Sunday, April 3, 2011

Michigan Jazz Trail Festival tickets on sale: $30 for three concerts

by Janet I. Martineau
Such a deal!
Come June, the opportunity to “Find Your Groove in the Great Lakes Bay Region” will cost a mere $30. And, in turn, it buys entry into three mega concerts -- in Saginaw, Midland and Bay City.
“I think we are going to cross bridges and boundaries with this event,” says founder Molly McFadden of the Michigan Jazz Trail Festival taking place over three consecutive days. “By selling all three concerts as a package, for $30, we believe people in Midland  will travel to Saginaw, people in Saginaw will travel to Bay City, and so on.”
Tickets went on sale this week as organizers continue to firm up the lineup of talent at each venue -- talent that showcases a mix of national headliners with mid-Michigan musicians.
Announced earlier were headiners soul singer/songwriter and Grammy-nominee Bettye LaVette at the Bay City site, jazz guitarist/singer John Pizzarelli in Midland and Gershwin-style arranger/pianist Kevin Cole in Saginaw.
Added recently to the Temple Theatre site is Saginaw is the Dixieland-flavored New Reformation Band, which has toured nationwide, as well as Brush Street with Julie Mulady, a small combo playing smooth jazz. Both groups are based in Saginaw.
The lineup is as follows:
-- Friday, June 24, “Blues on the Bay,”  at the Friendship Shell in downtown Bay City, features LaVette with Old Wolves Blues Band, Scott Baker and the Universal Expression, Soul Express and The Burdons.
Gates open at 3:30 p.m. and the rain-or-shine concert begins at 5 p.m. Concertgoers must provide their own seating on lawn chairs or blankets. Small coolers and picnic baskets are admitted but the park does not allow alcoholic beverages. Limited concessions will be available. Parking is free on streets around the park.
-- Saturday,  June 25, “Jazz at the Tridge,” on the lawn in back of the H Hotel in downtown Midland, features Pizzarelli with Molly McFadden and the Bistro Trio,  Michigan Jazz Trail Big Band, Bryan Rombalski and Three Worlds, Steelheads, Jeff Hall, Mary Gilbert and the ACT-SO Jazz Ensemble.
Gates opens at 3 p.m. and the rain-or-shine concert  begins at 4 p.m. Concertgoers will receive wristbands so they can come and go from the concert  site to downtown stores and bistros.
New Reformation Band
Bring your own lawn chairs or blankets. Picnic baskets and wine are allowed. Wine and beer tents and food vendors will be onsite. Dancing space is planned.  And parking is free on most streets and lots around the area.
-- Sunday, June 26, “Heart & Soul at the Temple Theatre,” 203 N. Washington in downtown Saginaw, with Cole, the New Reformation Band, and  Brush Street with Julie Mulady.
Cole is a native of Bay City, but now lives in Chicago and performs solo and with orchestras around the world.
The seven-member New Reformation, founded by brothers David and Nick Oppermann,  is in its 41st year of musicmaking and has recorded 16 albums. Two New Reformation  concerts were videotaped, one of them at the Temple, and aired nationally over PBS. And the group has performed at virtually every major jazz festival in the U.S. as well as with symphony orchestras and on cruise ships.
Brush Street feature Mike Brush on keyboard with a three other musicians playing acoustic bass, guitar and drums. Mulady is a husky-voiced blues singer. The group has performed with the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra and at the Detroit Institute of Arts as well as at a variety of venues throughout mid-Michigan.
Doors open at 3 p.m. and the concert begins at 4 p.m. All seats are general admission. No food or drinks may be brought into the Temple. Parking is free on the city streets, in a lot at the back of the Temple, and with a shuttle service provided from the Saginaw  Tower Parking Lot at 515 N. Washington.
All three venues also will feature area high school performers, including the Dow High School Jazz Band at the Midland site and the Central High School Jazz Band in Bay City.
Tickets are, at this point, sold only as the $30 package for all three concerts.
They are on sale at:
-- The Temple Theatre in Saginaw. At the box office, by calling (877) 754-SHOW or online at www.templetheatre.com. Box office hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
-- State Theater, 913 Washington  Ave. in Bay City. At the box office, by calling (989) 892-2660, or online at www.statetheatrebaycity.com. Box office hours are 9:30 a.m. to  4 p.m. Monday through Friday, extended to 6 p.m. Wednesday.
-- The Midland Center for the Arts, 1801 W. St. Andrews. At the box office, by calling (800) 523-7649 or online at www.mcfta.org. Box office hours are noon to 6 p.m.  Monday through Friday and noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Individual tickets, sold only at the gates the day of the concert, are $15 for each venue.
Among the sponsors of the Michigan Jazz Trail Festival and its “Find Your Groove” slogan are Wildfire Credit Union, Dow Chemical, Dow Corning, Garber Management Group, MidMichigan Health, Ieuter Insurance Group, ClearRiver Advertising and Marketing, F.P. Horak, Tri-Star Trust Bank and Saginaw Valley State University.
For more information, log on to www.michiganjazztrail.org.

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