Flint celebrates its vibrant jazz culture for the 41st Annual Flint Jazz Festival

FLINT, Michigan — From July 28 to the 30th, downtown Flint will come alive for the 41st Annual Flint Jazz Festival. Presented by the Greater Flint Arts Council, the Flint Jazz Festival celebrates all things jazz at the iconic Flint Riverbank Park. The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Hilton Garden Inn — downtown Flint, Mott Community College, University of Michigan — Flint, Kettering University, Totem Books, and more are sponsoring the event to bring merchandise, headliners, local talent, and more. 

The annual event celebrates the city’s rich history and vibrant jazz music culture and brings together some of the most talented musicians and performers from Michigan and across the country. The festival features various jazz music styles over the course of three days, from traditional to contemporary jazz R&B. In addition to musical performances, the festival also includes a variety of food vendors offering a wide range of cuisine.

The Flint Jazz Festival is also committed to showcasing statewide and local talent through its Jazzwalk event held on Thursday, July 27 from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Soggy Bottom Bar, Market Tap, Sauce Italian American Kitchen, White Horse Tavern, Churchill’s, and others will have live jazz bands playing late afternoon into the night. Some performers include Pat Cronley, Ale Belhaj’s Crescent City Trio, Kevin Collins, and Steve Floyd. 

The 2023 Flint Jazz Festival Line Up is: 

Friday, July 28
  • 5:30-6:30 Kill Bill
  • 7:00-8:30 Adam Hawley
Saturday, July 29
  •  1:30-2:30 Raphael Banks
  •  3:00-4:00 Cherisse Bradley
  •  4:30-5:00 Tapology
  •  5:30-6:30 Blu Mykals
  •  7:00-8:30 Marion Meadows
Sunday, July 30
  •  2:00-3:00 The Affair Group fea. Condido Live
  •  3:30-4:30 Isaac Ryder Band
  •  5:00-6:30 People’s Jazz Band
  •  7:00-8:30 Brian Simpson

In addition, this year’s festival brings headliners Adam Hawley, Marion Meadows, and Brian Simpson. 

Adam Hawley is a highly acclaimed guitarist, producer, and composer. Hawley’s career began when he was handpicked by Maurice White, the founder of Earth, Wind & Fire, to debut on the music legend’s label Kalimba Music in 2016. Since then, Adam has released four albums and worked as a producer, spawning 13 Billboard #1 hits. He is also an educator, holding a Doctorate in Musical Arts from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
Marion Meadows.
Marion Meadows is a talented saxophonist and composer whose music is a fusion of contemporary jazz and adult contemporary R&B. A chance encounter at New York’s Grand Central Station changed his career trajectory. His sweet sound caught the attention of producer and TV composer Jay Chattaway who introduced Marion to legendary keyboardist Bob James. Since then, Marion has recorded fifteen albums, including a holiday album in 2019, and has toured internationally.

Brian Simpson is an accomplished keyboardist and composer. After graduating from Northern Illinois University, he moved to Los Angeles, where he quickly made a name for himself, playing alongside musicians like Gerald Albright and Norman Brown. He eventually went on a world tour with Janet Jackson. Later, a call from jazz legend George Duke would lead Simpson on a decade of touring and production work that led to collaborations with artists like James Ingram, Anita Baker, Dave Koz, and Wayman Tisdale. 

Overall, the annual jazz fest is a memorable event that will entice fans of all ages. Whether you’re a die-hard jazz fan or simply looking for a fun and engaging experience, the Flint Jazz Festival is worth checking out. With its diverse musical lineup, this festival truly has something for everyone. 

Learn more about the 41st Annual Flint Jazz Festival by visiting its website, or by calling 810-238-2787. Tickets are cash only at the gate for $10/day or $20 for the weekend pass.
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Read more articles by Xzavier Simon.