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First festival of its kind to jazz up West Michigan on August 18

The free jazz festival will be taking over Rosa Parks Circle at noon on Saturday and will include a diverse lineup of local performers.
Underwriting support from:

Full Entertainment Lineup

12:30-1:30 p.m. - Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra with Edye Evans Hyde

2-3 p.m. - Walt Gutowski & the Bridge Street Band with Michelle Covington

3:30-4:30 p.m. - Grupo Ayé

5-6 p.m. - The Steve Hilger Jazz Quintet

6:45-7:45 p.m. - Phil Denny

8:15-9:30 p.m. - Tim Bowman

Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra

Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra /Courtesy of Molly Kilmas

The Steve Hilger Jazz Quintet

The Steve Hilger Jazz Quintet /Courtesy of Molly Kilmas

/Courtesy of Molly Kilmas

On August 18, Rosa Parks Circle will be home to West Michigan’s first GRandJazzFest. The free jazz festival is the first of its kind in West Michigan, says public relations publicist Molly Kilmas.

The event will begin at noon, and will include six local musical performances including the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra and The Steve Hilger Jazz Quintet. There will also be bands playing a variety of big band, contemporary and Latin jazz.

Tim Bowman will be headlining GRandJazzFest. Bowman is a contemporary jazz guitarist who was named Best Guitarist of 2010 at the Dubai International Jazz Festival. He is set to begin his performance at around 8:15 p.m.

Audrey Sundstrom, founder of GRandJazzFest and the nonprofit organization GR and Jazz, began the process of planning the festival last fall. Sundstrom has attended several jazz festivals around Michigan and decided that we need one in West Michigan.  

Festival attendees will have the chance to purchase CDs of the performing groups, who will also be doing signings during the event. Individuals can also visit the local restaurants and surrounding attractions.

“We hope that people will come and enjoy a wonderful sunny breezy day full of jazz into the night, and say we need this again next year,” says Kilmas.

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