GRandJazzFest August 2016 newsletter

Keep the jazz love going.

Jazz calendar: Jazz Near You offers listings of jazz happenings in Michigan ... and right here in West Michigan, there's the West Michigan Jazz Society for the latest goings-on in our region. And, of course, be sure to visit the GRandJazzFest website for updates on the 2016 festival! Jazz is a year-round love-affair in our hometown! 

Watch our video!

Get a taste of what's in store: We're pleased to share our video showcasing highlights from the 4th annual GRandJazzFest. Watch the video here!

Do good! Be a GRandJazzFest sponsor!

It's easy! We have some wonderful sponsorship opportunities for businesses, organizations and individuals. GRandJazzFest provides an opportunity to share and showcase your brand. GRandJazzFest is a free, fresh, family-friendly entertainment event -- one of the major events of the summer! View the 2016 sponsorship brochure here.
Dear Friend,

The 5th annual GRandJazzFest presented by DTE Energy Foundation is here! This weekend -- Aug. 20 & 21 at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan -- we celebrate West Michigan's largest FREE weekend-long jazz festival. In this newsletter, we get you up to date on this weekend's fest! We hope to see you there!

-- The Board of GR and Jazz 

GRandJazzFest is here!

Cindy Bradley headlines the 5th annual GRandJazzFest presented by DTE Energy Foundation

GRandJazzFest presented by DTE Energy Foundation brings 11 diverse jazz performance acts to the Rosa Parks Circle stage this Aug. 20 and 21 in downtown Grand Rapids at West Michigan’s only free, weekend-long jazz festival. The fifth annual festival is expected to draw more than 10,000 people over the two days.
The performance lineup:
  • Saturday night headliner / main headline act: Cindy Bradley
  • Sunday night headliner: Chris Standring
  • Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra with Edye Evans Hyde
  • Organissimo 
  • Tumbao Bravo
  • Steve Hilger 
  • Tim Bowman
  • Student Showcase band – Bierenga-Sullivan Quintet
  • Lakeshore Big Band
  • Urban Jazz Coalition
  • Walter White
This year’s headline act is a first for GRandJazzFest – a woman headlining the popular festival. The New York City-based Cindy Bradley performs Saturday night, Aug. 20. The Sunday-night headliner is Chris Standring, a guitarist from Los Angeles who brings high-energy contemporary jazz to the stage.
In addition to kicking off the festival as always with the acclaimed Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra and Edye Evans Hyde performing vocals, two other acts make a return appearance at GRandJazzFest: Tim Bowman and Steve Hilger. Detroit-based guitarist Bowman headlined the inaugural GRandJazzFest in 2012. Grand Rapids-based Hilger, also a guitarist, performed in 2012 with The Steve Hilger Jazz Quintet.
Throughout the two-day weekend is an eclectic array of jazz performances for all audiences – from big band to straight-ahead, Latin, urban and more.
“The DTE Energy Foundation is proud to sponsor GRandJazzFest, which brings together people from across Michigan and the region for a celebration of great music,” said Faye Nelson, vice president, DTE Energy, and president and board chair of the DTE Energy Foundation. “By investing in GRandJazzFest and other arts and cultural institutions that are integral to a strong quality of life, we’re helping to boost local economic development in the communities where we live and serve.”
The two-day GRandJazzFest festival free for the fifth year in a row thanks to presenting sponsor DTE Energy Foundation, the City of Grand Rapids, GR and Jazz, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI), Michigan Lottery, IntentPR, Gilmore Collection and other sponsoring organizations and individuals. GRandJazzFest received Signature Event status from DGRI.
“The 5th annual GRandJazzfest presented by DTE Energy Foundation will have something for everyone! We’re talking all kinds of jazz music plus dancing, face painting for the kids and much more! Best of all, GRandJazzFest is a free event that brings people together!” GRandJazzFest Founder Audrey Sundstrom said.
More information on the 5th annual GRandJazzFest presented by DTE Energy Foundation can be found at, and on our Facebook and Twitter sites – and


Make it a great weekend!

The 5th annual GRandJazzfest presented by DTE Energy Foundation will have something for everyone! We’re talking all kinds of jazz music – from big band to Latin to contemporary – plus dancing, free face painting for the kids and much more! Best of all, GRandJazzFest is free! Here are some suggestions for attending this popular family-friendly music festival being held Aug. 20 &21, 2016, at Rosa Parks Circle in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids.

The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel is offering special rates the weekend of GRandJazzFest. Book your visit with the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel at The nightly rate for Aug. 19, 20 and 21 is $159. The Group Code is JAZZ.

For additional local hotel information, please visit Hotels within walking distance of Rosa Parks Circle:

  • Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
  • City Flats Hotel
  • Courtyard by Marriott Downtown
  • Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown
  • JW Marriott Grand Rapids


GRandJazzFest will be held at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. Rosa Parks Circle is located at 135 Monroe Center NW, Grand Rapids, MI  49503. You can find Rosa Parks Circle on Google Maps.

A bike rack provided by the Greater Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition will be at the Rosa Parks Circle venue so you can stow and self-lock your bike. Bike riders will receive a ticket for a free bottle of water from the main festival tent when they stow their bike at the corral.

If you’re riding your bike, here are some helpful links:

The Rapid, the Grand Rapids metro area’s bus transit provider, has easy routes to get you downtown fast. Get there even faster with The Rapid’s Silver Line. More on routes and rates at

Check out this downtown map for parking locations: This web page by Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. also has helpful parking info:

Bring lawn chairs and sunscreen – the venue is an open area with some shady areas around the perimeter. The fest’s main tent will have cold bottled water for sale, the adjacent Grand Rapids Art Museum will be featuring a special refreshment area plus two local food trucks (A Moveable Feast and Don's Place), and there are plenty of places surrounding Rosa Parks Circle to grab a quick bite and beverage. Plus, it’s Restaurant Week during GRandJazzFest! Learn more here:

Also: Bring your smart phone if you have one – GRandJazzFest's website is mobile-optimized, which makes it easy to find the fest schedule and more. Plus, you’ll want to take photos while you’re at the fest! And you'll be able to take our online survey with your phone to help us keep producing great fests (there's free wifi at Rosa Parks Circle via iserv, compliments of The City of Grand Rapids).


Thanks to Fancy Faces kids can get their faces painted for free at GRandJazzFest!


Thank you to our sponsors!!!

We are very grateful to our generous sponsors – they help to make GRandJazzFest a FREE event! We're very pleased to be a Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) Signature Event for the second year in a row. This distinction is given to just a few events in our community – ArtPrize, LaughFest and GRandJazzFest. Our sponsors to date include:

Presenting Sponsor
DTE Energy Foundation
Diamond Sponsors- $10,000 +
City of Grand Rapids
Gilmore Collection
GR and Jazz
Intent Public Relations
Michigan Lottery
Silver Sponsors- $5000+
Corporate Live
GRAM (Grand Rapids Art Museum)

Bronze Sponsors $2500+
Amway Hotel Corporation
Consumers Energy
Experience GR
Icon Sign
LMCU (Lake Michigan Credit Union)
Matt Huizenga Video Production
MoxieMen Incorporated
Friends of GRandJazzFest $250+

Blue Lake Public Radio
Rob and Shelly Brandt
Clark Hill
Eric and Sharai DeLong
Derek Draft, DDS - Grandville Family Dental
Ebony Road Players
Ellis Parking
Fancy Faces
Gloria Flanders
Patti and Jim Flood
Forest Hills Financial
Desiree and Robert Foster
Barbara and Sandy Freed
Grand Rapids Community College
Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention Arena Authority
Herman Miller Cares
Hilger Hammond
Steve Hilger and Deborah Richmond
Hungerford Nichols
Kitchen 67
Molly and Paul Klimas
Krista Koster
Mark Lewis and Christine Wassenaar
Karen and Fred Meyerson
Michigan First Credit Union
Old National Bank
Queen Bee's Nest
Rockford Construction
The Secchia Family
Rick and Mary Stevens
Audrey and Greg Sundstrom
Swift Printing

View all sponsors here
Thank you for your support of the 2016 GRandJazzFest and we hope to see you there!
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