For twenty-four years the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival (SSJF) has offered a free, multiple-stage, live outdoor music event for residents and visitors of Greater Lansing. The SSJF is a celebration of jazz music, one of the truly original American art forms, that includes performances by nationally recognized and regional performers, as well as youth and community education.
The festival has two stages. The Founders' Stage is named after the festivals founders, Al and Beth Cafagna. This stage showcases a range of artists from Grammy nominated professionals to locally loved big names.
With the assistance of Michigan State University's School of Music, the SSJF continues to strengthen its commitment to music education with the musicians featured on the MSU Outreach and Engagement Education Stage. This performance area gives local high school and young up-and-coming jazz musicians an opportunity to perform on stage at a major jazz festival.
"The music was so diverse - from big-band Frank Sinatra swagger to the quantum displacements of free jazz icon Ornette Coleman - you'd think it would be impossible to sum it all up, not so. It was a gift, pure and simple." - Lawrence Cosentino (Staff writer from Lansing City Pulse)