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Enjoy Cool Beats at the South Haven Jazz Festival

Published: 9/3/2019 by Amanda Owens

If you’re looking for a relaxing evening, look no further than the South Haven Jazz Festival. The diverse array of entertainers will surely keep everyone on their toes with fantastic performances. September’s crisp evenings provide the perfect time to host such a laid back, outdoor event in a quaint park setting. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy the cool beats from the local performers. Beer, wine and food will be available for purchase with proceeds benefiting Foundry Hall, South Haven’s non-profit organization for music, performance, and public art.



Both days begin at 5 PM and end at 9:30 PM. Eight groups are set to perform, each with a different background from the next. 


Check out the list of performers:



Rob Lunn and Friends - 5 PM

Robert Lunn is from Holland, MI. He is an avid guitarist who also composes, arranges, and also improvises music on the guitar. Interested in who he is? Lunn has a whole spoken word album, “The Business of Being Rob,” on his website that talks about his life growing up and his influences.


Blue Shoes Jazz Ensemble - 6 PM

Blue Shoes Jazz Ensemble is a 10 piece combo of men and women. They not only specialize in jazz music, but also perform swing, latin, rock, and blues.


Ivan Akansiima Quartet Featuring Wayne Powers - 7 PM

Ivan Akansiima plays many instruments has studied music and jazz at Hope College and Western Michigan University, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. His music is rooted in Ugandan folk music traditions, jazz, gospel, classical, Caribbean, Afro fusion, etc. For over 15 years he has performed professionally in 40 countries.


Wayne Powers’ website names him a Jazz Vocalist, Actor, Comedian, Radio Personality, and All-Around-Scamp. With this repertoire, a performance by Wayne should be unlike any other. 


Otsego Jazz Ensemble - 8:15 PM

The Otsego Jazz Ensemble has been around since 1986, and three of the original band members are still with the band today. The Ensemble is an 18 piece jazz orchestra. 



Turbulence (with Grant Frabe funk) - 5 PM

Turbulence is a jazz funk fusion band that have appeared at South Haven’s annual HarborFest and for the Riverfront Concert Series. 


Kevin Bujo Jones & Music of the Tenth World - 6 PM

Kevin Jones is a professional percussionist who performs and educates children in underserved communities. Tenth World is a group that was formed by Kevin Jones and pianist/composer, Kelvin Sholar, specializing in Jazz and Soul with rhythms of the African Diaspora.


Jim Cooper and Nexus - 7 PM

You may recognize Jim Cooper from his previous performances in South Haven during the summer. His partnership with Nexus explores the more contemporary side of jazz with a quartet of vibes, saxophone, bass and drums. 


Lake Effect Jazz Big Band - 8:15 PM

The Lake Effect Jazz Big Band has been performing for 19 years and are returning from performing at last year’s Jazz Festival. New compositions and classic oldies are performed by the band, bringing a blend of traditional and contemporary big band jazz music. 


This third annual event takes place on September 13th and 14th in South Haven’s Dyckman Park and Pavilion.



For more information on South Haven’s music scene, visit Foundry Hall’s website.


Photos courtesy of Dylan Nelson.


About the Author

Amanda Owens is a resident of South Haven, MI and is the Guest Services and Social Media Coordinator for the South Haven Convention and Visitors Bureau. She is a recent graduate of Western Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in Public History, and is delighted to help visitors with their trips to the beautiful city of South Haven. 


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