Jazz at the Farmer’s Market Kicks off New Kalamazoo Festival

KALAMAZOO, MI – Jazz music exploded into the night air Saturday as musicians performed for an audience ahead of one of Kalamazoo’s newest music festivals.

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

Taste of Jazz 2022 was organized by Society For History And Racial Equity, a non-profit organization that seeks to eliminate racism and celebrates black history. The concert is part of SHARE’s annual fundraiser, returning after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.

“Jazz is an American genre of music,” said Candy McCorkle, Co-Chair of SHARE’s Board of Directors. “Since SHARE is about the history of race and equity, we thought it would be great to have American music that was fused with marginalized populations but is still enjoyed by all Americans.”

Taste of Jazz featured three jazz musicians during the night: Sir Mark Barnes, Denise Willhite and Bill Cessna Trio. Each artist played for an hour and a half, the concert starting 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, with winners receiving a portrait of Nina Simone which was painted throughout the event.

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

“I found out about 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 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 received more success after his death. Select festival artists will perform interpretations of Nichols’ work.

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

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

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

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

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