What’s Happening?

A FREE 2-Day Community-based Jazz Festival, on Sept 8th & 9th 2017, the A2 JAZZ FEST will bring multiple generations of local jazz artists together with a supportive community of fans to create a great celebration of Jazz in Ann Arbor.

The 2nd Annual A2 JAZZ FEST will light up the First Congregational Church on Friday September 8th and LIVE Nightclub at S. 1st St. on September 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 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.

Friday, September 8th, 7-10pm

Tim Haldeman’s Open Water, As a Child
Tristan Cappel Unit
Alexis Lombre Quartet
The Accidental Naturals

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