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Posted on: June 16, 2023

Summer Solstice Jazz Festival to Fill Downtown with Music Next Weekend

Summer Solstice Jazz Festival in sunset colors with a figure playing a trumpet

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Community members are invited to celebrate the summer solstice in downtown East Lansing at the 2023 Summer Solstice Jazz Festival (SSJF). The event is free.

The two-day music festival begins next Friday, June 23 and continues on Saturday, June 24. The SSJF features an all-star lineup of local, national and international jazz musicians performing on two outdoor stages. 

Al & Beth Cafagna Founders’ Stage (located at the Albert-Grove intersection)

  • 6-7 p.m. Melissa Morgan
  • 7:30-8:30 p.m. Niki Haris with Randy Gelispie Trio
  • 9-10 p.m. Salsa Verde

MSU Outreach & Engagement Education Stage (Ann Street Plaza)

  • 5:30-6:30 p.m. Emma Wilburn Jazz Quartet
  • 7-8 p.m. Jordan Anderson
  • 8:30-9:30 p.m. Dwight Adams and Friends

Al & Beth Cafagna Founders’ Stage

  • 3-4 p.m. Keller/Kocher and Company
  • 4:30-5:30 p.m. Randy Napoleon Quintet
  • 6-7 p.m. Gathering Orchestra
  • 7:30-8:30 p.m. Michael Dease Quartet
  • 9-10 p.m. Rodney Whitaker Group

Saturday’s performances by Randy Napoleon, Michael Dease and Rodney Whitaker will feature the music of local composer Gregg Hill.

MSU Outreach & Engagement Education Stage

  • 2:30-3:30 p.m. Jazz Alliance of Mid-Michigan (JAMM) Scholarship Band
  • 4-5 p.m. The Sofiela Social
  • 5:30-6:30 p.m. REDWOOD 
  • 7-8 p.m. 496 West
  • 8:30-9:30 p.m. Gayelynn McKinney & McKinney Zone

Both evenings will feature an After Glow performance at the Graduate Rock Bar, 133 Evergreen Avenue from 10 p.m.-midnight. The performer on Friday will be Hugh Downs and Saturday will feature Michael Reed and the Revelation. In addition to the live music performances, the East Lansing Public Library’s Library on the Go mobile pop-up library will be at the festival Friday from 5-8 p.m. and Saturday from 2-6 p.m. with a children’s activity. 

“The Summer Solstice Jazz Festival is such a special event for bringing together a multigenerational mix of community members. We are incredibly lucky in East Lansing to have world-renowned musicians in close proximity, thanks to the music program at Michigan State University,” Jazz Fest Coordinator Justin Drwencke said. “Being able to sit outdoors at one of the local restaurants or at Albert EL Fresco and enjoy a high-caliber jazz concert—all for free—is one of my favorite things about living in East Lansing.” 

Community volunteers are needed to help with a variety of roles during this year’s SSJF. Sign up online at Volunteers receive a behind-the-scenes look at the festival and a free SSJF t-shirt!

Festivalgoers can find details about parking in downtown East Lansing, including a live look at how many parking spots are available in each of the City’s six garages and surface parking lot, by visiting Reserved accessible parking is available in all downtown gated facilities. For more information about the SSJF, visit

The SSJF is hosted by the City of East Lansing in partnership with the MSU College of Music. Major sponsors of the festival include the MSU Office of the Provost; Gregg Hill and Lois Mummaw; and the MSU Federal Credit Union’s Desk Drawer Fund. The Summer Solstice Jazz Festival is supported in part by an award from the Michigan Arts & Culture Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional grant support is provided by the East Lansing Arts Commission. 

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