WMJS Banner

Click here for the Jazz About Town Calendar

Jazz in the Park

16th Season of Monday Night at the Park Concerts to Resume on June 6 at Ah Nab Awen Park (220 Front Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504)!

Be a Sponsor!

June 6 – Northview High School Jazz Band

We are pleased to open our series with the multi-award winningNorthview High School Jazz Bandled byMr. Greg Wells. This band was led for many years by Max Colley Jr. This year WMJS will present a brand new award,the “Bruce Early Jazz Educator Award”. The first recipient will be Max Colley Jr. and he will be presented the award at this performance.

Northview Jazz Band

June 13 – Mike Frost

Mike Frost is a Chicago-born saxophonist, a working musician for 30 plus years. As a fairly recent transplant to Grand Rapids, he already has developed a large following. For 22 years, Mike was the Director of Entertainment for Premier Yachts Inc. providing and creating all of the entertainment for their dinner cruise ships at Navy Pier in Chicago and the sister ships in Boston, Washington D.C. and New York.

Mike Frost

June 20 – In the Tradition Jazz

This African-American jazz hails from Detroit. Whether you have heard them before or not, you don’t want to miss this energetic performance. The nine member band has played locally for Taste of Soul, at the GRandJazzFest and in Muskegon for Black History month.

In the Tradition

June 27 - Greenbrook

Led by saxist Robert Moore from Muskegon, this is smooth jazz a la Grover Washington and George Benson. Greenbrook has been in existence for 30 years and this group of musicians has been together for over 20 years. They have been the opening act for Muskegon's Summer Celebration for several years. (Members are Terry Kimura, trombone, Davy Lazar, trumpet, Carl Cafagna, reeds/vocals, John Hammer, piano, Bill Bolle, bass, and Bob Pinterich, drums).


July 11 – Terry Lower

West Michigan Jazz Society’s 2016 Musician of the Year! Pianist Lower plays with passion and expertise. He enjoys playing standards, straight ahead and swing jazz. Terry puts his own twist and arrangements in the music and shares the fun with audiences. On stage with Terry will be jazz vocal stylist, and 2011 Musician of the Year recipient, Edye Evans Hyde, sax man Jim Hayward, and drummer Larry Ochiltree.

Terry Lower

July 18 – Mack Avenue Jazz Band

A traditional jazz ensemble based in the Detroit Eastside.  Known to locals as "the Marge's Bar band" (in reference to the venue of their steady gig), the group is most often associated by Dixieland jazz fans with the legendary cornetist Tom Saunders.  Saunders passed away in 2010 having fronted the band for many years. Now celebrating its 46th anniversary, the Mack Avenue Jazz Band continues to deliver the early jazz style pioneered by the likes of Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, and Bix Beiderbecke.  Members are Terry Kimura (trombone), Davy Lazar (trumpet), Carl Cafagna (reeds/vocals), John Hammer (piano), Bill Bolle (bass), and Bob Pinterich (drums).

Mack Avenue Jazz

July 25 – Gustavo Cortiñas

Cortiñas has a strong foundation in jazz which began at age 10 with the musical traditions of his native Mexico. His playing has been described as having a new and fresh sound. Gustavo is a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans and in 2013 he received a Master of Music degree from Northwestern University. He and his group have been performing regularly in Chicago, and touring throughout the USA, Latin America, Europe and Asia. Gustavo is also a composer and educator.

Gustavo Cortinas

August 1 – Mary Rademacher Reed Swoosh

Mary is a long time local favorite. She always pleases the audience with her singing and dancing, but her many talents also include acting and choreography. She works with many school play groups and with Civic Theater where she is working on “Cats” this season. Mary is an important part of the nationally touring performance group, the Boogie Woogie Babies. Mary was voted Jazz Musician of the year 2006.

Mary Rademacher Reed

August 8 – Checkers Morton

Described as a "venerable band of brothers," this group has been playing music together for over forty years. They are a regular hit at the Book Nook in Montague MI.  and will present their original work and free music. (Dave Collee, bass, Dan Giacobassi,saxes and flute, Jim Beegle - trumpet, flute and congas, Bob VanStee - keys, and 2004 WMJS Musician of the Year, more recently added to the group, Tim Froncek, drums).

Checkers Morton

August 15 – Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra Swoosh

Back by popular demand, they will close out our 2016 Jazz in the Park series! GRJO was founded in 1977 by the late Bruce Early; this premier jazz ensemble has been featuring some of the area’s finest musicians for more than 35 years. Led by Bob Nixon, they play swinging original compositions and arrangements as well as traditional favorites.


2016 Spring Newsletter
Summer Solstice Jazz Fest
Grand Jazz Fest

Announcements and Alerts from WMJS:

Join WMJS!