Save the Date of Thursday June 1st @ 7 p.m. for the A2 Jazz Fest Kickoff Event featuring the Janelle Reichman Quartet! Location: Ann Arbor District Library - Downtown Location (343 S, Fifth) Room: Multipurpose Room in the basement. Admission: FREE
"Demonstrating a complete command of the sound and keys of her tenor … seems to defy logic and possibility in her speed, dexterity, and musicianship." Jazz Improv Magazine.
The Janelle Reichman Quartet features Janelle on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Justin Walter on trumpet, Jeff Pedraz on bass and Nick Collins on drums. At this FREE performance, this all-star group will be playing selections from Janelle's fabulous album, Middleground, as well as some of her new compositions. ... See MoreSee Less
The Janelle Reichman Quartet features Janelle on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Justin Walter on trumpet, Jeff Pedraz on bass and Nick Collins on drums. At this FREE performance, this all-star group w...
On Sept 9th: The Andrew Bishop Quintet will present the intriguingly titled, "Andrew Bishop's Prelude Theory" ; the Washtenaw Community College Jazz Ensemble features multiple generations - students and mentors will play standards and some originals led by director/guitarist/educator Steve Somers; the Kurt Krahnke Trio, featuring Tadd Weed (piano) and Pete Siers (drums) will bring "a modern, open approach, with great attention paid to what we have studied and absorbed from the Jazz masters.” (Photos submitted by artists). ... See MoreSee Less
THE A2 JAZZ FEST ANNOUNCES FALL LINE-UP AT LATIN JAZZ CONCERT May 19, 2017 Nestled in the heart of the Water Hill neighborhood of Ann Arbor, the 2nd Annual A2 JAZZ FEST will light up the Ann Arbor Distilling Company on Friday September 8th and 9th, with an eclectic line-up of some of Ann Arbor’s most exciting Jazz performers, representing a multi-generational commitment to the art of Jazz music. The A2 JAZZ FEST mission is to showcase and promote jazz by presenting live performances of original compositions and jazz standards by Michigan based artists. Organized by Ann Arbor bassist, composer and band leader Dave Sharp, the A2 JAZZ FEST grew out of the weekly jazz series at the Old Town Tavern in downtown Ann Arbor, that began in November of 2014. The festival will be open and free to the public, and has a team of volunteers and community members supporting the event. Fundraising efforts are underway, including a sponsorship drive, a fundraising dinner and a crowd sourcing Kickstarter campaign where backers can contribute to the festival and receive rewards for their contribution.
This second edition of the community-based festival is coming upon the heels of an exciting inaugural outing last September, and a series of free concerts in November, March, April, and May 2017 to keep the spirit of the festival alive. Of these performances, the A2 JAZZ FEST Spring Series drew highly engaged and attentive crowds who came out to enjoy the JAZZ+FILM event (avant-garde film projected with live improvised jazz-presented in collaboration with the Ann Arbor Film Festival), the Dave Sharp Worlds Quartet, and most recently, the Latin Jazz and Salsa Party with the multiple award winning Tumbao Bravo. Jazz enthusiast Barry Lonik, said of last year’s festival, that he was “amazed at the quality of the groups” and “was pleased at the size of the crowd that attended.” Speaking highly of the performances at the A2 JAZZ FEST SPRING SERIES, he opined that they were “outstanding” and further, regarding his outlook towards the 2nd annual A2 JAZZ FEST he firmly indicated that he expected “another day of outstanding music.” Tenor saxophonist Tim Haldeman, a participant both in last year’s all-day festival and this year’s spring series, offered the view that the festival provides “a spotlight, a stage to some of the great local musicians, who get to present their art to a room full of music lovers.” Further, he poetically described the event as “sets of music all day long from a variety of bands, an audience that didn't want the day to end, a million chimney swifts taking flight at dusk, and a general spirit of love and appreciation for our music, and our community.” Concluding his thoughts, he reflected, “It was nice to be reminded of what's possible, and I'm looking forward to this year's lineup.”
A diverse line-up of artists including established musicians and students from middle school right through to university level will take the stage at the 2nd annual A2 JAZZ FEST. Details of the 2nd annual September 8th and 9th weekend event were revealed Thursday night during an A2 JAZZ FEST Latin Jazz Concert at LIVE Ann Arbor before a crowd of festival supporters, volunteers and enthusiastic dancers. Festival Director Dave Sharp, was excited to announce the addition of a Friday night concert and the lengthening of the Saturday session which has allowed the festival to expand its line-up of musicians.
The A2 JAZZ FEST has partnered with the non-profit arts organization ARTRAIN Inc. to accept tax-deductible donations for the fall event. An online fundraising campaign for the A2 JAZZ FEST was launched late last week via KICKSTARTER, along with invitations to a “farm to table” fundraising dinner at White Lotus Farms scheduled for the first Friday in June. Here are some highlights of the exciting jazz ensembles that will be presented at the 2nd annual A2 JAZZ FEST.
The Washtenaw Community College Jazz Ensemble, directed by guitarist Steve Somers, has performed at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, and at numerous community events and fundraisers including the Ypsilanti Library and Ypsilanti Heritage Festival. The WCC Jazz Ensemble’s repertoire includes swing, Latin, blues, ballads and original compositions. The highly diverse group includes students and mentors from a wide range of age groups and backgrounds. At the festival, we’ll be hearing Emory Kimball (sax), Duane Wells (trumpet), Paris Horgrow (bass), Caleb Roberts (drums), Bob Bullet (percussion) and Steve Somers (guitar).
The Accidental Naturals started playing together while attending Forsythe Middle School with instruction from guitarist/educator Alex Anest. They have performed at various venues over the past several years. Members have studied in the Community High School Jazz Band and in several University of Michigan Jazz programs. On September 10th, 2016 they debuted at the first A2 JAZZ FEST. The band is comprised of Corey Watkins (trumpet), Ben Collicott (trombone), Keith Kozma (guitar) Parker Grover (bass) and Chris Pyke (drums).
University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance students – Chicago pianist Alexis Lombre, and saxophonists Tristan Cappel and Kenji Lee will each lead their own jazz projects featuring their own original compositions. Tristan, who will play on the opening night, is “extremely excited” to share his music with the community at the festival. He describes the body of work he will be presenting with UM comrades Peter Formanek (tenor sax), Will Rachofsky (guitar), Mike Perlman (upright and electric bass), & David Alvarez III (drums), as “resembling explorations in spirituality and consciousness.” Anyone who attended Tristan’s presentation of his Deadbird project at Canterbury House, or who has heard the recorded project, can attest to the strength of this young saxophonist’s deeply reflective musical explorations.
Tim Haldeman’s ensemble will bring the opening night to its culmination with an exciting body of original compositions collectively titled, Open Water, As A Child. This work constitutes a prayer for the people who have been devastated by the Flint water crisis. The project features Jordan Schug on cello, Ben Willis on bass, Jon Taylor on drums, Dan Bennett on tenor saxophone and percussion, Justin Walter on trumpet and percussion, John Goode (spoken word) and Tim Haldeman on tenor saxophone and percussion.
The Kurt Krahnke Trio featuring pianist Tad Weed, and drummer Pete Siers, began with rhythm section work with various area and national artists. The group’s evolving voice, according to Krahnke, “would best be described as a modern, open approach, with great attention paid to what we have studied and absorbed from the Jazz masters.” Kurt Krahnke has been a stalwart on the Detroit area music scene and has worked with many jazz luminaries. Among the highlights of his performances are those with Sheila Jordan, Ray Bryant, James Moody and James Turre, in addition to the many great artists with which southeast Michigan has been blessed. Pete Siers, another Michigan stalwart, is an internationally known drummer who has played with the likes of Russell Malone, Barry Harris, Lee Konitz, James Moody and David “Fathead” Newman among others. His work is also featured on over fifty recordings. Of Tad Weed, Leonard Feather wrote in his Encyclopedia of Jazz, that he “displays a very rare ability to cross from dashing bop lines to rich impressions, he has the bases covered, from funky blues to the border of the avant-garde.” Weed has played with big names such as Carmen McCrae, Charles Lloyd, Woody Herman and John Patitucci and his work has been featured on over a dozen CDs.
Saxophonist Andrew Bishop will present the intriguingly titled, Andrew Bishop’s Prelude Theory. Bishop is a versatile multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, educator, and scholar. He maintains an international career while serving as an Associate Professor of Jazz and Contemporary Improvisation at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. His three recordings as a leader have received widespread acclaim from The New York Times, Downbeat Magazine, Detroit Free Press and Chicago Reader and others.
The Ann Arbor Guitar Trio, also known as A2G3, was founded in April 2016 by Alex Anest, Evan Veasey and Adam Kahana. These three musicians have been performing and recording in southeast Michigan and made an exciting contribution to the A2 JAZZ FEST stage last year. Their current repertoire includes original arrangements of works by Bill Frisell, Oliver Nelson, Pat Metheny and Ellen Rowe. Alex Anest shared with us that the festival audience “can expect to hear music written by local composers as well as some more well-known pieces.” Further, he indicated that the group’s repertoire was ever expanding and that the audience could also expect originals written by any member of the group. In other good news, the group is currently working on a recording project.
The Sean Dobbins Organ Quartet, led by drummer Sean Dobbins, will feature Hammond B3 organ, guitar, saxophone and drums. Dobbins started his career as a jazz drummer in the Detroit area and became a much sought-after sideman, regularly playing with Blue Note Artist Louis Smith. He has received multiple awards including the Woody Herman Jazz Award, an award for outstanding musicianship. He has performed, toured and recorded with Benny Golson, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Frank Morgan, Joey DeFrancesco, George Cables, James, Marcus Belgrave, Rodney Whittaker, Johnny O'Neal, David “Fathead” Newman, Cyrus Chestnut, Jon Hendricks, Barry Harris, Tad Weed and many other great musicians. Dobbins’ organ quartet was first created to pay tribute to legendary organist Dr. Lonnie Smith. Following the success of that project, the group expanded its repertoire to include music from a wide range of composers and genres as well as original compositions. Of the upcoming A2 JAZZ FEST, Sean told us, “We are looking forward to it.” We know that the audience will be looking forward to it as well.
Dan Bennett is a multi-saxophonist/composer who lives in Ann Arbor. His quintet is a cordless ensemble with a front line consisting of two saxophones and trumpet. Dan Bennett (sax), Tim Haldeman (sax), Justin Walter (trumpet), Nick Collins (drums) and Jeff Marshall (bass) have played music together almost every week for upwards of six years. Regarding the cohesiveness of the unit, Dan noted, “We have a tight-knit communication and ensemble dynamic that you don't always get without a lot of time playing together. The group is cohesive and inventive whether playing total improvisations or modern jazz compositions that we've hand-picked to fit the group’s sound over the years.”
Michigan native and recent New York City transplant Janelle Reichman will feature a quartet line-up. Clarinetist and saxophonist Reichman has performed with musical greats including Doc Severinsen, Les Paul, Anne Hampton Callaway, and Dave Liebman, among others. A daughter of Ann Arbor, Janelle attended the Manhattan School of Music and thereafter embarked upon her career in the New York City jazz scene. Her debut solo album, Middleground, has received rave reviews. After her ten-year sojourn in New York, Janelle is thrilled to be home. Regarding her much anticipated debut performance at the A2 JAZZ FEST, Janelle stated, “I'm deeply appreciative to have been provided with an outlet to perform my music - and a great outlet at that. Performing my own music for an appreciative audience in a city that I love - what more could I ask for?”
A2 JAZZ FEST Line-Up in Brief
Friday, September 8th, 7-10pm Tim Haldeman’s Open Water, As a Child Tristan Cappel Unit Alexis Lombre Quartet
Saturday, September 9th, Noon-10pm Andrew Bishop Quintet Sean Dobbins Organ Quartet Dan Bennett Quintet Ann Arbor Guitar Trio (A2G3) Paul Finkbeiner Quartet Kurt Krahnke Trio Janelle Reichman Quartet Kenji Lee and DÉJÀ VU
Student Jazz Ensemble Roster Washtenaw Community College Jazz Ensemble Community Music School with Paul Finkbeiner The Accidental Naturals ... See MoreSee Less
Clarinetist/Saxophonist Janelle Reichman; The Ann Arbor Guitar Trio (A2G3) comprised of Evan Veasey, Alex Anest & Adam Kahana; and Kenji Lee's Deja Vu are a part of the A2 Jazz Fest' exciting 2017 lin...