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Summer Solstice Jazz Festival returns to East Lansing with live music

Randy Gelispie Photo Credit Raymond Holt.jpeg
Raymond Holt
Summer Solstice Jazz Festival
The Randy Gelispie Quartet performs Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival.

For the first time in three years, the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival is back with live performances in downtown East Lansing.

The pandemic shut the jazz festival down the last two years, though there was a live streaming event in 2021.

Now, the music returns on two stages. One will be on the Ann Street Plaza. The main stage is in the Albert El Fresco pedestrian space.

Festival coordinator Justin Drwencke says the amenities people enjoy at Albert El Fresco will remain.

“You can sit on the patio at a restaurant and enjoy a meal while you listen to music,” he explained. “Or play some of the yard games that are placed out in the street.”

Drwencke adds that the recent death of founder Al Cagagna will be noted. The festival’s main stage is named for Cafagna and his wife, Beth. The Jazz Alliance of mid-Michigan will be doing a special performance honoring Cafagna’s legacy during their set at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The music starts at 3:30 p.m. Friday and at 2 p.m. Saturday, running to 11 p.m. both nights. Headliners include Orquesta Ritmo, and the Randy Gilispie Quartet.

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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