Mondays from 6 to 10 p.m., Fridays 7 – 11 p.m. and Saturdays 6-10 p.m. The What Not Inn features a revolving cast of local musicians each weekend and Mondays hosts a jam session open to musicians and vocalists. See the full schedule here: www.whatnotinn.com. The What Not Inn is located at M89 and the Blue Star Highway, 2405 68th Street, Fennville, MI. (269) 543-3341.
Mondays from 8 to 11 p.m. pianist/vocalist John Shea swings downtown Grand Rapids from his post in the window at The Republic, 45 South Division. Great hang. www.republicgrandrapids.com.
Tuesdays from 9:30 to 12:30 a.m. the fluid improvising trumpeter Chris Lawrence and Friends present their Tuesday night jam session at The Winchester, 648 Wealthy Street S.E., Grand Rapids. www.chrislawrencemusic.com
Tuesdays at 7 p.m. it is diva time at Bar Divani, 15 Ionia Ave. N.W., Grand Rapids, as the finest female singers in the area step up and swing. Tuesday, March 4, Rebekah Rhys; 3-11, Edye Evans Hyde sings and Michael Hyde plays guitar; 3-18, Molly Bouwsma Schultz and Ryan K. Wilson; 3-25, Sylvia Brooks Taylor and Mark Kahny; April 1, Diana Vandewater; 4-8, Mary Mademacher Reed and Mark Kahny; 4-15, Molly Bouwsma Schultz and Ryan K. Wilson; 4-22, Rebekah Rhys; 4-29, Kathy Lamar and Bob VanStee. For a full schedule: http://www.bar-divani.com/tastings-a-events/live-music Phone (616) 774 – 9463.
Tuesdays, March 10 from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. The Truth in Jazz Orchestra appears at Watermark 920, 920 Washington Avenue, Muskegon. Featuring premier jazz drummer Tim Fronceck, the 16 member big band is co-led by Dave Colley and features a great group of guys with a large local following. The evening is catered by Fatty Lumpkins Sandwich Shack and Drip Drop Drink. See www.tijo.org for information.
Wednesdays, March 5 and 19 at 6:30, The River Rogues Jazz Band play early jazz styles at Babarino’s in The B.O.B., 20 Monroe Avenue N.W., Grand Rapids. See www.theriverrogues.org or call (616) 915 – 9840 for more information.
Wednesdays from 7 to 10 p.m. The Tom Hagen Trio with vocalist Rick Reuther at Notos Old World Italian Dining, 6600 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids. (616) 493 – 6686, or www.notosoldworld.com.
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday live piano jazz is heard from 7 to 10 p.m. at Mangiamo, 1033 Lake Drive S.E., Grand Rapids. Information from (616) 742 – 0600. www.thegilmorecollection.com.
Thursdays at 7 p.m. a variety of jazz bands rotate the schedule at The Book Nook and Java Shop, 8744 Ferry Street in Montague. Among the bands on the rotation: Checker’s Morton, a jazz band loved by Unitarians and good listeners alike, features pianist/composer Bob VanStee; The Lakewinds Jazz Quartet with Dave Collee on trombone and bass, Vince Liefers at the piano, Tim Froncek, drums, and special guest Tom Stansell, saxophones play straight ahead; the Dave Collee Quartet with pianist Eric Thorne and vocalist Ginny Dusseau, drummer Tim Froncek, and saxophonist/flutist Bob Nixon bring a night club vibe; Multi-instrumentalist (bass and trombone) Dave Collee’s Quartet plays great jazz standards. See www.thebooknookjavashop.com and click on the calendar for Thursday night.
Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., pianist-vocalist Robin Connell plays in the Lumber Baron Bar at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, 187 Monroe Avenue N.W., Grand Rapids. See www.robinconnell.com.
Thursdays, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. “The Mood Swings” swing a taste at Eurobistro, 6450 28th Street S.E., Grand Rapids. With drummer Milt Szernick, bassist Jeff Beavin, keyboards by Ed Dublis, saxophone by Charlie Royce and the voices of Angie or Hanna Royce, this band comes to play for you listening pleasure. They’ll play every other Thursday in March, the 13th and 27th. Information from (616) 719 – 2017.
Thursdays at 7 p.m. jazz at the Red Rooster Tavern, 2998 Scenic Drive, Muskegon. Drummer Tim Johnson is music director for this series of live local jazz talent. See www.redroostertavern.com or phone (231) 744 – 4006.
Fridays, 7 p.m. the John Shea Trio plays at the J.W. Marriot Hotel, 235 Louis Street N.W., Grand Rapids. (616) 242 – 1448
Saturdays at 7:30, pianist John Shea leads his trio at Noto’s Old World Italian Dining, 6600 28th Street S.E., Grand Rapids. See www.notosoldworld.com or call (616) 493 – 6686.
Saturdays at 7 p.m. guitarist Steve Hilger’s Trio Jazz appears at the Louis Benton Steak House, 35 Ionia Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49506. (616) 454-7455.
Sundays, Randy Marsh’s Sunday Night Jazz Hang at The Speak EZ Lounge, 600 Monroe Avenue N.W., Grand Rapids, is a fun jam session. Information from (616) 458 – 2689. Student musicians under 21 with a parent or legal guardian will have a chance to play with Marsh from 7 to 9; the host trio plays from 9 p.m. – 10 p.m. www.speakezlounge.com.
First Sunday of every month from 5 to 7 p.m. the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra plays Founders Brewing Company, 235 Grandville Avenue S.W., downtown Grand Rapids. The GRJO is the region’s premier professional jazz orchestra. Information from www.grjo.com.
Saturday, March 1 at 8 p.m. The Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra’s 13th annual “Symphony With Soul” welcome vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater to the annual celebration of bridging cultures through the shared language of music. With David Lockington conducting the GRSO, Duane Davis directing the Grand Rapids Community Chorus, and Dee Dee Bridgewater out front. Tickets through Ticketmaster or (616) 454-9451 ext. 124.
Sunday, March 2 at 6 and 8:30 p.m. trumpeter Terence Blanchard appears at The Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis. See www.thejazzkitchen.com or phone (317) 253 – 4900.
Thursday, March 6th, Hope College’s Verve Jazz Ensemble accompanies authors Hillman and Ricardo Phillips in readings at 6:30 p.m. in the Knickerbocker Theatre, 86 E. 8th Street, Holland. Information from Brian Coyle, director of jazz studies at Hope College, (616) 395 – 7653.
Sunday, March 9 at 3 p.m. baritone saxophonist Gary McCourry (formerly of the West Point Military Academy Band) plays a concert tribute to the late great Gerry Mulligan in a benefit for Habitat for Humanity at Christ Luthern Church, 2350 44th Street S.W., Wyoming. With fellow saxophonist Tom Stansell, trumpeter Chris Lawrence, pianist Steve Talaga, bassist Tom Lockwood and drummer Tim Froncek.
Thursday, March 13th at 8 p.m. the University Jazz Orchestra from Western Michigan University plays The Union Cabaret and Grille, 125 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo.
Friday and Saturday, March 14th and 15th the 34th Annual Western Invitational Jazz Festival, with saxophonist Billy Drewes joining the Western Jazz Quartet for the kick-off performance Friday night at 8 p.m. and then closing the festival Saturday night at 7:30 with the University Jazz Orchestra. 30 groups participate in the festival – they’re heard starting Saturday morning at 8 a.m. All concerts in the Dalton Center Recital Hall, WMU, Kalamazoo. Information from (800) 228-9858 or www.millerauditorium.com.
Sunday, March 16th at 7 p.m. drummer Matt Wilson celebrates his new recording “Gathering Call” with an appearance at Kerrytown Concert House, 415 Fourth Avenue, Ann Arbor, as part of a 17 city U.S. tour. Information from www.mattwilsonjazz.com or www.kerrytownconcerthouse.com and by calling (734) 769-2999.
Monday, March 17th at 6:30 p.m. “The Modern Mayors,” a Detroit-based quartet featuring west Michigan’s jazz trumpet star Chris Lawrence, plays the West Michigan Jazz Society’s “Monday Night Jazz Series” at The B.O.B., 20 Monroe Ave. N.W., downtown Grand Rapids. With tenor saxophonist Marcus Elliot, bassist Ben Rolston and drummer Stepehn Boegehold. Information from www.wmichjazz.org.
Thursday, March 20th at 7:30 p.m. improvising violinist Regina Carter appears in St. Cecilia Music Center’s Jazz Series with her “Southern Comfort” tour, incorporating jazz, gospel, country and southern rock into the concert. More from www.scmc-online.org or (616) 459 – 2224.
Friday and Saturday, March 21st and 22nd, the 34th Annual Gold Company Invitational Vocal Jazz Festival presents special guests Sara Gazarek, voice, and Josh Nelson, piano, as well as college and university vocal jazz ensembles from across the country. Ticket sfrom (800) 228 – 9858 or see www.millerauditorium.com.
Thursday, March 27, 2014 a touring program called “Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60!” stops by the Cobb Great Hall at the Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, Michigan State University, 750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing. Founded in 1954, the Newport Jazz Festival was the first of its kind in America and has been called the “grandfather of all jazz festivals.” 2014 marks its 60th year, and the Festival is celebrating with a multi-generational tour featuring an all-star band honoring the festival’s rich heritage, its significance and the global scope of jazz today. Led by clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen, the ensemble features vocalist Karrin Allyson, hailed by the LA Times as “the jazz world’s finest” and often heard on NPR’s A Prairie Home Companion; five-time Grammy- winning trumpet wizard, Randy Brecker; guitarist Mark Whitfield; and pianist Peter Martin; with Clarence Penn on drums and Larry Grenadier on bass.Tickets from (517) 393-1982 or www.whartoncenter.com.
Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 4:00 p.m., trumpeter Wynton Marsalis leads the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in concert at Hill Auditorium, 825 North University Avenue, Ann Arbor. Performing music that links today’s improvisers with the rich history of traditional and contemporary big-band composition, Wynton Marsalis’s Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra brings an expansive range of music to the most treasured international stages. See www.ums.org for more information.
Monday, April 7th, the Hope College Jazz Combos present their spring concert at Wichers Auditorium, 127 East 12th Street between College and Columbia, in the Nykerk Hall of Music, Hope College, Holland. The concert starts at 7:30, and more information available from Brian Coyle, director of jazz studies at Hope College, (616) 395 – 7653.
Tuesday, April 8th at 7:30 p.m. the Hope College Vocal Jazz Ensembles under the guidance of Edye Evans-Hyde perform at Wichers Auditorium, 127 East 12th Street between College and Columbia, in the Nykerk Hall of Music, Hope College, Holland. The concert starts at 7:30, and more information available from Brian Coyle, director of jazz studies at Hope College, (616) 395 – 7653.
Wednesday, April 9th at 8 p.m. the Hope College spring jazz concerts continue with the Jazz Arts Collective and Jazz Combos in concert at Park Theater, 248 South River, Holland. (616) 355- 7275.
Thursday, April 17th at 6:30 p.m. the Vanguard Jazz Ensemble from Hope College’s school of music accompanies the readings of author Amy Bloom at the Knickerbocker Theatre, 86 E. 8th Street, Holland. Information is available from Brian Coyle, director of jazz studies at Hope College, (616) 395 – 7653.
Thursday, April 24th at 9 p.m. jazz organist Tony Monaco (www.b3monaco.com) appears at The Park Theater, 248 South River, Holland. (616) 355- 7275. Monaco’s visit is coordinated with Hope College and will include a music workshop/clinic.
Thursday, April 24, 2014, vocalist Cyrille Aimee and Friends appear at the Pasant Theatre, Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, Michigan State University, 750 E. Shaw Lane, East Lansing. In 2007, Cyrille won both the First and Public Prizes in the Montreaux Jazz Festival Competition, and at the tender age of 26, she has already released four CDs internationally. Her rich background (born in France, émigré to Central America) taught her the driving force of Dominican rhythm and French Gypsy swing, Tickets from (517) 393-1982 or www.whartoncenter.com.
Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. Jason Moran’s Fats Waller Dance Party at the Williams Theatre, Gilmore Theatre Complex, Kalamazoo. Originally performed in 2011 at the Harlem Stage Gatehouse, Fontana and the Gilmore Keyboard Festival are pleased to present Moran’s Fats Waller Dance Party, a high-spirited tribute to Waller that builds on his tunes with rhythms from Motown to house to hip-hop. With Jason Moran, piano; Jose James and Lisa Harris, vocals; Charles Haynes, drums; Tarus Mateen, bass; Lavon Henry, sax; Corey King, trombone; and Leron Thomas, trumpet. Single tickets will be available for sale starting in January 2014 through the Miller AuditoriumBox Office. (269) 382 7774 or www.fontanachamberarts.org.
Tuesday, May 2, 2014 at 7:30 pm, an evening of “Cool Jazz” with the return of jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and the award winning Byron Center jazz ensembles at the Van Singel Fine Arts Center, 8500 Burlingam S.W., Grand Rapids. www.wycliffegordon.com