Summertime is Jazz Festival Time in Michigan

Weekly Series

Aretha Franklin Amphitheater

The Aretha Franklin Amphitheater on the Detroit Riverfront features a number of well-known smooth jazz acts on Wednesday evenings this summer, like Michael Franks on July 26.

John E. Lawrence Summer Jazz Concert Series at Ford Lake Park

The John E. Lawrence Summer Jazz Concert Series at Ford Lake Park features free concerts Fridays at 7:00 p.m. from June 30 through September 1. Ford Lake Park is at 9075 South Huron River Dr. in Ypsilanti. Parking is $5 per car.

Ypsilanti Jazz Festival

The Ypsilanti Jazz Festival features free concerts Saturdays at 7:00 p.m. July 1 – August 19. Concerts are at Ypsilanti’s Riverside Park and Montibeller Park.

Jazz In the Garden - Toledo

Toledo Metroparks puts on a Thursday evening jazz series in July 6 through September 7. Concerts take place 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.; the garden opens at 5:30. There will be a barbeque vendor on the grounds and baked goods will also be for sale. Tickets are $10 for general admission.

Jazz Festivals

Jazzin’ at the Vanity

Jazzin’ at the Vanity is a two-day jazz and blues festival that is held between Newport and Lakewood Streets in Detroit. It celebrates both the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood and the historic Vanity Ballroom. This year's festival is June 10 & 11.

Summer Solstice Jazz Festival in East Lansing

The Summer Solstice Jazz Festival makes its way to downtown East Lansing June 23 and 24, featuring the very best of local, regional and national talent. This free-to-all festival is centered around a large tent located in the heart of downtown East Lansing in Parking Lot 1, 230 Albert Ave., Ann Street Plaza, located on the northwest corner of the Albert - M.A.C. intersection and the Eli & Edythe Broad Art Museum, 547 East Circle Dr.

Michigan Jazz Festival

The 28th annual Michigan Jazz Festival is Sunday, July 16, at Schoolcraft College in Livonia. The free all-day festival features music on six simultaneous stages. See details in our July/August issue.

Flint Jazz Festival

The Flint Jazz Festival features live jazz, art, crafts, food, drinks under the giant oaks in Riverbank Park July 28 – 30. It is preceded by the Flint JazzWalk July 27.


Watercolors is a three-day summer experience in Grand Rapids. It starts Friday, July 28, with Jazz & More at Ah Nab Awen Park.

JazzFest Michigan

The annual JazzFest Michigan (formerly Lansing JazzFest) happens August 3–5 on the streets of Olde Town Lansing.

Kimmie Horne Jazz Festival

The 7th annual Kimmie Horne Jazz Festival happens August 11 & 12 on the front lawn of the Southfield Municipal Campus.

Smooth Jazz Fete

Phil Denny’s Armory puts on the 5th annual Smooth Jazz Fete August 12 in Lansing.

Detroit Jazz Festival

The Detroit Jazz Festival is Labor Day weekend in Detroit's Hart Plaza and Campus Martius. The 2023 Festival is headlined by Karriem Riggins. See details in SEMJA’s upcoming September issue.

Nearby Jazz Festivals

Elkhart Jazz Festival

The lineup for this year’s Elkhart Jazz Festival is impressive, as usual, as it includes some great names in swinging jazz. The list includes the Shades of Blue jazz band. The annual festival takes place June 18–20 in downtown Elkhart, Indiana.

Tri-C Jazz Festival

Cuyahoga Community College puts on the 44th annual Tri-C Jazz Festival on Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland June 22–24.

Defiance Jazz Festival

The annual Defiance Jazz Festival honors the memory of native sons Wild Bill Davison and Milt Buckner. This year’s festival is July 15 at Kingsbury Park in Defiance, Ohio.

Glass City Jazz Fest

The free Glass City Jazz Fest happens August 12 at Glass City Metropark in Toledo, Ohio. Preceding the event is Toledo Jazz Week (August 7 – 11) showcasing local artists in a variety of venues.

Guelph Jazz Festival

The 30th annual Guelph Jazz Festival features a varied schedule of Canadian performers. The event runs September 14–17 in Guelph, Ontario.

Blues Festivals

Jackson Blues Festival

The Jackson Blues Festival takes place June 8–10 at the Jackson County Airport, Reynolds Field, 3606 Wildwood Ave., in Jackson.

Alpena Blues Festival

The 19th annual Alpena Blues Festival takes place Saturday, June 17, on the Alpena County Fairgrounds. The festival is organized by the Blues Coalition.

Blues by the Bay

The 20th annual Blues by the Bay festival takes place in East Tawas August 25–27.

Marquette Area Blues Fest

The 19th annual Marquette Area Blues Fest takes place September 1–3 on the shores of Lake Superior.

Smokin’ Jazz & Barbeque Blues Festival

The 17th annual Smokin’ Jazz & Barbeque Blues Festival moves to Mt. Brighton this year. The lineup September 8 & 9 features some of the best blues and funky jazz in the area.

Michigan BluesFest

The Michigan BluesFest has been held in Lansing’s Old Towne since 1994. This year's festival is September 14–16.

Other Music Festivals

Top of the Park

The Top of the Park features several jazz and blues acts on the stage in front of Rackham on the central campus of the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor.

Sterlingfest Art & Music Fair

The annual Sterlingfest Art & Music Fair features live music on the Jazz & Blues stage. The festival takes place on the city of Sterling Heights campus July 27–29.