Summer Solstice Jazz Festival Fundraiser Features Live Music, Art Auction

Tuesday, September 3, 2019, 8:34 am
Christopher A. Wardell

(Photo by Raymond Holt)

Although the sun is quickly setting on the summer of 2019, it’s never too soon to start thinking about next summer. Of course, with every summer, this also means the East Lansing Summer Solstice Jazz Festival is just beyond the horizon, and it’s never too soon to begin preparations for the annual music event.

Supporters of the festival have scheduled a jazz festival fundraiser from 5:30-8 p.m. on September 12 at the home of Elinor Holbrook, 812 Lantern Hill Drive. The event will feature art by Doug DeLind, Pamela Timmons, Laura DeLind, Jim Wolnosky, and Tom Price. Twenty percent of the purchased art will benefit the festival.

Tickets are $65 per person, and there will be live music courtesy of nationally known jazz guitarist Randy Napoleon. Food and drink will be served, and there will be a live auction during the event.

Holbrook, who has hosted community fundraisers in the past, is looking forward to hosting once again. Holbrook utilizes her garden as the meeting spot for the event with the help of Summer Solstice board members, community organizations such as the Kiwanis Club, and individual supporters of the festival.

“I’m so pleased I can offer my garden to support our East Lansing Summer Solstice Jazz Festival,” Holbrook said. “It has been the site of many successful and beautiful fundraisers over the years and the upcoming event promises to be wonderful as well.”

Items set to be auctioned off include a custom-made sculptural garden lantern courtesy of Tom Price, valued at $2,500; an 18-by-24-inch ceramic wall plaque by Doug DeLind entitled “Eve/Earth Angel,” valued at $600; and landscape architect Deb Kinney will donate one hour of consulting, valued at $150.

Bob Hoffman, Wharton Center public relations manager and co-host of “The Morning Blend” talk show on WSYM/Fox 47, will conduct the auction.

The Summer Solstice Jazz Festival recently celebrated its 23rd year, and regularly attracts thousands of attendees to downtown East Lansing. The festival is supported financially and administratively by the City of East Lansing and financially by Michigan State University, Michigan State University Federal Credit Union, and many individual contributors both large and small.

The festival’s program features a mix of international, national and regional jazz artists, with one of its two stages featuring up-and-coming jazz musicians. The festival’s long-time artistic director is Rodney Whitaker, director of Jazz Studies and artistic director for the Professors of Jazz at Michigan State University.

This year’s festival included performances by Detroit’s Straight Ahead, Chicago guitarist Fareed Haque, Lansing drummer Jeff Shoup, and numerous others.

One supporter of the festival, Robert Banks, sees the fundraiser as an additional safety cushion for the popular festival and believes everyone is helping to ensure the event continues to bring in top-notch entertainment.

Banks added, “The East Lansing Summer Solstice Jazz Festival is a local arts institution and a landmark for the area.”

Tickets for the fundraiser are limited, and can be purchased by calling (517) 319-6826.


Correction: The original version of this article indicated that Elinor Holbrook has hosted fundraisers for SSJF in the past. She has hosted fundraisers for other organizations but this is the first time she is hosting one for SSJF. © 2013-2020 East Lansing Info