Monday Night Jazz in the Park is back for a new season of outdoor concerts that continue to draw record crowds in Grand Rapids!

In its 21st year, The West Michigan Jazz Society has been producing jazz concerts that are a tradition on the summer events calendar and one of the most popular events in the city.

This season, Jazz in the Park will take place at the beautiful Millennium Park just south west of downtown.  WMJS has secured a total of 10 event dates where the community and visitors alike can come together and listen to the classic sounds of America’s original genre of music….Jazz!

Millennium Park (Map)
1178–1254 Maynard Ave SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534

The 2021 Jazz in the Park Concert Series will run from June 7th through August 16th.  Shows run from 6:30-8:30 PM.

June 7th - Mary Rademacher and Friends

Vocalist/Entertainer, Mary Rademacher was WMJS Musician of the Year 2006, but she's been singing jazz and more for decades in Michigan and around the country, including Sun Valley, ID and Sacramento Jazz Festivals. A versatile singer, director, choreographer and performer- you can catch her in Cabaret as Fraulein Schnieder at GR Circle Theatre in July 2021! (Call for dates). Another MOY, Mark Kahny on keys/vocals, her longtime right-hand music man, joins her in the summers, as he splits his time as he winters and works in Palm Spring, CA  for the past several years. Dave DeVos has been performing jazz, blues, rock, shows and more since the 70's on upright and electric bass.  Saxman, Mike Frost, worked regularly and lived in Chicago until recently and heads The Mike Frost Project, as well as booking major hotels in the area. Drummer/Singer, Timmy Johnson hails from Muskegon, MI - teaching, gigging and adding tons of personality and energy whenever he performs! Mary Rademacher & Friends is sure to be an eclectic, entertaining and engaging concert! maryrademacher.com , markkahnymusic.com

June 14th - Paul Brewer Quartet

Dr. Paul Brewer is WMJS Musician of the Year 2020, but since last year's concert season didn't happen, we're celebrating it this year! Congratulations to this excellent trombonist/singer/arranger and professor, recently retired from Aquinas College Jazz Program.  He's put together a group of Aquinas College Summer Jazz Camp Faculty musicians, including the talented pianist/singer/songwriter/arranger (and wife), Dr. Robin Connell (MOY), outstanding drummer/instructor Fred Knapp (MOY), and versatile and steady bassist/saxman, Tom Lockwood (MOY). The seasoned group will be playing an enjoyable mix of jazz standards (some with lyrics you may have never heard), swing, Latin, ballads and originals of both Paul and Robin's. You can count on an entertaining and educational concert to ensue!

June 21st - Keller / Kocher Quartet

Hailing from Ann Arbor/Detroit area are Paul Keller, bass, Kelly Kocher, vibraphone, Adam Mosley on piano and guitarist, Ralph Tope.
This is the band that plays every Monday for the summer at Zal Gaz Grotto in Ann Arbor. Tonight is a happy homecoming for Keller, our first Musician of the Year and East GR graduate 1980 and Kocher, a 1979 Northview HS graduate. The group will be playing and singing some fun and familiar tunes of Nat King Cole, George Shearing, Lionel Hampton and several new Keller Covid compositions. Cary and Paul's musical friendship and careers started in 1976 when they both played in the Grand Rapids Youth Symphony. Paul Keller is well-known on the international jazz scene for his work and touring with Diana Krall, Russell Malone, John Pizzarelli and Eddie Higgins. Mosley is a phenomenal young jazz pianist, as is the equally superior jazz guitarist, Tope, who is a regular member with Organnissimo.  www.paulkellerjazz.com

June 28th - Michael Doyle with Big Band Nouveau

July 5th -  OFF

July 12th - Dave Proulx with Fred Knapp and Dave Rosin

July 19th - Benje Daneman and The Kanola Dixieland Band

July 26th - Grupo Latin Soul

August 2nd - Greg Miller

August 9th - Dave Collee Quartet with Ginny Dusseau, Eric Thorne and Bob Nixon

August 16th - Bob Nixon and the GRJO

Become a WMJS Sponsor!

Attendance for each concert ranges from 1,500 – 3,000 people each Monday night. The concert series has a rich history of word-of-mouth advertising that has brought successful community engagement over the years.  In addition, we are broadening the reach of the series with our new media partners and anticipate that our attendance will continue to grow in our new location. Special Thanks to:

  • WYCE
  • Blue Lake Radio
  • WGVU
Jazz in the Park

2021 Program Sponsor (2 available) -- $5,000

There are only TWO 2021 Program Sponsor opportunities available for an investment of $5,000 each. Program Sponsors will receive the highest level of recognition amongst sponsors.

Program Sponsors receive the opportunity for Spotlight in promotional materials for ALL of the remaining WMJS events in 2021 including:

  • Full page ad with prominent placement in our Jazz in the Park Summer Series Programs
  • Social media, print, radio and any other media outlets for Jazz in the Park 2021
    • Name recognition in press releases and reviews for every concert.
    • Logo on event signage THROUGHOUT the 10 week concert series
    • A designated reserved seating area for 25 people at each concert the near the WMJS information booth.*

*Must pre-arrange with WMJS before each concert. If a concert date is canceled due to bad weather, we will continue to promote your company/organization at one of our fall concert dates.

Concert Sponsor (10 available) -- $1000 

There are Ten Title Sponsor opportunities available for an investment of $1,000 each. One Title Sponsor will be highlighted at each concert in the series.

Title Sponsors receive the opportunity for:

  • Spotlight in promotional materials leading up to their concert
  • Featured as an “Event Partner” throughout web and social media.
  • Name recognition in press releases for their designated concert.
  • Logo on event signage THROUGHOUT the 10 Week summer concert series.
    • Half Page ad in Jazz in the Park Summer Series Program
    • Corporate Logo on Jazz in the Park Stage Banner at throughout the Series
    • Concert sponsors pick a concert to underwrite and will be the SOLE corporate presence at the event. Table, tent and other materials provided by the sponsor.

*On your selected concert date your business presence is permitted.  You may have a table with a tent.  If the concert is canceled due to bad weather, we have set aside two rain dates which will be added to the end of our regularly scheduled series.

FRIENDS OF JAZZ AT THE PARK: $500

  • Placement of name/corporate logo on WMJS website
  • Half Page Ad in the Jazz in the Park Summer Series Program

AD COSTS:

¼ page   $250

½ page   $500

Full page $750

PERSONAL DONATIONS

SUPPORT FROM OUR MEMBERS /PERSONAL PATRONS

$1000 Benefactor

$500 Patron

$250 Corporate Friend (link listed on website for a year)

$100 Friend

A gift of any amount will be recognized in our Jazz in the Park Series Program throughout the summer.  Members of the Jazz Society will be given preferred parking next to the Grant Pavilion by showing your WMJS membership card.  West Michigan Jazz Society is a 501c3 non-profit organization and your contributions may be deductible as provided by the IRS code.

 

 

Annual WMJS Membership

 

 

Annual membership renewals are due on January 1st, 2021.

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 annual 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.

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

616-490-9506

 

Current Jazz Events

WMJS COVID-19 Response

WMJS will be complying with the new guidelines from the new Michigan Department of Health and Human Services “Pause to Save Lives” COVID-19 order. We will not be hosting any in person events in the near future. Our board of directors will be evaluating when it is safe to resume hosting live events. This includes our Noto's events and the jam session at Sandy Point Beach House.

We also would like to remind you that all membership renewals are due on January 1st, 2021. WMJS relies on members like you to continue to support live jazz in West Michigan. We are excited to provide more virtual content this year.

Thank you for your continued support of live jazz throughout the pandemic!

VIRTUAL PERFORMANCES AROUND WEST MICHIGAN

Don't miss our Wednesday evening "Speaking of Jazz"

... live-stream series! These will now be broadcast to the WMJS Facebook page, the WMJS members only Facebook group, and our brand new YouTube channel (Be sure to subscribe to the Youtube channel!).

Join John Shea - May 19-21

Wednesday: Live Streaming Show w/Rob and Keith Hall on FB @ 7:00-9:30 pm.

Friday: Live Streaming Show w/Denis and Fred on FB @ 7:00-9:30 pm.

Every Friday on Facebook - 7:00 - 9:30 PM

With Fred Knapp and Denis Shebukhov and EVERY Wednesday with Rob Hartman.

Blue Lake Public Radio

features Jazz From Blue Lake every Monday through Friday starting at 10 p.m. and the 5 hour broadcasts are also available the following day on demand by clicking the Jazz From Blue Lake links at www.bluelake.org/ondemand.

Tune in to Mike and Edye Hyde

on their Facebook page EVERY SUNDAY at 7:00 PM.

2020 and 2021’s increase in anti-Asian racism has hit hard with PARMA artist Jordan VanHemert. While anti-Asian racism in the United States is not new, the recent escalation of hate-related instances must be stopped. The nonprofit Stop AAPI Hate reports that there were roughly 3,800 reported Asian-American hate incidents this past year during the pandemic, and then on March 16, a racially-motivated massacre occurred in which six of the eight victims were Asian women. This concert is presented as a means to raise awareness and make concrete changes through music.

All of VanHemert’s proceeds will be donated to the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. To donate visit: https://www.facebook.com/donate/143497054358492/

Make a difference this holiday. Shop for gifts at smile.amazon.com/ch/38-2748335 to generate donations for West Michigan Jazz Society and check out our AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate items we need most.

Our Mission Statement

The mission of the West Michigan Jazz Society is to advance, uphold, and sustain live jazz in West Michigan through promotion, performance and education.


Photos from the September 22 Jazz in Noto’s Parking Lot

360 Degree Photo of Jazz in Noto’s Parking Lot – September 22 – Courtesy of Bruce Robey


Part of WMJS's mission statement is to provide music scholarships for deserving students in pursuit of jazz education.The 2021 Music scholarships are ready to receive requests! PLEASE help us get the word out and direct worthy candidates here!

If you prefer to print and mail an application, please click here!

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.


Click above for more info!