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 Cassandra Wilson on July 24.

John E. Lawrence Summer Jazz

The John E. Lawrence Summer Jazz at Ford Lake Park features free concerts Fridays at 7:00 p.m. from July 5 through August 23. Ford Lake Park is at 9075 South Huron River Dr. in Ypsilanti.

Jazz In the Garden - Toledo

Toledo Metroparks puts on a Thursday evening jazz series July 11 through September 5. 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. The Gardens are located at 900 Oneida Street in Toledo (phone: 419-720-8714). Please park at Bancroft entrance.

Jazz Festivals

Summer Solstice Jazz Festival in East Lansing

The Summer Solstice Jazz Festival makes its way to downtown East Lansing June 21 and 22, 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 21, at Schoolcraft College in Livonia. The free all-day festival features music on eight simultaneous stages. See details in our June/July issue.

Flint Jazz Festival

The Flint Jazz Festival features live jazz, art, crafts, food, drinks under the giant oaks in Riverbank Park July 26 – 28. It is preceded by the Flint JazzWalk July 25.

JazzFest Michigan

The annual JazzFest Michigan (formerly Lansing JazzFest) happens July 31 – August 3 on the streets of Olde Town Lansing.

Kimmie Horne Jazz Festival

The 8th annual Kimmie Horne Jazz Festival happens August 9 & 10 on the front lawn of the Southfield Municipal Campus.

Smooth Jazz Fete

Phil Denny’s Armory puts on the 6th annual Smooth Jazz Fete August 10 in Lansing.

Detroit Jazz Festival

The Detroit Jazz Festival is Labor Day weekend in Detroit's Hart Plaza and Campus Martius. The 2024 Festival is headlined by Brian Blade. See details in SEMJA’s upcoming August 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 20–23 in downtown Elkhart, Indiana.

Tri-C Jazz Festival

Cuyahoga Community College puts on the 45th annual Tri-C Jazz Festival on Playhouse Square in downtown Cleveland June 20–22.

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 13 at Kingsbury Park in Defiance, Ohio.

Guelph Jazz Festival

The 31st annual Guelph Jazz Festival features a varied schedule of Canadian performers. The event runs September 13–15 in Guelph, Ontario.

Blues Festivals

Jackson Blues Festival

The 23rd annual Jackson Blues Festival takes place June 6–8 at the Jackson County Airport, Reynolds Field, 3606 Wildwood Ave., in Jackson.

Alpena Blues Festival

The 20th annual Alpena Blues Festival takes place Saturday, June 15, on the Alpena County Fairgrounds. The festival is organized by the Blues Coalition.

Blues by the Bay

The 22nd annual Blues by the Bay festival takes place in East Tawas August 23–25.

Marquette Area Blues Fest

The 19th annual Marquette Area Blues Fest takes place Labor Day weekend on the shores of Lake Superior.

Smokin’ Jazz & Barbeque Blues Festival

The Smokin’ Jazz & Barbeque Blues Festival comes to Main Street in downtown Brighton September 6 and 7. The lineup 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 18–21.

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 25–27.