29th Annual Michigan Jazz Festival

The Michigan Jazz Festival returns to the Livonia campus of Schoolcraft College on Sunday, July 21, featuring a wide array of performers in a rich variety of jazz styles. The recently-completed renovation of Schoolcraft’s Vistatech Center is providing new, welcoming opportunities for performances and accommodations.

Schoolcraft’s award-winning culinary program now provides great food, wine and craft beer in three restaurants — including the new Craft Grille.

Jazz Talks! is new. It’s a place for learning and chatting about jazz in Vistatech’s beautiful new Innovation Center. Funded by Michigan Humanities, Jazz Talks!features historical lectures by jazz journalist Mark Stryker; George Sinnott interviewing jazz veterans Ramona Collins, Jerry McKenzie and Barbara Ware; Wayne State professor Vincent Chandler offering insights on trumpet legend Roy Hargrove; and Jeff Trudell recounting the beginnings of the Michigan Jazz Festival.

There are forty music performances scheduled this year, featuring the return of crowd favorites like Dave Bennett and Kimmie Horne as well as more than a dozen first-timers. Among the standouts:

  • “Beatitudes” is a spiritual composition by Wayne State’s Russ Miller. It will be performed by Miller’s Jazz Orchestra and full choir.
  • Young trumpeter Jauron Perry, winner of the Jazz Festival’s recent Rising Star Jazz Horn Competition, will be featured with the MJF All-Star High School Jazz Band.
  • After being exiled by construction last year, the Cabaret Stage returns to the remodeled and enlarged American Harvest restaurant.
  • The Solo Piano room features six dazzling keyboard players, including 15-year-old wunderkind Jacob Hart.
  • A jazz vocal clinic with April Tini precedes the Festival at 10:30 a.m.

SEMJA is sponsoring the Future of Jazz Stage again this year, including the open clinic Playing with the Pros. As always, SEMJA will be staked out in our regular location in the Festival’s Jazz Walk. Please drop by for a visit.

The 2024 Michigan Jazz Festival runs from Noon to 9:00 p.m. —rain or shine — at Schoolcraft College, 18600 Haggerty Road near Seven Mile. All events are free, with plenty of free parking. For more information, visit the Festival’s website.

Big Band Stage   Open Air Stage
12:15 Russ Miller Jazz Orchestra & Chorus   12:00 Chris Tabaczynski and the Wolverines
2:00 MJF All-Star H.S. Jazz Band   1:30 Sky Covington featuring Club Crescendo
3:45 Paul Keller Orchestra   3:00 Mark Lipson and the DCC Unity Octet
5:30 CSO   4:30 Mark Braun and his B10 Band
7:15 Jeff Trudell Big Band   6:00 Dave Bennett Quartet
      7:30 Kimmie Horne & Friends
Presentation Stage   Rathskeller Stage
12:30 Steve Wood Quartet   12:15 Third Coast Swing
2:00 Russ Macklem Quintet   1:45

J Rowe / Jordan Schug Sextet

3:30 Terry Lower Trio with vocalist Eyde Evans Hyde   3:15 Ryan Bills Organ Quartet
5:00 Anthony Stanco Quintet   4:45 The Paxton/Spangler Band
6:30 Louis Jones Quartet   6:15 Jeff Ponders II


  7:45 UMPH Band
Leven / Vosgerchian   Sally Bolle
Solo Piano Room   Cabaret Stage
12:30 Bill Cessna   12:15 Olivia Van Goor / Scott Gwinnell
1:45 Steve Talaga   1:30 Christopher Kendall / Mike Harrison
3:00 Zen Zadravec   2:45 Barbara Ware / Cliff Monear
4:15 Matthew Fries   4:00 Marvin Jones / Jay Valle
5:30 Terry Lower   5:15 Lori Lefevre / Chris Buzzelli
6:45 Jacob Hart   6:30 Kait Wiegand / Scott Gwinnell
Southeastern Michigan Jazz Association   Michigan Humanities
Future of Jazz Stage   Jazz Talks!
12:00 Valentino Tischio Quartet   12:00 George Sinnott interviews Barbara Ware and Ramona Collins
1:30 Cristina Aldo Quartet   1:00 Mark Stryker: Jazz from Detroit
3:00 Playing with the Pros   2:45 Jeff Trudell: MJF Beginnings
4:30 Wayne State Jazztet   3:45 Mark Stryker: The Jones Brothers
6:00 Nolan Johnson Trio   5:15 George Sinnott interviews Jerry McKenzie
      6:15 Vincent Chandler: The Roy Hargrove Effect