If you’re a jazz lover or new to the genre, the 4th annual GRandJazzfest presented by DTE Energy Foundation has something for everyone. We’re talking all kinds of jazz music – from big band to Latin to contemporary and more – plus dancing, face painting for the kids, and new this year, a family guitar tent for people to try out guitars. Plus, it’s free!
A few tips for attending this popular family-friendly music festival being held August 15 and 16 at Rosa Parks Circle in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids:
Get there early, especially if you love big band music. Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra with Edye Evans Hyde kicks off the festival, which starts at noon on Saturday, August 15. The fest goes until about 10 p.m. and continues Sunday, August 16 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Bike to the fest. Bike racks provided by the Grand Rapids Bicycle Coalition will be at the venue.
Bring lawn chairs, mini-coolers if you want, and sunscreen. The venue is a sunny, open area with some shady areas around the perimeter. The festival’s main tent will have bottled water for sale, and there are plenty of places surrounding Rosa Parks Circle to grab a quick bite and beverage. Be sure to stay hydrated and protected from the sun. The weather forecast is sunny and hot both days of the festival.
Visit the Family Guitar Tent, sponsored by Godin and Cordoba guitars, to learn about guitars and try them out. GRandJazzFest performing artist Bryan Lubeck will do demonstrations and give tips on playing guitar. Thanks to Godin and Cordoba, you could win a free guitar! Enter the drawing at the guitar tent. Drawings will take place on Saturday and Sunday. You must be present to win.
Make a weekend of it. GRandJazzFest is walking distance from several hotels, including City Flats Hotel. The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel is offering a special rate the weekend of GRandJazzFest.
GRandJazzFest is happening during Restaurant Week GR! 24 of the participating restaurants are downtown including Osteria Rosa, CitySen, Rockwell Republic, Reserve, Bistro Bella Vita, Stella’s Lounge and HopCat.
Ride the bus. The Rapid has easy routes to get you downtown fast. Get there even faster with The Rapid’s Silver Line. More at www.ridetherapid.org.
Let the kids get their faces painted for free by Fancy Faces! Face-painting artists will be at two locations at Rosa Parks Circle.
Bring your smart phone. GRandJazzFest has launched a new mobile website, which makes it easy to find the fest schedule and more. www.grandjazzfest.org
Join the After Party. Keep the jazz love going by stopping by The B.O.B. for the GRandJazzFest After Party on Saturday, Aug. 15! On tap are food and drink specials, a chance to win a dining tour of the nine Gilmore Collection restaurants (a $400 value) and a jam session with the Mike Frost Project 2.0 band.