Summer Solstice Jazz Festival

410 Abbot Road
East Lansing, MI 48823


In 1996, under the direction of former East Lansing Arts Commission Co-Chair and jazz guru Al Cafagna, the East Lansing Arts Commission presented the City of East Lansing’s first Summer Solstice Jazz Festival. The first Summer Solstice Jazz Festival was scheduled to be held at “the rock” on Michigan State University’s campus, however; because of inclement weather the event was moved under the Erickson Kiva roof. Influenced by summer solstice celebrations in Europe, the festival went all night, beginning at 9 p.m. and lasting until dawn of the next morning.

The event continued to be held at Erickson Kiva until its move to downtown East Lansing. Ann Street Plaza, located in the heart of downtown East Lansing, became the festival’s new location in an effort to attract more people into the business district. The event grew in size and popularity at this location. Attendance of the event skyrocketed, growing from 800 to 10,000 over the years.

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