Old Town is getting Jazzed for August

On Friday, August 5, Old Town will kick off the 17th annual Lansing JazzFest. The corner of Turner Street and East Grand River Avenue expects to see over 10,000 music lovers for another free two-day community event, ablaze with music, food, and culture.

Lansing favorites Jeff Shoup Quartet featuring Tamara Mayers bring the jazz to life at 4:30pm. Her multi-genre-infused jazz compositions and arrangements keep crowds singing and dancing. At the same time, celebrate happy hour in the beverage tent, lasting from 4-6pm.

Other performers include Lisa Smith, a sultry jazz singer thrice-voted by LSJ readers as “Favorite Jazz Act in Lansing,” followed by the world sounds of Dave Sharp’s Secret Seven featuring Hindustani vocalist Parag Ray and the Celtic jazz of Maeve Gilchrist Trio.

The raw and refined talent of Dr. E makes this songstress a fast rising jazz and soul star who shares her resonating soul with her audiences. As Friday’s headliner, her vocal range, versatility, and stage presence have been compared to artists such as Stephanie Mills, Patti LaBelle, Ladisi, and Chake Kahn.

The jazz continues for its final day on at 1pm Saturday, August 6. Performances include the Marcus Elliot Quartet who will share its saxophone compositions and the world sounds Elden Kelly & the Global Roots Jazz Collective’s will introduce you to unique instruments the oud and the glissentar.

Later in the evening, headliner Nicole Mitchell Quartet takes the stage. Mitchell, a creative flutist, composer and bandleader, was named “Top Flutist 2010” by Downbeat Magazine’s Critic’s Polls, and among other achievements awarded “Jazz Flutist of  the Year 2010” by the Jazz Journalist Association. The founder of Black Earth Ensemble and Black Earth Strings, described her compositions as reaching across sound worlds, integrating new ideas with moments in the legacy of jazz, gospel, pop, and African percussion to create a fascinating synthesis of “postmodern jazz.”



With several different stages, each group is sure to have a unique and soulful performance. The schedule is as follows:



4:30-6:30 pm Jeff Shoup Quartet featuring Tamara Mayers

 7:30-9:00 pm Dave Sharp’s Secret Seven

10:30 pm-12:30 am The Tyrone Johnson Funk Fusion Group


6:30-7:30 pm Lisa Smith

9:00-10:30 pm Dr. E


7:30-8:30 pm Maeve Gilchrist


5:00-6:00 pm Dr. E: My Music & My Life

6:15-7:15 pm Elden Kelly Guitar Clinic



12:45-1:45 pm Saginaw Area Youth Jazz Ensemble

2:00-3:00 pm Lanswingers & LCC Jazz Band

3:00-4:00 pm Ray Kamalay

5:00-6:00 pm Marcus Elliot Quartet

7:30-9:00 pm Nicole Mitchell’s Ice Crystal Quartet

10:30 pm-12:30 am Los Gatos


4:00-5:00 pm Peter Nelson Quartet

6:00-7:30 pm Elden Kelly & the Global Roots Jazz Collective

9:00-10:30 pm Straight Ahead


1:00-2:00 pm Children’s Ballet Theatre

2:00-3:00 pm Happendance’s Community Dance Project

5:00-6:00 pm PC Blues

6:00-7:00 pm Marion Hayden Clinic

7:00-8:00 pm Cory Allen Guitar Clinic

8:00-9:00 pm Pete Siers Music Clinic


3:00-4:00 pm Jeff Shoup Drum Clinic

5:30-6:15 pm Nicole Mitchell Clinic: What Is Free Jazz Improvisation and Composition?

6:30-7:30 pm Detroit Music Before Motown: A Survey of Jazz in Detroit, 1927-1961


4:00-10:30 pm Roger Jones Trio


Street Closing: City Lot 56 and Turner Street from north of Clinton Street to East Grand River Avenue will be closed from Thursday, August 4, starting at 5:00 pm, through Sunday, August 7 at noon. The street will be blocked physically at one end with a stage and on the other by a tent and stage, so that no car traffic will be able to enter. We are required by the fire department to keep all alleyways open and free of parked cars in the event of an emergency.