Jazz Datebook: January 25, 2020

Timely Hits:

Thursday, January 30th at 7:30, pianist Kenny Barron’s Trio and trumpeter Sean Jones Quartet share the stage in the Cobb Great Hall, The Wharton Center For Performing Arts, 750 E Shaw Lane, East Lansing, MI 48824. For a January 15th interview with National Endowment For the Arts Jazz Master Kenny Barron please click www.bluelake.org/ondemand and click on “Lazaro Speaks with Kenny Barron” under “Interviews.” Tickets for Thursday’s concert from www.whartoncenter.com or (800) WHARTON.

Thursday, January 30th from 6-9 p.m. guitarist Travis Swanson performs at Zoko 822, 822 Ottawa Avenue NW, Grand Rapids. www.zoko822.com.

Friday, January 31st at 5 p.m. guitarist Travis Swanson solos at Sacred Springs Kombucha, 1059 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids. www.sacredkombucha.com .

A year ago January 21, 2019, Travis Swanson unpacked his guitar case in our studios here at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. The subsequent recording session, engineered by Steve Albert, is available to stream under “Studio Performances” at www.bluelake.org/ondemand .

Friday, January 31st at 7:30 p.m. the acoustic guitar virtuosity of Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo is featured with the West Michigan Symphony with music director Scott Speck in a Pops Concert at The Frauenthal Theater, 425 W Western Ave #200, Muskegon, MI 49440. Click www.westmichigansymphony.org.

Sunday, February 2 from 2-4 p.m. the “Gentlemen of Ragtime” with pianist James Everhart play Harmony Hall, 401 Stocking Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504. For information on the traditional jazz scene in Grand Rapids please click http://theriverrogues.com

Thursday, February 6 at 7:30 guitarist/pianist Ivan Akansiima guests with The Robin Connell Trio in Robin’s concert series at The Listening Room at Studio Park, 123 Ionia Avenue, Grand Rapids. With Robin’s singing and piano playing; Rob Hartman, bass and Keith Hall, from Western Michigan University’s august jazz faculty, drums. www.robinconnell.com.

Saturday, February 8th at 7:30 the Grammy award winning pianist/vocalist/composer John Proulx returns to west Michigan from Los Angeles to connect with his trio and entertain you at The Block, 360 W Western Ave 2nd floor, Muskegon, MI 49440. https://theblockwestmichigan.org/

Wednesday, February 12th at 8 p.m. Chicago area guitarist Fareed Haque and the Flat Earth Ensemble perform at Founders Brewing Company, 235 Grandville Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.  www.foundersbrewing.com

Monday, February 17th from 6:30 to 8:30 musicians from Kalamazoo and New Orleans combine as The Kanola Band with guest vocalist Ashley Daneman for The West Michigan Jazz Society Mardi Gras Party in The Casino Club, 3260 Salerno Dr NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525. With Benje Daneman, trumpet; Seth Ebersole, woodwinds; Matthew Fries, piano; Chance Trottman-Huiet, tuba; and Jeff Moehle, drums. www.wmichjazz.org.

Thursday, February 27th at 7 p.m. The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble celebrates Afro-Centric music for Black History Month at the Tip Top Deluxe Bar and Grill, 760 Butterworth Street SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504. With percussionist Kahil El’Zabar; trumpeter Corey Wilkes, and baritone saxophonist Alex Harding. Tickets through Ticketweb. Call the bar at (616) 272-3910.

Saturday, February 29th John Varineau conducts composer and trumpeter Terence Blanchard with this E-Collective featuring vocalist Quiana Lynell and the Grand Rapids Symphony with the Grand Rapids Symphony Community Chorus directed by Duane Davis at DeVos Performance Hall, 303 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503. The 19th annual Symphony With Soul honors the accomplishments of individuals and organizations that celebrate the importance of diversity, inclusion and bridge-building in west Michigan with the MaLinda P. Sapp Awards presented before the concert. Information from www.grsymphony.org.

Sunday, February 23rd at 3 p.m. the Underground Concert Series resumes with Michigan’s own Diego Rivera, a saxophonist known for his muscular tone, and a composer/bandleader known for a unique blend of straight-ahead mainstream jazz and music inspired by his Latino background and heritage. He currently holds a tenured appointment as Associate Professor of Jazz Saxophone at Michigan State University where he also serves as Associate Director of Jazz Studies.  Rivera’s new recording, “Connections” on www.posi-tone.com records, is introducing this Ann Arbor native to a worldwide audience. He appears in Grand Rapids with Diego Sequoia Snyder-Piano; Brandon Rose-Bass; Ahmad Johnson-Drums.  For tickets to the Underground Concert Series presented by Adventure Music at LaFontsee Galleries, 833 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids, see www.adventuremusic.org. For directions to the venue (616) 451 – 9820. LaFontsee Galleries are wheelchair accessible. The drum/saxophone duo of Jack Mouse and Scott Robinson appear on the series in March; and the 40th Anniversary Tour of The String Trio of New York in April.

Regular Hits:

Mondays from 8 to 11 p.m. pianist/vocalist John Shea swings downtown Grand Rapids from the front window of Rockwell’s Republic Gastropub Restaurant and Beer Garden, 45 South Division, Grand Rapids, with bassist Rob Hartman and drummer Fred Knapp. John’s songbook is 6 inches thick. www.rockwellsrepublic.com.

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.

Tuesdays, 7:30 – 10:30, there’s an open mic jazz jam session at The Grand, 22 Washington, Grand Haven, MI. (616) 847 – 8944 often featuring the Take Three Jazz Ensemble.

Wednesdays, from 6-9 p.m. it’s “Jazz Night” at The Old Goat, 2434 Eastern Ave SE, Grand Rapids, featuring live jazz. See www.baaaaaaaa.com.

Wednesdays from 7 to 10 p.m. The Tom Hagen Trio with vocalist Rick Reuther have been appearing at Noto’s Old World Italian Dining, 6600 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids for more than 13 years, the longest continuous jazz hang in west Michigan. (616) 493 – 6686, or www.notosoldworld.com.

Thursdays at 8, Laura Bennett sings with Chris Corey on keyboards at The Zeppelin Lounge of New Holland Brewing’s the Knickerbocker, 417 Bridge St NW, Grand Rapids. See http://laurabennettmusic.com .

Thursdays the Prohibition Music Series at Creston Brewery, 1504 Plainfield Ave NE, Grand Rapids, highlights west Michigan area musicians playing their Prohibition upright piano. This series is curated by Dutcher Snedeker Music. www.crestonbrewery.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. See www.thebooknookjavashop.com and click on the calendar for Thursday night.

Thursdays December 12th, 19th, January 9th and 16th vocalist Mary Rademacher Reed is heard at Ganders Restaurant in the Double Tree by Hilton, 4747 28th St SE, Grand Rapids.

Thursdays from 7- 10 p.m. then Friday and Saturday from 8-11 p.m. live jazz at Lily Pearls, 115 S. Washington Street, Owosso, MI 48867. See www.lilypearls.com or phone (989) 720 – 5852.

Fridays and Saturdays from 8-midnight a variety of jazz bands rotate through the schedule at The Rendezvous in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, 187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids.

Fridays at 7 p.m., “It’s a Friday Thing” features vocalist Kathy Lamar with pianist Bob VanStee and drummer Kevin Jones at Noto’s Old World Italian Dining, 6600 28th Street S.E., Grand Rapids. See www.notosoldworld.com or call (616) 493-6686.

Fridays through Sundays a rotating schedule of live jazz artists are heard in Mixology, the lounge of the J.W. Marriott Hotel, 235 Louis Street NW, Grand Rapids. Every Friday from 6 to 10 p.m.; Saturdays from 7-10 p.m. and Sunday’s from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Sunday Brunches feature the alternating duo of Mike Frost/ Mike Hyde or solo guitarist Greg Miller from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., (616) 242 – 1448.

Fridays from 8 – 11 p.m. a variety of local jazz bands rotate through the schedule  at 18th Amendment, 350 W. Western Avenue, Muskegon.

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.

Sundays from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. “Jazz Brunch” at The Old Goat, 2434 Eastern Ave SE, Grand Rapids, features live jazz with bassist Chris Kjorness and drummer Tim Froncek anchoring the house band. See www.baaaaaaaa.com.

Sundays at 7 p.m. Randy Marsh’s Sunday Night Jazz Hang at The Speak EZ Lounge, 600 Monroe Avenue N.W., Grand Rapids (616) 458 – 2689.  A fun jam session celebrating a 3rd year anniversary Oct 18. Student jazz musicians under 21 with a parent or legal guardian have a chance to play from 8:15 until 9:00 p.m. Anyone under 21 has to leave at 9 pm.  The host trio plays from 7:00 - 8:00. 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.