The Lakeland Community College Jazz Festival is dedicated to the presentation of educational opportunities for aspiring student jazz musicians of high school and junior high school age. The festival provides an educational forum for student musicians, devotees of the music field, and the public at large through clinics and performances.
This annual event has provided a stage for the performance of all styles of jazz by internationally celebrated artists as well as gifted musicians found in this area of the country.
Jazz is a unique contribution to our culture and artistic heritage. In its 50-year history (2022), the Lakeland Community College Jazz Festival has portrayed those vital qualities of style that made jazz a significant contribution to the world of art and a distinct American form of expression. Future jazz festivals will continue to include depth of educational and entertainment opportunities to enhance the cultural quality of the Lakeland vicinity.
To provide a learning environment that fosters aesthetic literacy and expressive capability through the cultivation of artistic techniques and skills and the exploration of creative traditions and possibilities.
"I've enjoyed being part of the Lakeland jazz festival since observing Len Orcino direct jazz impact in 1978-I was 17. Over the years, I've been a listener, performer, judge and clinician. I'm grateful for all of the experiences with the late Chuck Frank, Bob Brown, Dan McCarthy, Ed Michaels and Dave Sterner. In my view, it's several decades of fine musicianship and exceptional music education, and I'm glad to have played a small role."
-Paul Ferguson, Music Director of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra
I had the privilege to be associated with the Lakeland Jazz festival as the director of the Lakeland Jazz Orchestra and as Artistic Director of the Festival. This annual event brought the attention of music students and the community some of the greatest jazz musicians to play the music. Louie Bellson, Phil Woods, Buddy DeFranco and many other Jazz greats graced the LCC Performing Arts Center Stage during my tenure. It was a positive force for the music before me and continues as one of the great events in Northeast Ohio. Once again it was a privilege and a joy to be part of it!
-Ernie Krivda, Cleveland Jazz Legend Award, 2005
"Love it! Lakeland Jazz Festival is a place to catch stellar performances with a high level of education. Lakeland brings that warmth of an interactive jazz community!"
-Evelyn Wright, Tri-C Jazz Legend 2008
In place of in-person, large ensemble adjudication, we would like to invite all area high school and middle school students to submit an online improvised solo based on the 12-bar blues in Bb concert. In addition, this year, high school, and middle school bands may submit one video performance for adjudication.
Jazz Festival 2023 Information
Lakeland students and community members are encouraged to participate in festival activities. Whether you are looking to listen to the international artist, the regional band and the Lakeland Jazz Orchestra, or our talented middle and high school jazz ensembles, we hope you enjoy the music and experience.
The 2021-2022 Lakeland Community College Jazz Festival is March 17-19, 2023. Please hold the dates and check back in the future for more information.
The festival is typically on Lakeland's campus in the Dr. Wayne L. Rodehorst Performing Arts Center, D-Building.
Tickets will be available closer to the event.
Friday, March 17, 2023 | 8 p.m.
Join us for a live in-person concert from one of our outstanding regional bands.
Saturday, March 18, 2023 | 8 p.m.
Join us for live in-person concerts from unique and amazing international artists, our festival headliners.
Sunday, March 19, 2023 | 4 p.m.
Our big band extravaganza features a live in-person concert with our own Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra and another regional collegiate jazz ensemble.
2022 Jazz Masterclass Training
As a part of the 2021-2022 concert schedule, each director created masterclasses to engage their ensemble members. The following videos are from director Ed Michaels who takes you through a three-part masterclass on ear training, ideas and patterns, and blues improvisation.
These files are used with the permission of saxophone artist and educator, Greg Fishman (gregfishmanjazzstudios.com). The students may learn one chorus to "Fullerton Avenue" as their melody line (Greg provides a track of himself playing the etude) OR they may use a simple riff to get started. Original compositions would also be welcome within the given 12-bar blues format.
The students will record themselves playing their solo on the 12-bar blues. The backing track has room for 8 choruses but 4 would be more suitable for our purposes (i.e., MELODY LINE – 2 or possibly 3 choruses of improv – RETURN TO MELODY).
All students will receive a certificate of participation and a short critique to help guide them in their solo improvisation efforts.
Festival adjudicators are highly respected jazz educators from the Northeast Ohio who will listen to the chosen solos and ensemble performances; and offer constructive, positive comments regarding the performance. In addition, the top solos will receive an online lesson with one of the adjudicators of their choice, plus a year's pass to all Lakeland Fine Arts Performance Events-Music & Theater.
The Lakeland Jazz Festival was founded by retired professor and music department Coordinator Charles M. Frank in 1973 and remains the oldest jazz festival in the State of Ohio. The Lakeland Jazz Festival has remained true to its original mission of instilling the excitement and magic of jazz education to the younger generation of musicians. Over 25,000 middle and high school musicians from throughout the state have participated in the festival in celebration of this uniquely American art form, jazz. The festival features two parts:
Serving the Schools: Typically, a two-day event over a Friday and Saturday in March where local middle and high school jazz ensembles perform for adjudication. Due to the pandemic, the 2022 portion will feature online adjudication of mp3 recorded solos and jazz emsemble adjudication.
Lakeland Jazz Festival Artists: For 2022, a total of three performances (between Friday night and Sunday afternoon) will feature a national artist(s), regional jazz group Red Light Roxy, and the Kent State University Jazz Orchestra and the Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra live on campus. Show times and ticketing will be forthcoming.
Meet the Co-directors
Dr. Stephen Stanziano is a composer, educator, and bassist and holds a Ph.D. in music theory and composition from Kent State University. His works have been performed throughout the United States and Europe including at the St. Peters Basilica in Rome by the Cleveland Chamber Collective, with the Panoramicos, by guitarist Jason Vieaux, and by members of the Cleveland Orchestra. He is a member of ASCAP and the past president of the Cleveland Composers Guild. He is currently on the music faculty of Cleveland State University, Lakeland Community College and Hiram College. He has helped co-direct the Lakeland Jazz Festival since 2009.
Over the years, Edward G. Michaels has established himself as a strong voice in the field of music education and jazz saxophone. He is well-known for his leadership in directing the annual Lakeland Community College Jazz Festival (1999-2008); the Lakeland Summer Jazz Camp; and Lakeland's all-star high school jazz ensemble, and Lakeland's Jazz Impact.
Michaels earned his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Duquesne University, in his native town of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and a Master of Music from Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois, where he studied saxophone with the legendary Dr. Fred Hemke. He studied improvisation with Phil Rizzo, a clinician for the Stan Kenton Jazz Orchestra.
As a tenor saxophonist, Michaels is often heard performing with the top musicians of Northeast Ohio, among them, some of his former students. He has recorded a CD as leader, entitled "Going Beyond" on the Nice Jazz Label. The list of musicians with whom he has performed include Phil Woods, Donald Byrd, Pacquito D'Rivera, Bobby Sanabria and Clarence Clemons. His quartet has played extended engagements at the Century Room of Cleveland's prestigious Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the Grille Room of downtown Cleveland's Embassy Suites Hotel, Cleveland's Fat Fish Blue, and Club Isabella. Whatever the venue, he feels a strong commitment to promoting jazz and American music; and this can especially be seen in his love for both teaching and playing.
Michaels is also a full-time faculty member of the Willoughby-Eastlake School District where he teaches instrumental music, focusing especially on the district‘s beginning band program. Among his latest accomplishments in music education was receiving an honorarium and publication from the Cleveland Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for his music appreciation lesson plan, entitled "Timbre: Identifying the Tone Color of the Saxophone Using Pop/Rock Music Examples." He was also instrumental in helping his school district receive a grant from the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, which provided new percussion instruments for his Willowick Middle School students.
2019 - The Ralph Moore Quartet featuring Ralph Moore, tenor sax, Xavier Davis, piano, Rodney Whitaker, acoustic bass, Sean Dobbins, drums
2018 - The Donald Harrison Quintet featuring Donald Harrison, saxophone/vocals, Zaccai Curtis, piano, Darryl Staves, drums, Jasen Weaver, bass; East Central Jazz Educators; All Star Big Band
2017 - The Ernie Krivda All Star Quartet featuring Lafayette Carson, Renell Gonsalves, and Jeff Halsey; The Dizzy Gillespie All Stars featuring John Lee, Claudio Roditi, Eric Alexander, Cyrus Chestnut and Tommy Campbell
2016 - The Tony Monaco Hammond B-3 Organ Trio; The Kenny Garrett Quintet featuring Marcus Baylor, Rudy Bird, Vernell Brown, Cocoran Holt; Youngstown State Jazz Ensemble
2015 - Sammy De Leon y su Orquesta; Baldwin-Wallace Jazz Ensemble
2014 - Dan White Sextet; The Carmen Lundy Quartet featuring Carmen Lundy, vocals, Patrice Rushen, piano, Ralph Peterson, drums and Kenny Davis, bassist
2013 - Chris Potter Quartet featuring Chris Potter saxophone, David Virelles piano, Larry Grenadier bass, Eric Harland drums; Jamey Haddad All-Star Trio featuring Jamey Haddad drums, Leo Blanco piano and Robert Occhipinti bass
2012 - Dave Morgan and Friends; Yellowjackets; The Dave Banks Big Band
2011 - Organ Ism; Bobby Selvaggio's Grass Roots Movement; Kurt Rosenwinkel; Mojo: The Generations Big Band
2010 - T.S. Monk Sextet featuring T.S. Monk Jr. on drums, Helen Sung piano, Dan Loomis bass, James Zollar trumpet, Patience Higgins alto sax, and Michael Karn tenor sax
2009 - Pat Martino guitarist, Tony Monaco Hammond B-3 organ, Louis Tsamous, Drums; Helen Welch, Quintet
2008 - Larry Coryell, guitarist, Jeff Berlin, bass, Paul Wertico, drums, Jazz Fusion; Dave Sterner Quintet
2007 - Jim McNeely, piano, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
2006 - Bobby Sanabria, drums, Quarteto Ache, Ed Michaels, tenor saxophone, Jackie Warren, piano; Roberto Ocasio Latin Jazz Project
2005 - Paquito D'Rivera, clarinet, Barbara Knight, vocalist, Paul Ferguson, trombone, Ed Michaels, tenor saxophone, Dave Sterner, alto saxophone; Youngstown State Jazz Ensemble; Jazz Impact Reunion Band; Youngstown State Faculty Trio; Clinic with Dr. Bob Brown & Paquito D'Rivera
2004 - Barbara Knight, vocalist, Paul Ferguson, trombone, Ed Michaels, tenor saxophone, Jack Schantz, trumpet, Dave Sterner, alto saxophone; The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra; The Silky Sounds, Jazz Vocal Quartet; Youngstown State Jazz Ensemble
2003 - Marji Jay, vocalist, Barbara Knight, vocalist, Dave Sterner, alto saxophone, Ed Michaels, tenor saxophone, Alton Merrel Jr., piano, Dave Morgan, bass; The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra; Youngstown State Jazz Ensemble
2002 - Banu Gibson, vocalist & The New Orleans Hot Jazz; The Fat Tuesday Big Band featuring Susan Hesse, vocalist, Warren Vache, cornet, Dominic Farinacci, trumpet, Jiggs Whigham, trombone, Ernie Krivda, tenor saxophone, David Boeddinghaus, piano, Howard Alden, guitar, Chris Berg, bass, Jim Rupp, drums
2001 - Ken Peplowski, clarinet, Bucky Pizzarelli, guitar, Terry Blaine, vocalist, Mark Shane, piano, Jim Masters, trombone, Susan Hesse, vocalist, Ernie Krivda, saxophone
2000 - Buddy DeFranco, clarinet, Marlene VerPlanck, vocalist, Cal Collins, guitar, Gene Parker, vibes, Dave Powers, piano, Chris Berg, bass, Jim Rupp, drums
1999 - Terry Gibbs, vibes, Bob Breithaupt, drums, Jeff Halsey, bass, Bob Brown, piano
1998 - Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band featuring Jerry Gonzalez, trumpet, flugelhorn, congas, John Stubblefield, tenor, Joe Ford, alto/soprano Kenny Kirkland, piano, Steve Berrios, drums, bells, Percussion
1997 - Lew Soloff, trumpet, Pharez Whited, trumpet, Jeff Jarvis, trumpet, Phil DeGreg, piano, Bob Breithaupt, drums, Chris Berg, bass, Ernie Krivda, saxophone
1996 - Phil Woods, saxophone, Chuck Israels, bass, John Fedchock, trombone, Dan Wall, piano, Val Kent, drums, Ernie Krivda, saxophone
1995 - David Baker, cello, Bill Dobbins, piano, Jim Rupp, drums, Paula Owen, vocalist, Marion Hayden, bass, Erinie Krivda, saxophone
1994 - Chuck Findley, trumpet, John Von Ohlen, drums, Mar'shal Baxter-Beckley, vocalist, Ernie Krivda, saxophone, Marion Hayden, bass, Joe Hunter, piano
1993 - Louie Bellson, drums, Gary Carney, trombone, Ernie Krivda, saxophone, Bill Plavan, bass, Bob Brown, piano
1992 - Kenny Burrell, guitar, Nick Brignola, saxophone, Jeff Halsey, bass, Val Kent, drums, Bob Brown, piano
1991 - Donald Byrd, trumpet, Ed Uribe, drums, Jim Kurzdorfer, bass, Paul Ferguson, trombone, Bob Brown, piano
1990 - Bud Shank, saxophone, Pete Christlieb, saxophone, Kenny Davis, trumpet, Jeff Halsey, bass, Mark Gonder, drums, Bob Brown, piano
1989 - Conte Candoli, trumpet, Howie Smith, saxophone, Anthony Leonardi, bass, Mark Gonder, drums, Bob Brown, piano
1988 - The Rob McConnell Trio featuring Rob McConnell, trombone, Robert Piltch, guitar, Neil Swainson, bass; The Ernie Krivda Quartet featuring Ernie Krivda, saxophone, Chip Stephens, piano, Joe Brigandi, drums, Jeff Halsey, bass
1987 - Ernie Watts Quartet featuring Ernie Watts, saxophone, Pat Coil, keyboards, Bob Leatherbarrow, drums, Joel DiBartolo, bass, Mike Barone, composer/ trombone
1986 - The Jim Pugh Trio featuring Jim Pugh, trombone, David Ratacjzak, drums, David Finck, bass
1985 - The Nick Brignola Quartet featuring Nick Brignola, saxophone, Bill Dobbins, piano, John Lockwood, bass, Dave Calarco, drums
1984 - The Jeff Tyzik Quartet featuring Jeff Tyzik, trumpet, Brian Scanlon, saxophone, Ed Czach, piano, Dave Mancini, drums
1983 - Randy Purcell, trombone, Tim Eyermann, saxophone, Jack Schantz, trumpet, Tony Leonardi, bass
1982 - Phil Wilson, trombone, Howie Smith, saxophone, Jack Mouse, drums
1981 - Bob Curnow, composer/trombone, Marv Stamm, trumpet, Rufus Reid, bass
1980 - Rich Matteson, euphonium, Jack Peterson, guitar, Ed Soph, drums
1979 - Allen Vizzutti, trumpet
1978 - The Phil Woods Quartet featuring Phil Woods, saxophone, Mike Melillo, piano, Steve Gillmore, bass, Bill Goodwin, drums
1977 - Arnie Lawrence, saxophone
1976 - Bill Watrous, trombone
1975 - Curt Wilson, saxophone, James Adkins, drums