Jeff Haas Trio at Cambria Suites, Traverse City, 7-9:30 pm
Robin Connell at the Lumber Baron Bar, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, 6-9 pm
Brad Fritcher + Trois at the Book Nook, Montague, 7-9 pm

Friday, February 27
Mark Kahny at Mangiamo!, 7 pm

Saturday, February 28
Kathy Lamar with Paul Lesinski at Riverstop Café, Newaygo, 7-10 pm