By Molly Klimas
GRandJazzFest presented by DTE Energy Foundation returns to Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich., this Aug. 19 and 20, for the sixth annual festival. The popular family-friendly festival is West Michigan’s only free, weekend-long jazz festival.
At the 2017 festival in August, 11 diverse jazz artists and bands will perform, including a student jazz band and two major headline acts. Free face painting by Fancy Faces will be available for kids and, if lines aren’t too long, for “kids at heart.”
The two-day festival will again be free thanks to Presenting Sponsor DTE Energy Foundation, the City of Grand Rapids and other sponsoring organizations, individuals and volunteers.
“There’s something special about jazz that brings people together like no other art form. It’s because jazz is so diverse – it has so many styles, from Big Band to Latin to Contemporary, and I’m just naming a few,” GRandJazzFest Founder Audrey Sundstrom said. “GRandJazzFest is what community is all about.”
GRandJazzFest typically draws thousands to the heart of downtown Grand Rapids for the two-day, outdoor event always held the third weekend in August.
Holding the festival in the center city is by design, to enable festival-goers to take in all that downtown has to offer: restaurants, clubs, museums, microbreweries and shops. The festival typically occurs during Restaurant Week in Grand Rapids. The festival’s location provides easy access to those who ride the bus, walk or bike, and is also close to parking.
The 2017 festival lineup will be announced on April 26 at the House of Entertainment and Music (H.O.M.E.) at The B.O.B.