Mondays from 6 to 10 p.m., Fridays 7 – 11 p.m. and Saturdays 6-10 p.m. The What Not Inn features a revolving cast of local musicians each weekend and Mondays hosts a jam session open to musicians and vocalists. See the full schedule here: www.whatnotinn.com. The What Not Inn is located at M89 and the Blue Star Highway, 2405 68th Street, Fennville, MI. (269) 543-3341.
Mondays from 8 to 11 p.m. pianist/vocalist John Shea brings the jazz crowd to downtown Grand Rapids’ The Republic, 45 South Division. Swinging standards. www.republicgrandrapids.com.
Mondays from 6 to 10 p.m. a young jazz trumpeter named Brad Fritcher deals with this trio during “Micro Brew Mondays” at the Skeetown Tavern, 1308 West Sherman Blvd., Muskegon. See www.skeetowntavern.com.
Tuesdays, 7 p.m. pianist Steve Talaga runs a jam session at Billy’s Lounge, 1437 Wealthy Street SE, Grand Rapids. (616) 459 – 5757 or www.billyslounge.com.
Tuesdays from 9:30 to 12:30 a.m. the fluid improvising trumpeter Chris Lawrence and Friends present their Tuesday night jam session at The Winchester, 648 Wealthy Street S.E., Grand Rapids. www.chrislawrencemusic.com
Tuesdays at 7 p.m. it is diva time at Bar Divani, 15 Ionia Ave. N.W., Grand Rapids, as the finest female singers in the area step up and swing. Tuesday, September 17, Blue Molly Bouwsma and Ryan K. Wilson; 9-24, Libby York and Mark Kahny; October 1, Diana Vandewater and Mark Kahny; 10-8, Kathy Lamar and Paul Lesinski; 10-15, Edye Evans Hyde and Mike Hyde; 10-22, Blue Molly Bouwsma and Ryan K. Wilson; 10-29, Libby York and Mark Kahny; November 5, Mary Rademacher; 11-12, Sylvia Taylor; 11-19, Kanty Lamar; 11-26, Diana Vandewater; December 3, Mary Rademacher; 12-10, Blue Molly Bouwsma and Ryan K. Wilson; 12-17, Edye Evans Hyde and Mark Kahny. For a full schedule: http://www.bar-divani.com/tastings-a-events/live-music Phone (616) 774 – 9463.
Tuesdays 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. The Truth in Jazz Orchestra appears at Watermark 920, 920 Washington Avenue, Muskegon. Featuring premier jazz drummer Tim Fronceck, the 16 member big band is co-led by Dave Colley and brings a burning book of contemporary jazz literature to listeners lucky enough to fall by. The evening is catered by Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack and Drip Drop Drink. See www.tijo.org for information.
Wednesdays from 7 to 10 p.m. The Tom Hagen Trio with vocalist Rick Reuther at Notos Old World Italian Dining, 6600 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids. (616) 493 – 6686, or www.notosoldworld.com.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday live piano jazz is heard from 7 to 10 p.m. at Mangiamo, 1033 Lake Drive S.E., Grand Rapids. Thursday, September 12, Mark Kahny; Friday, 9-13, Libby York; Saturday, 9-14, Paul Lesinski; Wednesday, 9-18, Mike Drost; Thursday, 9-19, Dave Hay; Friday, 9-20, Robin Connell/Paul Brewer; Saturday, 9-21, Chis Corey; Wednesday, 9-25, Greg Miller; Thursday, 9-26, Steve Talaga; Friday, 9-27, Robin Connell; Saturday, 9-28, Monica DaSilva; Wednesday, October 2, Freddy D.; Thursday, 10-3, Bill Davidson; Friday, 10-4, Mark Kahny; Saturday, 10-5 Bob VanStee and Kathy Lamar; Wednesday, 10-9, Greg Miller; Thursday, 10-10, Dave Hay; Friday, 10-11, Chris Corey; Saturday, 10-12, Monica Da Silva. Information from (616) 742 – 0600. www.thegilmorecollection.com.
Thursdays at 7 p.m. a variety of jazz bands rotate the schedule at The Book Nook and Java Shop, 8744 Ferry Street in Montague. 9/12, trumpeter Chris Lawrence brings his progressive trio in. There’s a universalist message in improvised music from Checkers Morton featuring pianist/composer Bob VanStee; The Lakewinds Jazz Quartet with Dave Collee on trombone and bass, Vince Liefers at the piano, Tim Froncek, drums, and special guest Tom Stansell, saxophones play it straight ahead; the Dave Collee Quartet with pianist Eric Thorne and vocalist Ginny Dusseau, drummer Tim Froncek, and saxophonist/flutist Bob Nixon bring a night club vibe; Multi-instrumentalist (bass, trombone) Dave Collee’s Quartet plays great jazz standards. See www.thebooknookjavashop.com .
Thursdays from 5 to 8 p.m., pianist John Shea takes plays for swing fans at the New Holland Brewing Company, 66 E. 8th Street Holland: (616) 355-6422.
Thursdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., pianist-vocalist Robin Connell plays in the Lumber Baron Bar at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, 187 Monroe Avenue N.W., Grand Rapids. See www.robinconnell.com.
Fridays, 6:30 – 9:30 vocalist Libby York (www.libbyyork.com) exchanges ideas with west Michigan’s premier musicians at Restaurant Toulouse, 248 Culver Street, Saugatuck. Phone (269) 857 – 1561 for reservations.
Fridays in September at 7 p.m. the Steve Hilger Guitar Trio plays at the J.W. Marriot Hotel, 235 Louis Street N.W., Grand Rapids. (616) 242 – 1448
Fridays from 7 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. John Shea’s Trio swings the summer away at Zing, 310 Blue Star Highway, Douglas (across from The Dunes Resort). (269) 857 – 3287.
Saturdays at 7:30, pianist John Shea leads his trio downtown on the deck of J.W. Marriott Hotel overlooking the Grand River. 235 Louis Street N.W., Grand Rapids; (616) 242 – 1448.
Saturdays at 7 p.m. guitarist Steve Hilger’s Trio Jazz appears at the Louis Benton Steak House, 35 Ionia Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49506. (616) 454-7455.
Sundays, Randy Marsh’s Sunday Night Jazz Hang at The Speak EZ Lounge, 600 Monroe Avenue N.W., Grand Rapids, is a fun jam session. too. Information from (616) 458 – 2689. Student musicians under 21 with a parent or legal guardian will have a chance to play with Marsh from 7 to 9; the host trio plays from 9 p.m. – 10 p.m. www.speakezlounge.com.
Saturday, September 14th trumpeter Brad Fritcher’s Trio appears at Billy’s Lounge for the East Town Street Fair’s 40th Anniversary party, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. See www.eastowngr.com.
Wednesday, September 18th at 8 p.m. the Freeman, Borden, Cain Trio plays experimental, highly improvised music at Mexicains Sans Frontieres, 120 S Division Ave #226, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503. With Martin Freeman, modular synthesizer and homemade electronics; Pat Cain, saxophone, homemade instruments, voice and electronics; and T.J. Borden, cello. Information from (616) 427-5432.
Wednesday, September 18th the Western Jazz Quartet with Johnaye Kendrick, voice, performs at 7:30 p.m. in the Dalton Center Recital Hall, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. Information from www.millerauditorium.com/som or (800) 228 - 9858.
Saturday, September 28, Diana Krall’s Glad Rag Doll world tour comes to the Cobb Great Hall of the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, Michigan State University, East Lansing: https://www.whartoncenter.com/boxoffice/performance.aspx?pid=1401.
Saturday and Sunday, September 28th and 29th the Hyde Park Jazz Festival presented by The University of Chicago presents a who’s who of living jazz musicians in 40 free performances over two days. Information from www.hydeparkjazzfestival.org.
Sunday, September 29th at 2:30 p.m. Steve Hilger’s Jazz Quintet gives a special concert at the Spring Lake District Library, 123 East Exchange Street, Spring Lake. See www.sillib.org.
Saturday, October 5 at 8:00 p.m., Tiempo Libre, the three-time Grammy-nominated super group from Miami, Florida, appears At the Saugatuck Center for the Arts, 400 Culver Street:
Saturdays October 5th and 12th from 7:00 - 10:00 p.m. vocalist Libby York celebrates the release of her new recording by performing with guitarist Steve Hilger’s Quintet at Louis Benton Steakhouse, 35 Ionia Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49506. (616) 454-7455.
Sunday, October 6th from 5 to 7 p.m. the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra plays Founders Brewing Company, 235 Grandville Avenue S.W., downtown Grand Rapids. The GRJO is the region’s premier professional jazz orchestra. Information from www.grjo.com.
Sunday, October 6th from 3 to 6 p.m. The Chicago Salty Dogs play classic jazz at the Oak Ridge Country Club, 513 West Pontaluna Road, Muskegon. A presentation of The West Shore Jazz Society. Information from (231) 759 – 0071 or write West Shore Jazz Society, P.O. Box 175, Muskegon, MI 49443.
Friday, October 18th at 8 p.m. the Michigan State University Jazz Orchestras I, II and III are joined by guest artist, saxophonist Antonio Hart, for a performance at the MSU Union Ballroom, 49 Abbott Road, East Lansing. See www.music.msu.edu for information or call (517) 353 - 5340
Thursday, November 7th at 8 p.m. saxophonist/composer/jazz catalyst Michael S. Doyle presents a new, collectively run big band of highly educated, enthusiastic jazz musicians, Big Band Nouveau, at Babarino’s in the B.O.B., 20 Monroe N.W., downtown Grand Rapids.
Saturday, November 9th at 8 p.m., the University Music Society’s Jazz Series at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor presents the Steve Lehman Octet at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre, 911 North University, Ann Arbor. With Steve Lehman, alto saxophone/live electronics; Mark Shim, tenor saxophone; Chris Dingman, vibraphone; Drew Gress, bass; Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet; Tim Albright, trombone; Jose Davila, tuba; and Tyshawn Sorey, drums, working across a broad spectrum of experimental musical idioms. This visionary composer is creating powerful new models for improvisation and leads his acrobatic Octet in this UMS debut. See www.ums.org.
Friday, December 6th at 8 p.m. the Michigan State University Jazz Orchestras I, II and III are joined by guest artist trumpeter Jon Faddis for a performance of “The Nutcracker Swings” at the Fairchild Theater, MSU Auditorium, 150 Auditorium Road, East Lansing. See www.music.msu.edu for information or call (517) 353 – 5340.
Thursday, January 23rd at 7:30 p.m. the St. Cecilia Music Society of Grand Rapids debuts their new season of live jazz with “Homecoming – The Davis and Brewer Family Reunion,” featuring brothers Xavier and Quincy Davis joining Matt Brewer in a trio for the first time, with special guests (and fathers) Duane Davis and Paul Brewer. Two outstanding musical families together for this special Grand Rapids’ night at Royce Auditorium, 24 Ransom Avenue N.E. See www.nyc2gr.com or phone (616) 459 – 2224.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014, bassist OMER AVITAL appears in a guest recital at the Pasant Theatre of the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, Michigan State University, 750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing. Avital’s genredefying ensemble includes Eli Degibri, saxophone; Joel Frahm, saxophone; Yonathan Avishai, piano; and Daniel Freedman, drums. Avital’s music ranges stylistically from jazz and Mid-Eastern to orchestral arrangements and generally pushes the boundaries of jazz expression. Tickets from (517) 393-1982 or www.whartoncenter.com.
Thursday, February 20th at 7:30 Gregory Porter, the Grammy-nominated vocalist who fuses jazz and soul, appears at the St. Cecilia Music Center’s Royce Auditorium, 24 Ransom Avenue N.E., Grand Rapids, as part of the SCMC’s Jazz Series. Proclaimed “a brilliant new voice in jazz,” Porter just released his debut album on Blue Note Records. More information from www.scmc-online.org or (616) 459 – 2224.
Thursday, March 20th at 7:30 p.m. improvising violinist Regina Carter appears in St. Cecilia Music Society’s Jazz Series with her “Southern Comfort” tour, incorporating jazz, gospel, country and southern rock into the concert. More from www.nyc2gr.com or (616) 459 – 2224.
Thursday, March 27, 2014 a touring program called “Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60!” stops by the Cobb Great Hall at the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, Michigan State University, 750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing. Founded in 1954, the Newport Jazz Festival was the first of its kind in America and has been called the “grandfather of all jazz festivals.” 2014 marks its 60th year, and the Festival is celebrating with a multi-generational tour featuring an all-star band honoring the festival’s rich heritage, its significance and the global scope of jazz today. Led by clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen, the ensemble features vocalist Karrin Allyson, hailed by the LA Times as “the jazz world’s finest” and often heard on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion; five-time Grammy- winning trumpet wizard, Randy Brecker; guitarist Mark Whitfield; and pianist Peter Martin; with Clarence Penn on drums and Larry Grenadier on bass.Tickets from (517) 393-1982 or www.whartoncenter.com.
Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 4:00 p.m., trumpeter Wynton Marsalis leads the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in concert at Hill Auditorium, 825 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor. Performing music that links today’s improvisers with the rich history of traditional and contemporary big-band composition, Wynton Marsalis’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra brings an expansive range of music to the most treasured international stages. See www.ums.org for more information.
Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. Jason Moran’s Fats Waller Dance Party at the Williams Theatre, Gilmore Theatre Complex, Kalamazoo. Originally performed in 2011 at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse, Fontana and the Gilmore Keyboard Festival are pleased to present Moran’s Fats Waller Dance Party, a high-spirited tribute to Waller that builds on his tunes with rhythms from Motown to house to hip-hop. With Jason Moran, piano; Jose James and Lisa Harris, vocals; Charles Haynes, drums; Tarus Mateen, bass; Lavon Henry, sax; Corey King, trombone; and Leron Thomas, trumpet. Single tickets will be available for sale starting in January 2014 through the Miller AuditoriumBox Office. (269) 382 7774 or www.fontanachamberarts.org.
Tuesday, May 2, 2014 at 7:30 pm, an evening of “Cool Jazz” with the return of jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and the award winning Byron Center jazz ensembles at the Van Singel Fine Arts Center, 8500 Burlingam S.W., Grand Rapids. www.wycliffegordon.com