Editor’s note: This is the seventh in a series of blog posts for GRandJazzFest written by Ferris State University public relations students. Thank you, Ferris, for helping to build awareness of jazz, the great American music art form!
Awaiting the long arrival of the 2013 GRandJazzFest’s schedule, participants hoped to see some of the same faces as last year. One of those faces is the renowned Edye Evans Hyde.
Last year, Hyde kicked off the GRandJazzFest by performing with the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra, an invitation she earned with her reputation. She has been a vocalist in West Michigan for more than 30 years. In 2011, she was named West Michigan Jazz Society’s Musician of the Year.
Last year’s GRandJazzFest’s audience of more than 4,000 people at Rosa Park’s Circle was nothing new for Hyde. She has performed all across the United States as well as in Europe and Asia, and she still performs for West Michigan audiences.
Hyde has shared the stage with legendary musician Ray Charles who was ranked number 10 in Rolling Stone’s list of greatest artists of all time. Hyde performed as his opening act more than once, and her first was at the DeVos Performance Hall in Grand Rapids. Her second time was during the Muskegon Summer Celebration, which attracted an audience of more than 15,000 people. Other musicians, artists and actors with whom Hyde has partnered include Maria Muldaur, Connie Stevens, Linda Hopkins and Michael Bolton.
Hyde followed her appearance at the 2012 GRandJazzFest with her entrance into the Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition , a worldwide competition for women vocalists.
In addition to singing throughout the Midwest and beyond, Hyde also teaches jazz voice at Hope College.
Hyde attracted a crowd at the Keller Cooler Series’ first-ever “Jazz Night” at Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Her band included well-known jazz musicians Mark Kahny, Randy Marsh and the late Mel Dalton.
The overwhelming success of the GRandJazzFest’s free one-day show debut in 2012 has inspired the expansion of the event to two days in August 2013.
Christie Bender is a senior in the public relations program at Ferris State University. She is the Vice President of Internal Relations and Secretary for the Ferris State chapter of Public Relations Student Society of America.