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EL Summer Solstice Jazz Festival Returns After 2020 Pandemic Cancellation

Grupo Ayé Backstage Pass photo
File Photo
Grupo Ayé performs Friday night at 10:30 at the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival. The band has appeared on WKAR-TV’s ‘Backstage Pass.’";s:3:"

After last year’s pandemic-related cancellation, the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival in East Lansing returns Friday through Sunday.

Eighteen artists are performing during the festival, all live at the new Billman Music Pavilion at the Michigan State University College of Music. There won’t be an audience on site though.

Instead, fans will watch and listen via Facebook and YouTube, or at gatherings scheduled at the Hannah Community Center, Beggar’s Banquet, or the pedestrian area along Albert Avenue.

Festival organizer, Justin Drwencke says the musicians are happy to be returning to live performance, adding that "a couple of the groups have told me that this is the first time that they’re playing with their bands since before the pandemic started.”

"Overall," Drwencke concluded, "it's just a lot of excitement that they're going to be able to get back to live performances, and certainly we are excited that things are opening up, and we'll have live jazz in person for the 2022 festival."

The festival starts Friday at 6 p.m. Saturday hours are noon to 11.

The festival will wrap up Sunday at 7:30 p.m. with the Rodney Whitaker Group.

The schedule can be found at eljazzfest.com.

Scott Pohl is a general assignment news reporter and produces news features and interviews. He is also an alternate local host on NPR's "Morning Edition."
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