Dance in the Streets of Old Town at Lansing JazzFest

Revving up for their 18th year, the Lansing JazzFest will once again fill the streets of Old Town with live, soulful entertainment during their two-day music festival. This year’s festival will take place Friday, August 3, from 4:30 p.m. – 12:30 a.m., and Saturday, August 4, from 1 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. on the corner of Turner Street and Grand River Ave.  

The festival will return better than ever, thanks to a $10,000 grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts: Challenge America Fast-Track program (CAFT). Only three grants were awarded to the state of Michigan this year, and this is the second time Lansing JazzFest has been chosen as a recipient. More than 15,000 people from Michigan and beyond are expected to attend, making this year the largest yet.

An array of 24 top-notch performers will heat up two main stages with their funky harmonies. Guests will kick back to cool jazz beats from national, regional, and local acts at no cost. Headliners Tim Cunningham from St. Louis, Mo., Edye Evans Hyde from Grand Rapids, Mich., and Etienne Charles from Trinidad are some of the most anticipated artists. For the full performance schedule, visit www.jazzlansing.com/schedule.

Other festival features include a “Kidz Beat” music tent, where children can explore hands on music and art. The tent will be open to parents and children from toddlers to early teens, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. on Saturday. To experience downtown Lansing from the river, guests are invited to enjoy a relaxing river boat tour or a water taxi ride provided by Lansing Metro Marinas. Tours are offered at a discounted rate of $3 per person on Friday from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m., and will depart from the dock at Burchard Park, next to the Brenke Fish Ladder. The river taxi service will run Saturday from 2 p.m. – 10 p.m. from the Lansing City Market to Burchard Park for just $1.

While hot rhythms flow through the streets, a plethora of food vendors will provide festival-goers with savory meals and treats. Whether you’re craving is for Thai, Mediterranean, barbeque or creamy gelato, no one will be unsatisfied. Thirsty guests 21 and up are invited to relax in the beverage tent for $5 a day or for free from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Friday. The tent and its patios offer the ideal spot to enjoy music from both stages.

Jazzfest continues to be a free event thanks to MICA (Michigan Institute for Contemporary Art), dedicated supporters including WLNZ and Message Makers, and hundreds of community volunteers. Help keep the festival free and fantastic by becoming a sponsor or volunteering at the event. Contact 517-371-4600 or info@oldtownarts.org for more details.