GRandJazzFest announces complete lineup for FREE Aug. 17-18 event

GRandJazzFest presented by DTE Energy Foundation announces the lineup for the FREE two-day jazz festival coming to Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids this Aug. 17-18. Chicago jazz guitarist/vocalist Nick Colionne headlines. Saxophonist Phil Denny returns. And more!

Online PR News – 03-May-2013 – Grand Rapids, Michigan – GRandJazzFest presented by DTE Energy Foundation is pleased to announce the lineup for the FREE two-day jazz festival coming to Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich., this Aug. 17-18:

• Nick Colionne - HEADLINER
• Deon Yates
• The Paul Keller AT SUNDOWN Quintet
• Sheila Landis & Brazilian Love Affair
• The Kinsey Report
• Randy Marsh Organ Trio
• Mind’s Eye
• Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra with Edye Evans Hyde
• Edye Evans Hyde
• Phil Denny

Chicago-based guitarist and vocalist Nick Colionne headlines GRandJazzFest, now in its second year. With the festival expanding to two days, more performances have been added, for a total of 10 jazz performers/bands slated. A student jazz jam session has also been added.

“We’re so excited to be expanding the festival and bringing internationally known jazz guitarist and vocalist Nick Colionne and his band to Grand Rapids to headline our festival,” GRandJazzFest Founder Audrey Sundstrom said. “The complete lineup is an eclectic offering that expresses the full diversity of the jazz art form.”

In addition to Colionne, artists for 2013 include saxophonist Deon Yates, The Paul Keller AT SUNDOWN Quintet, Sheila Landis & Brazilian Love Affair, The Kinsey Report, Randy Marsh Organ Trio and Mind’s Eye. Performers returning from GRandJazzFest 2012 include Lansing-based saxophonist Phil Denny and the homegrown Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra (GRJO). Popular local vocalist Edye Evans Hyde returns to perform with GRJO and also performs with her own band at the festival. Street-funk blues-rock band The Kinsey Report hails from Gary, Ind., and Colionne of course from Chicago. The other bands and performers are all from Michigan.

In keeping with a format modeled after the highly successful River Raisin Jazz Festival in Monroe, Mich., GRandJazzFest 2013 will open with the returning Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra. “We always plan to open with big-band jazz, and here in Grand Rapids, that big band is our own Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra,” Sundstrom said.

GRandJazzFest Artist Selection Committee members have been researching performers since December. “Phil Denny is back by popular demand, headlining on our second day of the festival. He was a big hit and well received at the 2012 GRandJazzFest,” committee member Steve Hilger said. “He is a rising national star, a great performer and we are excited to have him perform again at the festival.”

Hilger, in addition to serving on the Artist Selection Committee and having performed at the 2012 GRandJazzFest, will lead a special “student jazz jam session” to be held during GRandJazzFest 2013. Hilger and his Trio Jazz Band are in the process of vetting potential student performers. Jazz students interested in being considered for this opportunity are encouraged to learn more here: (condensed URL:

The GRandJazzFest 2013 lineup announcement occurs during Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM), a music festival held every April in the United States in honor of jazz as an original American art form. JAM was created by John Edward Hasse, curator of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

Also, International Jazz Day is April 30. Learn more about this international event at

More information on GRandJazzFest can be found at http://


About GRandJazzFest:
GRandJazzFest presented by DTE Energy Foundation is a community event of the nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization “GR and Jazz” founded in 2012, with the purpose of promoting and bringing awareness of jazz and related arts to new and diverse audiences through educational programs and community events. GRandJazzFest 2013 is a FREE weekend-long event that runs Saturday, Aug. 17, from noon until 10 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 18, from noon p.m. to 7 p.m., featuring jazz artists who are primarily Michigan-based. GRandJazzFest brings together notable jazz performers as well as highlights up-and-coming artists for diverse audiences. GRandJazzFest is being held at Rosa Parks Circle, a central location in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids, where attendees can enjoy music, support local businesses and visit other Grand Rapids attractions. The festival is FREE. Sponsors and collaborators to date include DTE Energy Foundation, GR and Jazz, the City of Grand Rapids, the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority, the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority, Experience Grand Rapids, West Michigan Jazz Society, Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, Ellis Parking, Ferris State University, Fifth Third Bank, Founders Bank & Trust, Gilmore Collection, Grand Rapids Community College, Hilger Hammond, IntentPR, Meijer, Mike July Web Design, San Chez Bistro and Café, Saint Mary’s Health Care, Steelcase and The Wege Foundation. More information at http://