From Classic to Contemporary – Enjoy A Diverse Jazz Lineup At The Festival!

January 26, 2024

From Classic to Contemporary – Enjoy A Diverse Jazz Lineup At The Festival!

Experience an extraordinary fusion of jazz and contemporary classical music at The Gilmore! Our lineup this season is truly a journey through the world of jazz, beginning with the opening night collaboration featuring the dynamic jazz pianist Hiromi and the innovative PUBLIQuartet. The festival continues to dazzle with performances by jazz legends like Eliane Elias and Kenny Barron. Don’t miss the special Jazz at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, featuring a diverse range of talents including Nduduzo Makhathini, Gerald Clayton, and Delvon Lamarr. Plus, enjoy vibrant mid-day concerts at Jazz at Noon. Each performance is a testament to the global journey of jazz. Secure your tickets now for an unforgettable experience with these jazz icons.

Prepare to be captivated by the mesmerizing collaboration of jazz pianist Hiromi and the contemporary classical ensemble PUBLIQuartet. This dynamic pairing promises an extraordinary musical experience at Chenery Auditorium on Wednesday, April 24. Hiromi’s virtuosic piano skills, coupled with the innovative sound of PUBLIQuartet, create a fusion that transcends genres, blending the intricacies of jazz with the classical sophistication of a string quartet. With each note, they weave a tapestry of melodies, taking the audience on a spellbinding journey through the realms of both classical and jazz music. Please join us for the after-party at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts too!

Pianist/singer/composer Eliane Elias, featured on jazz legend Chick Corea’s final album, visits with her trio on Sunday, April 28 at Dalton Center Recital Hall. According to The New York Times, Ms. Elias, whose 2022 album Mirror, Mirror won the Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz album, “commands the keyboard with a forceful two-handed muscularity.”

Indulge in the soulful artistry of NEA Jazz Master Kenny Barron on Saturday, May 5 at 6pm and 9pm at Shaw Theatre during the 2024 Festival. Recognized as “the most lyrical piano player of our time” by Jazz Weekly, Barron brings over 40 albums, 12 Grammy nominations, and a legacy of performing alongside legends like Dizzy Gillespie and Buddy Rich. Leading his trio, Barron’s return promises an evening of unparalleled jazz mastery. Join us as he takes the stage, delivering a performance that embodies the richness and lyricism of his remarkable musical career.


South African pianist and composer NDUDUZO MAKHATHINI (Quartet) takes inspiration from the Zulu traditions of his homeland. His Blue Note Records debut was named one of the year’s best jazz albums by The New York Times. He and his quartet will play two shows at Bell’s on Tuesday, April 30, one at 6 pm and one at  9 pm.

Four-time Grammy-nominated pianist, composer, and arranger GERALD CLAYTON (Trio)  joins us for two performances at Bell’s, at 6 pm and  9 pm on Saturday, May 4. The son of legendary bass player John Clayton, he has performed with Kenny Barron, Diana Krall, Roy Hargrove, Dianne Reeves, and Kendrick Scott – and done arranging work for Barbra Streisand, among others. 

Self-taught organist DELVON LAMARR (Trio)  brings a blend of jazz, soul, and funk – as well as a Hammond Organ – to his Gilmore performance. His trio possesses “a fiery and intuitive chemistry, resulting in “unrelenting, intoxicating grooves” (Glide Magazine), playing at 4 pm and 7 pm at Bell’s on Sunday, May 5.


Playing both in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek between Monday, May 5 and Friday, May 10 will be five up-and-coming and established pianists for the Jazz at Noon series. 

  • HELEN SUNG (Trio) , one of the first graduates of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Performance at the New England Conservatory of Music, and winner of a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Kennedy Center’s Mary Lou Williams Jazz Competition. Sung’s performances are on Monday, May 6 at Kool Family Community Center in Battle Creek and Wednesday, May 8 at Civic Theatre Auditorium.
  • ISAIAH J. THOMPSON (Trio)  won the 2023 American Pianists Awards and the Cole Porter Fellowship of the American Pianists Association. Thompson’s performances are on Monday, May 6 at Civic Theatre Auditorium and at Kool Family Community Center in Battle Creek on Tuesday, May 7.
  • Pianist and composer SHAI MAESTRO (Trio)  is known for joyful interplay and high-energy performances with his quartet. Mr. Maestro’s latest album is Human, on ECM.  Shai’s performances are on Tuesday, May 7 at Civic Theatre Auditorium and at Kool Family Community Center on Wednesday, May 8.
  • Winner of the 2018 American Jazz Piano Competition, PAUL CORNISH (Trio)  has performed with artists ranging from Herbie Hancock and Joshua Redman to John Legend and HAIM.  These performances are on Thursday, May 9 at Kool Family Community Center and on Friday, May 10 at Civic Theatre Auditorium.
  • BENITO GONZALEZ (Trio) combines jazz traditions with Afro-Latin patterns and other rhythms from around the world. He takes inspiration from Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, and Keith Jarrett, whose quartet he later joined. These performances are on Thursday, May 9 at Civic Theatre Auditorium and on Friday, May 10 at Kool Family Community Center.


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