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GRandJazzFestGRAND RAPIDS, MI – GRandJazzFest presented by DTE Energy Foundation brings 11 diverse jazz performance acts to the Rosa Parks Circle stage this Aug. 20 and 21 in downtown Grand Rapids at West Michigan’s only free, weekend-long jazz festival. The fifth annual festival is expected to draw more than 10,000 people over the two days.

More details from GRandJazzFest (www.grandjazzfest.org):

The performance lineup:

  • Saturday night headliner / main headline act: Cindy Bradley
  • Sunday night headliner: Chris Standring
  • Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra with Edye Evans Hyde
  • Organissimo 
  • Tumbao Bravo
  • Steve Hilger 
  • Tim Bowman
  • Student Showcase band – Bierenga-Sullivan Quintet
  • Lakeshore Big Band
  • Urban Jazz Coalition
  • Walter White

This year’s headline act is a first for GRandJazzFest – a woman headlining the popular festival. The New York City-based Cindy Bradley performs Saturday night, Aug. 20. The Sunday-night headliner is Chris Standring, a guitarist from Los Angeles who brings high-energy contemporary jazz to the stage.

In addition to kicking off the festival as always with the acclaimed Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra and Edye Evans Hyde performing vocals, two other acts make a return appearance at GRandJazzFest: Tim Bowman and Steve Hilger. Detroit-based guitarist Bowman headlined the inaugural GRandJazzFest in 2012. Grand Rapids-based Hilger, also a guitarist, performed in 2012 with The Steve Hilger Jazz Quintet.

Throughout the two-day weekend is an eclectic array of jazz performances for all audiences – from big band to straight-ahead, Latin, urban and more.

“The DTE Energy Foundation is proud to sponsor GRandJazzFest, which brings together people from across Michigan and the region for a celebration of great music,” said Faye Nelson, vice president, DTE Energy, and president and board chair of the DTE Energy Foundation. “By investing in GRandJazzFest and other arts and cultural institutions that are integral to a strong quality of life, we’re helping to boost local economic development in the communities where we live and serve.”

The two-day GRandJazzFest festival free for the fifth year in a row thanks to presenting sponsor DTE Energy Foundation, the City of Grand Rapids, GR and Jazz, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI), Michigan Lottery, IntentPR, Gilmore Collection and other sponsoring organizations and individuals. GRandJazzFest received Signature Event status from DGRI.

“The 5th annual GRandJazzfest presented by DTE Energy Foundation will have something for everyone! We’re talking all kinds of jazz music plus dancing, face painting for the kids and much more! Best of all, GRandJazzFest is a free event that brings people together!” GRandJazzFest Founder Audrey Sundstrom said.

Tips for fest-goers: 

What to bring

Bring lawn chairs, mini-coolers if you want, and sunscreen – the venue is a sunny, open area with some shady areas around the perimeter. The fest’s main tent will have cold bottled water for sale, the adjacent Grand Rapids Art Museum will be featuring a special refreshment area, and there are plenty of places surrounding Rosa Parks Circle to grab a quick bite and beverage. Plus, it’s Restaurant Week during GRandJazzFest!

Make a weekend of it!

The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel is offering special rates the weekend of GRandJazzFest. Book your visit with the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel at http://group.curiocollection.com/GrandJazzFest 

Face painting for the kids

Face-painting artists will be at Rosa Parks Circle during GRandJazzFest – kids can get their faces painted for free by Fancy Faces!

Join the After Party!

Keep the jazz love going by stopping by The B.O.B. – just a block away from Rosa Parks Circle – for the GRandJazzFest After Party on Saturday, Aug. 20! Steve Hilger and other jazz performers welcome all for a jazz jam session! The party takes place in The B.O.B.’s Brewery, located on the lower level. Bring your GRandJazzFest event program with you to get into The B.O.B. with no cover charge! The club is featuring $6 wood-fired pizzas that night!

More information on GRandJazzFest can be found at www.grandjazzfest.org, and at the festival’s Facebook and Twitter sites – www.facebook.com/grandjazzfest and www.twitter.com/grandjazzfest.

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