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Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

Free concerts all week long at the Edison Jazz Fest

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Edison Jazz Festival
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artwork for the Edison Jazz Festival

The Edison neighborhood will ring with a range of jazz groups in Kalamazoo’s first-ever free jazz festival, Sept 12-18 at a variety of venues. It’s the brainchild of jazz musician Peter Formanek. Formanek and co-organizer Lily Alter, a vocal jazz student at Western Michigan University, talk to Cara Lieurance about the festival’s events and their hope it will invite Edison residents and others to become jazz lovers.

The festival’s theme is the music of an under-appreciated composer and pianist named Herbie Nichols, who died at age 44 in 1963. Formanek is passionate about Nichols’ music, which he puts on an equal footing with Thelonious Monk, who knew Nichols well. Formanek contacted members of Nichols’ family to let them know about the festival. Several concerts will feature Nichols' music, including concerts by WMU jazz ensembles, by Formanek himself, and by headlining artist Fay Victor, a New York-based jazz singer, trumpeter, and longtime champion of Nichols' music.

Find details and a complete schedule here.

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