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Jazz at the farmers’ market kicks off the new Kalamazoo festival

KALAMAZOO, MI – Jazz music blasted throughout Saturday night as musicians performed in front of the audience as a prelude to one of Kalamazoo’s newest music festivals.

The Taste of Jazz 2022 concert was held at Bank Street Farmer’s Market on the evening of Saturday 10 September in Kalamazoo. The event serves as an unofficial start before the start of the Edison Jazz Fest on 12 September.

Taste of Jazz 2022 was hosted by the Society For History And Racial Equity, a non-profit organization that seeks to eliminate racism and celebrate the history of blacks. The concert is part of SHARE’s annual fundraiser, which has returned after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.

“Jazz is an American musical genre,” said Candy McCorkle, co-chair of the board of directors of SHARE. “Since SHARE is about the history of race and fairness, we thought it would be nice to have American music that was fused by marginalized populations but is still enjoyed by all Americans.”

Taste of Jazz saw three jazz musicians perform over the course of the night: Sir Mark Barnes, Denise Willhite and Bill Cessna Trio. Each artist performed for an hour and a half, with the concert starting at 6pm

Food for the concert was provided by Josie’s Southern Comfort Food, dessert from Davis Delectables, and complimentary wine from Warner Vineyards. There was also a silent auction, with the winners getting a portrait of Nina Simone that was painted over the course of the event.

The Taste of Jazz 2022 kicks off the Edison Jazz Festival, which will run throughout the week from 12 to 18 September. The festival is hosted by the Edison Neighborhood Association of Kalamazoo.

“I discovered Taste of Jazz 2022 hosted by SHARE, which already had ties to the Edison Neighborhood Association,” said festival curator Peter Formanek. “And I thought rather than compete 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 received more acclaim after his death. Some artists from the festival will perform interpretations of Nichols’ work.

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

The main performances of the festival will take place from Friday to Sunday at the Dormouse Theater. The headliners of the event are Deanna Witkowski, Fay Victor, Roger Jones.

All festival events will be free for anyone, with no pre-registration required. All performances will also be live streamed for free on Twitch.

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

Read more about MLive:

The Edison Jazz Fest will debut this fall in Kalamazoo, pays tribute to Herbie Nichols

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

Kalamazoo Italian Festival will feature 2 days of music, bowls, food and spirits

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