Posted on: April 17, 2017



Spring Is Here!

It's been a busy few months and we have lots of great things to share as we make our long awaited transition from winter to spring.

Summer Solstice Jazz Festival Receives MCACA Mini-Grant

The SSJF was recently  awarded a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) Minigrant Program.

The Minigrant program is a partnership between the MCACA and 15 regional regranting agencies throughout the state. Arts Projects Minigrants provide up to $4,000 for locally developed, high quality arts and cultural projects These are special opportunities to address local arts and cultural needs as well as increasing public access to arts and culture.

.The Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) strengthens arts and culture in Michigan by increasing its visibility; supporting arts education; encouraging new, creative and innovative works of art; and broadening cultural understanding. A key conduit for arts and cultural information, MCACA is also a source of arts and culture grant funding.

 We are honored to receive such a generous award to help us continue to make the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival a wonderful part of our Greater Lansing Community.A big thank you to the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Arts Council of Greater Lansing for  many years of support.

SSJF and Jazz Tuesdays Team Up

Greater Lansing is blessed with a  vibrant and growing Jazz Scene. The SSJF exists among many local jazz events in the area, While the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival packs the fun into a couple of days Jazz Tuesdays at Moriarity's features  the best and brightest local and regional  talent each week. Local jazz drummer and MSU alum, Jeff Shoup utilizes his  vast  musical connections to curate this increasingly beloved local event.

As a means of further enriching the local jazz community, the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival and Jazz Tuesday's  at Moriarty's have teamed up. Both events have already begun supporting each other in many ways, including taking advantage of opportunities to cross-promote and share visibility with their respective audiences.  

The SSJF appreciates the opportunity to work with Jeff  and Jazz Tuesdays at Moriarty's, and hope that the combined efforts of the events will increase Greater Lansing's reputation as a jazz destination

Be sure to stop by Moriarty's Pub, (802 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing) on a Tuesday to see what it's all about! Upcoming performers include:

The Music of Horace Silver with Jim Alfredson- 4/18/17

Dimitri Matheny- 5/23/17

Jazz Saxophonist George Howard, Releases His Debut Album at Age 92.

On February 28th at Moriarty's Pub in Lansing, Jazz Tuesday's hosted an event 92 years in the making, the release of George Howard's debut CD, "How It's Done"

Although the event was already well-covered by local media, the SSJF wishes to acknowledge George's inspirational achievement, and thank him for sharing his music with the world.

Lansing City Pulse did an excellent article that gives insight into George's fascinating personal history and the process of recording his album.

Here is a sample;

"Over the decades, Howard has cultivated a tone as smooth as 18-year Scotch, gentle as a mother’s kiss, sharp as your grandpa’s fedora and dark as katalox, the royal ebony wood of Mexico — the wavelength of midnight, with a hint of purple."

--Larry Cosentino, The City Pulse

Here is a link to the article


Thank you George, for continuing to inspire and create.

SSJF Welcomes New Advisory Board Members

SSJF Advisory Board is happy to announce that 3 new members have joined its ranks. Welcome aboard Michael Skory, Linda Vail, and Barbara Rossen.

Michael D Skory has been a full time musician for most of his life. He has worked numerous times with Root Doctor, Lisa SMith, Greg Nagy, and many more. He has worked as a volunteer with the Old Town Blues & Jazz Fests for 10 years. He is excited to be apart of the SSJF Board of Directors and is looking forward to putting his promotion and volunteering skills to good use.

Linda Vail was appointed as the Ingham County Heath Officer in April, 2014. She serves as the chief executive for the Ingham County Health Department. 

Barbara Rossen has been a resident of East Lansing for 30 years. Barbara has had an independent psychotherapy practice in East Lansing for the past 30 years. She loves her job and the people she helps.

Westside Neighborhood Block Party

What better way to kick off Spring and get yourself in the mood for the SSJF then a Block Party!  The Westside Neighborhood Association will  host  the SSJF for  "Westside Jazz Party in the Park",  May 13, from 1-4pm at St. Joseph Park in Lansing, MI. The event will feature a performance by Organissimo with special guests Michael Dease, and Freddie Cunningham..

This event was created to increase the visibility of the festival throughout Greater Lansing, and as a musical means to help build a bridge between East Lansing and Lansing.

East Lansing Film Festival

brings"Chasing Trane" to Studio C

for an SSJF Fundraiser

The East Lansing Film Festival  continues it's tradition of supporting the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival by hosting a fundraiser featuring the John Coltrane Documentary "Chasing Trane". The event is set to take place at 7pm on June 7th at Studio C! inside the Meridian Mall in Okemos.

Set for wide release in 2017, CHASING TRANE is the definitive documentary film about an outside-the-box thinker with extraordinary talent whose boundary-shattering music continues to impact and influence people around the world. This smart, passionate, thought-provoking and uplifting documentary is for anyone who appreciates the power of music to entertain, inspire and transform.

Written and directed by critically-acclaimed documentary filmmaker John Scheinfeld (The U.S. vs. John Lennon and Who Is Harry Nilsson…?) the film is produced with the full participation of the Coltrane family and the support of the record labels that collectively own the Coltrane catalog. Scheinfeld brings his strong story-telling skills to the creation of a rich, textured and compelling narrative that takes the audience to unexpected places.

Set against the social, political and cultural landscape of the times, CHASING TRANE brings John Coltrane to life as a fully dimensional being, inviting the audience to engage with Coltrane the man, Coltrane the artist.

Come on out on June 7th to see this wonderful movie and show your support!

The  2017 Performer Lineup is Here!

The 2017 Summer Solstice Jazz Festival will feature performances by Maureen Choi, Rodney Whitaker, Laura Rain and more!

See below for the complete 2017 SSJF Lineup.

A big thank you to our 2017 Sponsors who renewed their sponsorships this year.

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