The 16th annual Thornapple Arts Council’s Jazz Festival, April 25-26-27, features a dozen venues in Hastings where residents and visitors can enjoy jazz by hundreds of student musicians and professionals from more than 130 school and professional jazz bands and ensembles from all over the state, according the council’s website.
The festival draws some 10,000 people to the city and provides a weekend of free jazz performances and the chance for student groups to work with and learn from professional musicians.
Headliners this year are Jim Hayward with the Thornapple Jazz Orchestra on Thursday, The Four Freshmen on Friday, and Navy Great Lakes Liberty Call on Saturday.
The Four Freshmen and Navy Great Lakes group will perform in the new Hastings High School Performing Art Center that has a seating capacity of 850.
Music will be coming from all over the city, in restaurants, churches, the Spray Plaza Band Shell, Thornapple Plaza, Hastings Public Library, Barry County Enrichment Center, the HHS Performing Arts Center and more. Jazz artists and those accompanying them will be met by Hastings Reserve Police Officers and Ambassadors who will welcome them and offer any assistance they can.
The Thornapple Arts Council Jazz Festival began in 2003 and has grown to be the largest jazz festival of its kind matching more student groups and performers to professional jazz musicians through its clinician program than any other festival in the United States.
Follow the Jazz Festival on its Facebook page. For a complete schedule of performers and venues for the three day event, visit thornapplearts.org/jazzfestival/