Jazz Datebook: April 9, 2019

Timely Hits:

Wednesday, April 10 at 8 p.m. The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6, two world premier vocal jazz ensembles, appear together at The Wharton Center for the Performing Arts, East Lansing, MI. With twenty Grammy® Awards between them, two iconic groups have joined forces in The Summit. The Manhattan Transfer’s hits range from 1975’s “Operator” to 1981’s “The Boy from New York City” to 1995’s “Too Busy Thinking About My Baby,” with plenty of stops in between. A cappella gospel group Take 6 has more of a soulful sound, with hits including “A Quiet Place,” “Biggest Part of Me,” and “O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion.” https://www.whartoncenter.com/events/detail/the-summit

Sunday, April 13th at 7:30 p.m. the Grand Valley State University Jazz Night features the In the Blue Jazz Ensemble at The Louis Armstrong Theater, GVSU, Allendale. Free. Created in 2016 the In the Blue Jazz Ensemble is a group of young musicians building their reputation for high quality music here in west Michigan.

Thursday, April 18th at 7 p.m. New York City jazz guitarist Randy Johnston swings by The Union Cabaret and Grille, 125 S Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo, for a performance with drummer Keith Hall and company. www.uniondowntown.com

Sunday, April 21st from 7 to 10 p.m. the Detroit born jazz guitarist Randy Johnston is a special guest at Randy Marsh’s Sunday Night Jazz Hang at the Speak EZ Lounge, 600 Monroe Avenue N.W., Grand Rapids. See www.randyjohnston.net.

Friday, April 26th at 7:30 p.m. professional jazz trombonist Wycliffe Gordon joins the Byron Center Jazz Ensembles for their annual “Cool Jazz” concert at Van Singel Fine Arts Center, 8500 Burlingame Ave SW, Byron Center. Tickets from www.vsfac.com .

Saturday, April 27th at 7:30 p.m. Philadelphia born, New York-based jazz trumpeter Terrell Stafford joins the Northview High School Jazz Band and a professional quartet including pianist Steve Talaga, bassist Tom Lockwood and drummer Fred Knapp. Stafford is described by jazz great McCoy Tyner as, “one of the greatest players of our time.” He’s appeared on more than 130 recordings, and runs the jazz department at Temple University in Philadelphia. Tickets available at the door.

Sunday, April 28th at 3 p.m. The Alex Harding Organ Trio concludes this year’s Underground Concert Series presented by www.adventuremusic.org. In the 2018 Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll, Alexander Harding was given the “Rising Star” award in the Baritone Saxophone category. He’s accompanied by Jim Alfredson on organ and Djallo Djakate on drums, creating bold music with real grease in it. 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.

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 8 to 11 p.m. live jazz at Long Road Distillers, 537 Leonard St NW, Grand Rapids, featuring In The Blue Jazz Ensemble every other Monday. www.longroaddistillers.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, beginning January 18th, 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 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 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.

On Friday nights from 5 to 8 p.m. Jim Cooper, vibes, Robin Connell, piano and voice, plus Tim Froncek on drums are heard at New Harmony Hall in Grand Rapids. Then on the first and third Sunday afternoons from 2-4 p.m. you’ll hear traditional jazz by The River Rouges Jazz Band; on the second and fourth Sundays, Jim Cooper and Robin Connell appear as a vibes and piano duet.  New Harmony Hall, 401 Stocking Ave NW, Grand Rapids. Phone: (616) 233-9186. www.facebook.com/harmonyhallgr/

Fridays and Saturdays from 8-11 p.m. jazz 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 live jazz is featured in Mixology, the lounge of the the J.W. Marriott Hotel, 235 Louis Street NW, Grand Rapids. Every Friday at 7 p.m. the John Shea Trio plays.  Saturday’s the music is heard from 7-10 p.m. and Sunday’s from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., (616) 242 – 1448.

Fridays from 8-11 p.m. In the Blue Jazz Ensemble hosts a jam session t The Village Inn Pizza Sports Bar & Grille on 44th Street near Breton in Grand Rapids.

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.