West Michigan Jazz Society heartily thanks the Kent County Parks Foundation for granting us the use of Millennium Park for our summer concert series!

Founded in 1999, the Kent County Parks Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to expanding and improving parkland, protecting the environment, and preserving open space. We support the mission of the Kent County Parks Department, which is currently responsible for 38 parks and four inter-community trails.

The 2019 Jazz in the Park Series!

The concerts will be held at  Millennium Park Meadows (1415 Maynard Avenue, Walker)

This huge urban park has modern amenities and  plenty of parking.  Its location will allow us to reach out to the residents of all the neighboring towns. And it will provide us with something we have missed since our days at the Zoo-- permanency in a beautiful setting, and greater opportunity for recognition in order to grow our membership!

Most concerts will be held in the park's open amphitheater. Grant Pavilion will be used for our rain location. Clean, spacious restrooms are close by and handicap friendly. Bring a hat, sunglasses and perhaps an umbrella to fully enjoy the concert. Vendors will be close, but you can bring a picnic and an adult beverage of your choice.

More information can be found in the April/May issue of the WMJS’s newsletter, Jazz Notes.

This marks the 19th year that WMJS has produced jazz concerts that are a tradition on the summer events calendar and one of the most popular events. We are seeking sponsorship and donations to enable this tradition to continue. Business, corporation and individual sponsorship is needed!  Please consider a donation of any size. Thank you. 

For a brochure about becoming a Jazz in the Park Sponsor or Patron, CLICK HERE.

Millennium Park

Photos from our last event - Click here for a larger view

Jazz at Millennium Park Meadows
1415 Maynard Ave. S.W.
Walker, MI. 49534

Mondays, 6:30-8:30 pm

June 10 - East Kentwood High School Jazz Ensemble 1

June 17 - Scott Veenstra Band featuring Ramona Collins

June 24 - Bluemonk Jazz

July 1 - Kat Jones and Company

July 8 - Starry Night Octet

July 15 - Evidence Jazz Group Latin Project

July 22 - "Double Trouble" Mary Rademacher Reed, Francesca Amari w/ the Mark Kahny Group

July 29 - Gustavo Cortiñas

August 5 - Paul Keller and the Sundown Quintet

August 12 - Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra

The JULY Concerts


July 22 - Vocalist and entertainers Mary Rademacher Reed and Francesca Amari share the stage, presenting a fun show, “Double Trouble” as only this group of seasoned performers can. Returning from the weeklong World Class Jazz Tour, this should be a polished, entertaining performance.

Francesca Amari is a versatile, popular Palm Springs-based entertainer who has performed in top-rated cabaret clubs from NYC to Hollywood. Mary Rademacher Reed is probably the most well-known singer/entertainer in our area. Besides her vocal talent, she is a choreographer, director and costumer at Kenowa Hills High School for their Drama Program. She is a dancer, an actor, an educator and is always a lot of fun!

Francesca and Mary will be accompanied by gifted pianist, vocalist and left-hand bass player Mark S. Kahny, a favorite with singers both in Michigan and California.Drummer and vocalist Timothy P. Johnson has been performing on Michigan’s west coast all his life. This groovemeister is known for making the music fun with his style of playing and endless sense of humor.

July 29
- Gustavo Cortiñas has developed a successful career in the US for a decade, leading and accompanying ensembles in renowned stages and festivals in North America, Latin America, Asia,and Europe. Once again on July 29th we will be able to watch and hear this amazing drummer and composer. Cortiñas is a member of the Chicago Jazz Composer’s Collective, performing regularly for their monthly residency at Chicago’s very own Green Mill.

“Cortiñas’ music is uplifting, robust, melodic, and gets your body moving; it’s an exciting blend of the artist’s musical influences from jazz and Latin American, including his native Mexico” (DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE). This can be heard on his records as a leader, “Snapshot” (July 2013), “a Smörgåsbord of the moods and nuances that make up the human experience... an idiosyncratic album that intrinsically fuses the personal to the universal” (Lissette Corsa, Jazziz Magazine).

Gustavo is working on his third and most ambitious project as a leader: a musical journey which traces through thirteen compositions, the poetic and tragic history set by Eduardo Galeano in his book: “The Open Veins of Latin America”.

Bruce Robey’s 360 Degree Photo of Evidence Jazz Group’s Jazz in the Park Concert

Thank you for your patience as we have updated our membership process this year!

Because our new process for annual memberships began in January, you may receive a mailing that went out to our entire member base to encourage becoming current for 2019. This letter will have the prorated amount to complete your membership for this year.

Payment can be made by mailing in a check or by clicking here or on the link below to pay through PayPal. We will get your new membership card sent out right away after payment. If you received our mailing in error, please just disregard. Contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Thank you to Noto's Old World Italian Dining for providing a benefit for our members! Present your new membership card when ordering an entree' and receive a free appetizer!

West Michigan Jazz Society   PO Box 150307 Grand Rapids, MI   49515



WMJS Board Meeting Minutes Now Available Online

The minutes of the WMJS Board Meeting from this past August are now available on this site under the "More" tab above or HERE. Minutes will be added and archived in the months ahead on this page.

We Have Money to Give Away!

Click here for a scholarship app!

Part of WMJS's mission statement is to provide music scholarships for deserving students in pursuit of jazz education.The 2019 Music scholarships are ready to receive requests! PLEASE help us get the word out and direct worthy candidates here!

Other Jazz Happenings

Tim Scully’s World Class Jazz Tour
June 18 - September 1, 2019

All shows are FREE but listener and community supported - rain/wind or shine.

Tuesdays - Manistee - Douglas Park First St Beach "Manistee Shoreline Showcase"
Wind/Rain site @Armory Youth Project First St, just E of beach. 7-9:15pm
Wednesdays - Ludington- LACA Summer Concert Series” www.ludingtonartscenter.org
(Locations TBA info: [email protected] or (616-437-0101) 7-9:15pm
Thursdays - Cadillac, “UpBeat Cadillac", Rotary Performing Arts Pavilion, 7-9:15pm
Fridays - Reed City -"Crossroads Picnic Showcase." Rambadt Park, Park St 1/8-mile E of 131 & US 10, 7-9:15pm
Saturdays - Baldwin - "Sounds from the Forest" Wenger Pavilion, 3 blks south of M37 and US 10, 7-9:15pm
Sundays - Pentwater - "We’ve Got the Sunday Blues" and "All That Jazz," Gull Landing, 7-11pm, 231-723-7500 for info

Tuesday - Sunday Tour Bands

June 18 - Paul Nelson Band
June 25 - Robin Connell/Paul Brewer Quartet
July 2 - Organissimo (Jim Alfredson, Randy Marsh, Larry Barris)
July 9 - “Double Trouble”, Mary Rademacher Reed and Francesca Amari (w/Mark Kahny, Tim Johnson)
July 16- Carla Cooke, “The Sam Cooke Experience”
July 23 - Planet D Nonet
July 30 - Phil DeGreg Quartet with Petra vanNuis (w/Andy Brown, Paul Keller, Bob Rummage)
August 6 - Tell Yo Mama
August 13 - James Armstrong
August 20 - Cheryl Hodge Group (w/Roby Edwards, Toby Grey)
August 27 - The General Assembly Big Band (w/ John Peterson, Ginny Dusseau)

AND more Jazz on Wednesdays in Baldwin at Wenger Pavilion, 7-9:15

July 3 - Chris Bickley Quartet
July 24 - The Soul Message Band (Chris Foreman, Greg Rockingham, Chris Bickley)
July 31 - Sunset Blues
August 7 - Greg Nagy
August 14 - Robert Pace “Nature’s Brew”
August 21 - Jenna Mammina

Woodchoppers Ball