An Update from JAMM’s President

You may be wondering why JAMM is honoring Betty Baxter as the 2016 JAMM Tribute Honoree on November 8th of 2015. (read more) Beginning in 2010, the first six JAMM Tributes were held either in January or February.  All of these Tribute Concerts were very successful but there were always concerns about the weather and, in recent years, concerns about overlapping with other jazz events.  Last year, our JAMM Tribute to Betty Joplin overlapped with an LCC concert featuring Thornetta Davis and also, later that evening, a Wharton Center performance from a touring “Hot Club” jazz group. JAMM made the decision last spring to “shake up” our event schedule to make it possible for more people to attend our annual JAMM Tribute Concert AND allow JAMM to promote our Honoree the entire year!  To this end, JAMM flip-flopped our Annual Mixer/Membership Drive usually held in November with our Annual Tribute Concert. This will also give us a chance to draw our Annual Sandy Izenson Scholarship Recipient earlier as well.  JAMM will be accepting nominations at this year’s Tribute for a current high school freshman, sophomore, or junior who is active in playing or singing jazz.  The nominee’s names will be put in a hat and the winner will be drawn at the Annual JAMM Mixer/Membership Drive featuring Betty Baxter now being held on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at Moriarty’s Pub in Lansing. This will give the JAMM Scholarship Group more time to practice before their gigs at JAMM’s International Jazz Day Party on April 30th (also featuring Betty Baxter), East Lansing’s Summer Solstice Jazz Festival in June and Lansing JazzFest in August. So, get your tickets ASAP for the 7th Annual JAMM Tribute Concert to Betty Baxter–our 2016 Honoree!

Jazz Singer Betty Baxter Named 2016 JAMM Tribute Honoree


 (Lansing, MI)  The Jazz Alliance of Mid-Michigan (JAMM) is proud to announce their 2016  tribute will be devoted to singer, composer, and pianist Betty Baxter. Ms. Baxter has enjoyed a resurgence in her jazz career in recent years and can be found most Tuesdays at Moriarty’s in Lansing sitting in with the local jazz players.

Betty is well known in central Michigan having performed at the Lansing JazzFest, the Michigan Festival, Lansing Riverfest, MSU ‘Jazz at the Museum’ and their annual Chocolate Party, the Lansing Downtown Arts Festival, and the YWCA Diana Awards Banquet. She has also performed at BoarsHead Theater, the RE Olds Museum, the Michigan Theater, the Southview

Concert Series, the Michigan Historical Museum, the Lansing Art Gallery, East Lansing Summer Solstice Jazz Festival and their 2015 Fundraiser “Nightingales”. In 1987, Betty sang at the Sesquicentennial Ball at the Michigan State Capitol, for which she undertook extensive research into popular songs written by Michigan composers.  This research turned into six different programs which she has performed extensively around the state.  Since 1995, she had been active in Lansing Matinee Musicale, presenting jazz programs, as well as study clubs about Michigan composers of popular songs and jazz, featuring among others the work of Isham Jones (born in Ohio, grew up in Saginaw).  In 2008, during the presidential campaign, she dipped once again into American popular music history and presented a program of political satire in song for Lansing Matinee Musicale.

For nearly 60 years, Betty Baxter has entertained audiences all over Michigan, Philly and L.A. with her satiny voice, and has  performed with the likes of Pat Boone, Leroy Vinnegar, Sandy Izenson, Fred Mitchell Jr., Jeff Kressler, Ed Fedewa, Jeff Hall, Fred Knapp, Eddie Russ, Kurt Krahnke, Mike Daniels, and Pete Siers.  The Jazz Alliance of Mid-Michigan is proud to honor such a diverse performer at our 7th Annual Tribute Concert!


For complete event info visit:


Lansing JazzFest 2015


LINEUP for Friday, August 7th
5:30 – 6:30 Dot Org  MICA (South) Stage
5:45-6:45 Anthony Stanco – Jazz trumpet workshop  River Stage
6:00-7:00 Marcus Elliot  North Stage
7:00-8:30 Paul Keller Orchestra  MICA (South) Stage
7:15-8:15/River Stage  JAMM Scholarship Trio featuring 2015 Sandy Izenson Scholarship Recipient, Clif Metcalf on keys. Clif will be backed up by 2014 Sandy Izenson Scholarship Recipient Conor McCornack on drums and JAMM Member Doug Fritch on guitar. 2016 JAMM Tribute Honoree Announced onstage!
8:30-9:30 Jim Cooper Quartet  North Stage
9:30-11:00 Tony Monaco / Fareed Haque Trio featuring Greg Fundis  MICA (South) Stage
11:00-12:00 Fareed Haque’s MathGames  North Stage

LINEUP for Saturday, August 8th
1:00-5:00 Bob Wilson – Electric guitar mentor  KidzBeat
1:00-5:00 Randy “Bird” Burghdoff – Electric bass mentor  KidzBeat
1:00-5:00 MSU Community Music School – Petting zoo — Woodwinds/brass  KidzBeat
1:00-2:00 West African Drumming Workshop  River Stage
2:00-3:00 Lansing Community College Jazz Band  MICA (South) Stage
2:00-3:00 DANCE Lansing – Community Dance Project  River Stage
3:00-4:00 Beth Stalker  North Stage
3:30-4:15 Tunes ‘n ‘Tales by Tricia  River Stage
4:00-5:30 George Delancey  MICA (South) Stage
4:30-5:30/River Stage  JAMM Member, Trent Harris and his Trio
5:30-6:30 Endea Owens  North Stage
6:00-7:00 Austin Howard  River Stage
6:30-8:00/MICA (South) Stage  2015 JAMM Tribute Honoree Betty Joplin.  Betty will be backed up by JAMM Members Jeff Shoup on drums and Jim Alfredson on organ.
7:30-8:30 Ozay Moore/All of the Above -Jazz & Hip-Hop  River Stage
8:00-9:00 Chris Lawrence & Linosphere  North Stage
9:00-10:30 Grupo Aye  MICA (South) Stage
10:30-12:00 Late Night Grooves with Duncan McMillan  North Stage

Meet 2015 Sandy Izenson Scholarship Recipient, Clifton Metcalf!


Clifton (Clif) Metcalf is a senior at Alma High School. An accomplished bassist and tenor sax player, Clif took numerous awards at local and regional school­based jazz festivals through his freshman and sophomore years. In the winter of 2013, Clif (an avid jazz listener) began listening to jazz organ artists like Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Tony Monaco, and others. He began experimenting with software­based jazz organ sounds on his Mac. Having only a midi keyboard and software, Clif, his brother, and some good friends formed Dot Org Jazz Organ Combo and entered some local jazz festivals for judges’ comments only. They were well received and encouraged to push on.

In February 2014, after meeting Jim Alfredson (Lansing) of the organ jazz group Organissimo, Clif’s primary focus became jazz organ. Learning that Clif was playing a midi software keyboard, Jim generously gave Clif a vintage Hammond that he had, himself, learned to play on! Soon Clif was playing jazz organ at all hours of the day and night, including early in the morning before school! Jim Alfredson has been an outstanding mentor and friend to Clif. Their friendship has continued, and each has written a tune in honor of the other. Clif and Dot Org will debut their composition in honor of Jim Alfredson­­Jim’s Groove­­as their original contribution at the 2015 Lansing Jazz Festival.

In April of 2014, Clif and Dot Org were fortunate enough to meet and perform with Tony Monaco, internationally renowned jazz organist and Artist-­in­-Residence at Hope College, Holland Michigan. Since that time, Clif has dual­-enrolled at Alma High School and Hope College, in order to study with Tony Monaco. Clif will continue his study with Mr. Monaco through his senior year of high school, and plans to attend Hope College in the fall of 2016.

In the past year, Clif’s skills have grown, and he has earned numerous awards on organ, including “Outstanding Soloist Class B” at CMU’s Jazz Weekend 2015, and Outstanding Festival Soloist at the Alma College Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival, 2015. Clif and Dot Org Jazz Organ Combo have had the opportunity to play in a number of larger venues, including the Dow Diamond, Central Michigan University, Alma College, and Hope College Park Theater. They are regular contributors to the Jazz Jam at the SpeakEZ Lounge in Grand Rapids, and entertain in a number of pubs around the state, including Our Brewing Company of Holland, Northport Brewing of Northport, Mountain Town Brewing of Mt. Pleasant, River Stop Cafe of Newaygo, and Storm Cloud Brewing of Frankfort.

Clif counts meeting Joey DeFrancesco, opening a concert for Tony Monaco, and receiving the Sandy Izenson Scholarship through JAMM, among his proudest moments. He is looking forward to performing with the JAMM Scholarship Combo as well as with his own group, Dot Org, at the Lansing Jazz Festival, August 7th and 8th. Clif and Dot Org will perform at Northport Brewing in Leelanau County August 14 and in “Walk the Beat Music Festival” in Grand Haven, August 15. They are especially excited about participating in the “Jazz Organ Summit,” a gathering of jazz organ greats. The event is to be hosted by Tony Monaco at Hope College sometime within the coming academic year. Details to be announced.

Follow Clif and Dot Org


GRand Jazz Fest Lineup


GRandJazzFest presented by DTE Energy Foundation is West Michigan’s only free, weekend-long jazz festival! The 4th annual festival is Aug. 15 and 16, 2015, at Rosa Parks Circle, a central location in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. The 4th annual GRandJazzFest will bring to the stage notable jazz performers as well as up-and-coming artists for diverse audiences. The event is family friendly. Book a hotel room if you’re from out of town and make a weekend of it! Bring folding chairs, blankets and snacks, and get ready to relax for a couple of hours or for the whole weekend! The central-downtown location is ideal for supporting local businesses, restaurants and pubs, and for visiting other Grand Rapids attractions.


See the lineup below!

Day 1

Saturday, August 15

  •  12:30pm

    Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra with Edye Evans Hyde

  •  2:00pm

    Walt Gutowski & The Bridge Street Band

  •  3:30pm

    Mike Frost Project 2.0

  •  5:00pm

    Grupo Ayé

  •  6:30pm

    Brian Simpson & Jackiem Joyner

  •  8:00pm

    Paul Brown & Nate Harasim: “The Producers” with special guest Deon Yates


    Day 2

    Sunday, August 16

Nominate a 2016 JAMM Tribute Honoree!

Who is the 2016 JAMM Tribute Honoree going to be?
Who is going to join the list of past JAMM Tribute Honorees: Sandy Izenson, Patty Richards, Gene & Sue Rebeck, Randy Gelispie, Ron Newman & Sunny Wilkinson, and Betty Joplin?
  • The Nominee must be a Performer and/or Educator who has made a significant impact on Jazz in Mid-Michigan
  • All readers of JAMM’s e-newsletter get to play a role in the nominationprocess.  Email your choice for the next JAMM Tribute Honoree to by Monday, July 13, 2015
  • You may also bring the name of your Nominee to the JAMM Monthly Meeting July 13th from 6:30-8:00 pm at Marshall Music.
  • The nomination process will close at midnight 7/13/15.
  • The JAMM Board of Directors,  along with Past JAMM Tribute Honorees,  will meet to vote for their top three from the list of nominations.
  • The top three vote-getters will be presented to the 2015 JAMM Membership for a vote via email by July 23rd.
  • The top vote-getter will be the 2016 JAMM Tribute Honoree. The winner will be announced on stage at Lansing JazzFest August 7th or 8th.
Not a 2015 JAMM Member? Please go to and pay your 2015 Membership dues so you can vote.
Not sure if you paid your 2015 JAMM Membership dues? Email Lois at

East Lansing Summer Solstice Jazz Festival Lineup

 The 19th Annual Summer Solstice Jazz Festival (SSJF) will make its way to downtown East Lansing June 19-20, featuring a high-caliber ensemble of local, regional and national musicians.
The festival is presented by the City of East Lansing, Wharton Center for Performing Arts and the MSU College of Music, with artistic direction by Rodney Whitaker.
This FREE-to-the-community festival is centered around a large tent located in the heart of downtown East Lansing in Parking Lot 1, 230 Albert Ave., and Ann Street Plaza, located on the northwest corner of the Albert-M.A.C. intersection.
Two events that were well-received last year will be returning for 2015. The Kozmic Picnik gives festival-goers an opportunity to pack a picnic lunch and enjoy avant-garde jazz in the lovely setting of the Broad Art Museum Sculpture Garden. Immediately following will be a New Orleans-style Second Line Parade where everyone is invited to participate in a brass band processional to Ann Street Plaza. The SSJF also features main stage performances, the Jazz Kids children’s activity area, onsite food vendors, jazz cafes, and the MSU Outreach and Engagement Education Stage.
Main Stage (Lot 1, 230 Albert Ave.)
4:30 p.m. Metro Jazz Voices
6:00 p.m. Rodney Whitaker and Soul-R-Energy
7:30 p.m. Bria Skonberg
9:15 p.m. Grupo Aye’

MSU Educational Stage (Ann Street Plaza)
5:00 p.m. J.A.M.M. Scholarship Quartet
6:00 p.m. East Lansing HS Jazz Combo
7:00 p.m.  Ari Teitel Organ Trio
8:30 p.m. Thornetta Davis
Peppino’s Sports Grille ( 213 Ann St.)
10:45 p.m.  Etienne Charles
Kozmic Picnik (Broad Art Museum Sculpture Garden, 547 East Circle Drive)
Bring a picnic basket, a blanket or lawn chair and enjoy avante-garde jazz
1:30 p.m.  Jason Adasiewicz Quartet
Second Line Parade (Procession from Sculpture Garden to Ann Street Plaza)
The second-line parade is a New Orleans tradition where participants follow the grand marshal and brass band while dancing, handing out beads and twirling parasols. The entire community is invited! Costumes are encouraged!
2:30 pm  New Orleans Swamp Donkeys
MSU Educational Stage (Ann Street Plaza)
3:30 p.m.  MSU Community Music School-Detroit Big Band
4:30 p.m.  MSU Jazz Studies Big Band Symposium
7:30 p.m.  Cindy Scott
9:15 p.m.  Chris Canas Band
Main Stage (Lot 1, 230 Albert Ave.)
4:30 p.m.  Lansing Symphony Jazz Orchestra
6:00 p.m.  Jeff Hamilton Trio
7:30 p.m.  Guitar Summit w/ Napoleon, Bernstein and Stryker
9:15 p.m.   Orquesta Ritmo
Peppino’s Sports Grille ( 213 Ann St.)
10:45 p.m.  Organissimo


Libby’s Jazz Club in downtown Jackson opened on November 1, 2014 and brought to life the dream of owners Libby and George Brown. The club features live jazz music every Thursday, Friday and Saturday and has a full service southern-style menu that brings patrons back again and again.

The couple, together for 35 years, decided to open the club when the opportunity and space became available but had talked about the project for many years.

“I had played jazz, written about jazz and was always of the mind that every city should have a place where this music is featured,” George said. Libby and I have enjoyed many jazz rooms around the country and believed that places like the former Bird of Paradise in Ann Arbor were a vital entertainment option.”

They wanted their club to be a functional space for enjoying an evening of jazz and once inside you will see artwork depicting jazz giants of the past and musical instruments placed neatly along its walls. It features a “frosted rail” on the bar and seating for 100 people. Libby’s has the feel of a jazz room which is typically quaint and promotes interaction among its guests.

“Jazz is one of the only music forms that is unique to this country aside from Native American music and as Thelonious Monk once said, ‘all you have to do is listen.’

Thankfully, International Jazz Day was initiated a few years ago which allows music lovers worldwide to pay homage to the artists and others responsible for keeping jazz music alive and enjoyed by people from all walks of life.

Libby’s Jazz Club will celebrate International Jazz Day by paying tribute to Betty Joplin, a Jackson native and Grammy nominated jazz singer. Betty will perform at Libby’s on April 30 at 7 p.m. with a stellar jazz trio consisting of Jeff Shoup on drums, Jim Alfredson on Hammond B3 and Randy Napoleon on guitar. Tickets are $15 and are available now.



She has worked with many wonderful musicians, including the late Arthur Prysock with whom she recorded ‘A ROCKIN’ GOOD WAY’ and received a Grammy Nomination, ‘THIS GUY’S IN LOVE WITH YOU’, and also appears on ‘THE BEST OF ARTHUR PRYSOCK’, all on Milestone/Fantasy Label.  She also sang and toured with the Duke Ellington Orchestra under the direction of the late Mercer Ellington, and has been requested to perform by the one and only Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin on several occasions.

Each year on April 30, this international art form is recognized for promoting peace, dialogue among cultures, diversity, and respect for human rights and human dignity; eradicating discrimination; promoting freedom of expression; fostering gender equality; and reinforcing the role of youth in enacting social change. International Jazz Day is the culmination of Jazz Appreciation Month which draws public attention to jazz and its extraordinary heritage throughout April.


Get tickets here! 

Fundraiser for JAMM Sandy Izenson Scholarship- a JAMM Bookfair!


Barnes and Noble Book Fair Supports Jazz Alliance of Mid-Michigan
Come to the Barnes and Noble store at Lansing Mall
Saturday, March 28th
9am – 9pm
Live Jazz at 1pm and 3pm.
10% of all purchases made the day of our Book Fair will go to JAMM
Purchases in the Cafe including whole cheescakes to take home ($40) count!
So come for lunch, listen to some Live Jazz and shop for that special person(s) on your gift list!
Barnes and Noble offers books, music CDs, DVDs, educational toys and games, gift products and so much more!
JAMM Board Member, Julian VanDyke will be in the store all day to talk about jazz, JAMM, and his latest work in art and children’s books.

Can’t make it on March 29th?
No worries…you can purchase online at Barnes and Noble from 3/28- 4/1
Visit and enter JAMM’s voucher number 11589694

JAMM Voucher