Michigan Jazz Festival 2022 Highlights

This year’s Michigan Jazz Festival was a tremendous success, attendance was great as people were happy to enter a period of less worries about the pandemic and the artists showed their appreciation with many stellar performanc- es. At the ever-so-comfortable Schoolcraft College many thanks to the MJF Board under the leadership of Craig Strain for pulling this together. The festival was more diverse than in years past with many new bands appearing for the first time. The breadth and quality of Detroit area talent is simply astounding.

Here are a few of the highlights caught by our photographers and reviewers.

The Planet D Nonet delighted everyone with their soulful jazz arrangements of many hits from their release of Buddy Johnson hits (recently reviewed in these pages), and the addition of vocalist Camille Price added plenty of blues feeling to “Since I fell For You” (and we must not forget T-Bone Paxton’s vocals and trombone solos). Kasan Belgrave also contributed some fabulous solos on his alto sax. The esprit of this band is simply infectious — which we dare say even though we are still in a never-ending pandemic.

The Vincent Chandler Experience excelled in arrangements by trombonist Chandler, trumpeter Kris Johnson and Belgrave on the frontline, with support by Marion Hayden on bass. You can tell these musicians have a long-shared performance history as everything jells just right.

Vocalist Barbara Ware showed what she could do with standards backed by pianist Cliff Monear on the Cabaret Stage. The ever-present Marion Hayden was back in action with exciting trumpeter Allen Dennard and his quintet with tenorist Nolan Young on the Bolle Presentation Stage.