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March 04, 2015


Summer Solstice Jazz Festival logo

410 Abbot Road

East Lansing, MI 48823

(517) 319-6980




Summer Solstice Jazz Festival June 19-20, 2015

14 hours of the best in jazz in the heart of downtown East Lansing! This extraordinary FREE event will feature a high-caliber bevy of local, regional and national jazz performers. The festival is produced by the City of East Lansing, Wharton Center for Performing Arts and the MSU College of Music, with artistic direction by Rodney Whitaker.


A Night of Lady Day: celebrating 100 years of Billie Holiday

SSJF fundraiser, March 20 

The Rodney Whitaker Quartet will be inviting a few of Greater Lansing’s most talented vocalists to join them for

“A Night of Lady Day: celebrating 100 years of Billie Holiday”, a fundraiser for the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival (SSJF), on Friday, March 20 from 6:30-9 p.m. at Beggar’s Banquet, 218 Abbot Road.The event will  feature a post-war era theme. Rodney Whitaker will also be selling his new CD “When We Find Ourselves Alone” and donating 50% of CD sales to the SSJF. Tickets for the event are $25 for general admission and $50 for VIP selected seating. Tickets are available at or call (517) 319-6980.

Featured performers:
Betty Baxter: Betty is a beloved local performer, promoter and educator. She is a founding member of the Jazz Association of Mid-Michigan, a charter member of Mid-Michigan Jazz Society and has been designated a Michigan 'popular music' historian by the Michigan Historical Museum.
Twyla Birdsong: When she sets free a deep soulful note, audiences are moved by the raw talent and radiance that pours from this incredible woman. Her rich, resonant voice strikes a balance between diva and divine, making her one of Lansing’s most talented and loved vocalists since 2002.
Rockelle Fortin: Ms. Fortin is an MSU Jazz Studies alum that has gone on to perform at several festivals across the Midwest, as well as some of the country’s premier jazz clubs, including; Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, The Dirty Dog Jazz Café and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.  Rockelle has shared the stage and studio with such notables as; Rodney Whitaker, Wycliffe Gordon, Terrell Stafford, and Cyrus Chestnut.
Betty Joplin: Ms. Joplin is a Grammy-nominated singer who was also a featured vocalist for the Duke Ellington Orchestra. She was recently honored in a tribute by the Jazz Alliance of Mid-Michigan.

 We Love Our Sponsors!

The SSJF is a non-profit event that relies on the generosity of sponsors to bring FREE-to-the-community performances to more than 10,000 attendees each year. Download the 2015 Sponsor Packet or View 2014 sponsors.



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Yes, I would like to be a Friend of East Lansing Jazz.

Join together with other jazz fans and support the 2015 SSJF. All contributions are tax deductible. Learn how to become a 2015 Friend of East Lansing Jazz. Or click

below and donate with paypal.



SSJF Facebook Page and Twitter Feed

Check out the SSJF Facebook and Twitter page for awesome pics of past events, festival updates and local,

regional and national jazz news!



Watch the 2013 SSJF Performance of Cyrille Aimee! Stay tuned for videos of our 2014 performers!

Check out the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival Youtube channel to catch 2013 performances, pastperformances and some favorites. Watch performances of Tricotism and Love for Sale by 2013 SSJF headliner Cyrille Aimee' and the Surreal Band!