August 2016 Newsletter

Inside our August 2016 newsletter, learn about what’s on tap for this week’s GRandJazzFest! Read the newsletter here!

GRandJazzFest organizers, performers ready for 5th annual festival presented by DTE Energy Foundation


> Cindy Bradley to headline 5th annual GRandJazzFest presented by DTE Energy Foundation

> FREE festival Aug. 20 & 21 features 11 jazz acts over two days; also features activities for kids and an After Party for adults

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. – Aug. 11, 2016 –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.

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

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, and at the festival’s Facebook and Twitter sites – and



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 2016 is a FREE weekend-long event that runs Saturday, Aug. 20, from noon until 10 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 21, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m., featuring notable jazz artists, including many who are Michigan-based. GRandJazzFest brings together acclaimed jazz performers as well as highlights emerging 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. More information at

About the DTE Energy Foundation

The DTE Energy Foundation is the philanthropic arm of DTE Energy, continuing the legacy of community support and involvement of its electric and natural gas utilities, which serve 2.2 million electric customers in Southeast Michigan and 1.2 million natural gas customers across Michigan. In 2015, the DTE Energy Foundation provided $15 million in grant support to nonprofits throughout the company’s service territories. As one of Michigan’s leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress.

Media Contact:

Mike Frost



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