Jazz at the Farmers’ Market opens new Kalamazoo Festival

KALAMAZOO, MI — Jazz music pierced the night air on Saturday as musicians performed to crowds as a prelude to one of Kalamazoo’s newest music festivals.

The Taste of Jazz 2022 concert took place on Saturday evening, September 10th at the Bank Street Farmer’s Market in Kalamazoo. The event serves as an unofficial kick-off before the Edison Jazz Fest kicks off on September 12th.

Taste of Jazz 2022 was hosted by the Society For History And Racial Equity, a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating racism and celebrating black history. The concert is part of SHARE’s annual fundraiser following a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.

“Jazz is an American music genre,” said Candy McCorkle, co-chair of SHARE’s board of directors. “Because SHARE is about a story of race and justice, we thought it would be nice to have American music that emerged from marginalized communities, yet still be enjoyed by all Americans.”

Taste of Jazz featured three jazz musicians performing throughout the night: Sir Mark Barnes, Denise Willhite and the Bill Cessna Trio. Each artist performed for an hour and a half, the concert started at 6 p.m

Food for the concert was provided by Josie’s Southern Comfort Food, dessert by Davis Delectables and complimentary wine by Warner Vineyards. There was also a silent auction where the winners received a portrait of Nina Simone painted during the event.

Taste of Jazz 2022 opens the Edison Jazz Festival, which runs all week September 12-18. The festival is hosted by Kalamazoo’s Edison Neighborhood Association.

“I found out about Taste of Jazz 2022 being hosted by SHARE, who already had ties to the Edison Neighborhood Association,” said festival curator Peter Formanek. “And I figured instead of competing for an audience, why don’t we try to promote each other.”

The festival will pay tribute to the late Herbie Nichols, a jazz pianist and composer who has received greater recognition since his death. A number of festival artists will perform interpretations of Nichols’ works.

Throughout the week there will be workshops at Western Michigan University, a local artist performing at smaller venues, and a block party scheduled for Sunday.

The festival’s headlining performances take place Friday through Sunday at the Dormouse Theatre. The event will be headlined by Deanna Witkowski, Fay Victor and Roger Jones.

Participation in all festival events is free for everyone, pre-registration is not required. All performances will also be streamed live on Twitch for free.

For more information on the Edison Jazz Fest schedule, click here.

Read more on MLive:

Edison Jazz Fest, debuting in Kalamazoo this fall, pays homage to Herbie Nichols

Michigan’s Best Local Eats: Ty’s Joint serves sides of the soul in Kalamazoo

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