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 and festival artists.

Serving the Schools

This year's event will take place Friday, March 8, where local middle and high school jazz ensembles perform for adjudication between 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

This year's renowned adjudicators hail from The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Northeast Ohio's premier jazz voice since 1985.

Click here for this year's adjudication application!

2024 adjudication schedule

TimeSchoolDirectorBand Name
9:30 a.m.Eastlake North High School  
10 a.m.Chardon High School  
10:30 a.m.Charles F. Brush High School 
11 a.m.Shaker Heights High School  
11:30 a.m.Willowick Middle School  
NoonCharles F. Brush High School  
12:30 p.m.Brooklyn High School  
1 p.m.Bedford High School  
1:30 p.m.Willoughby South High School  
2 p.m.Hawken Upper School  
2:30 p.m.Willoughby Middle School  
3 p.m.Willoughby South High School Combo  


Meet this year's adjudicators

Chris Anderson - Trombone

Chris Anderson has played trombone with fine musicians in idioms spanning classical, Latin, jazz and gospel. In addition to writing and performing many different styles of music, Chris has won various local and national competitions and has performed with groups including the Canton Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra and the Jazz Heritage Orchestra. Chris currently works with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District through the All-City Arts Program. In addition, he is an instructor at The Music Settlement and Cuyahoga Community College. Among recordings Chris has contributed to Dave Morgan's The Way of the Sly Man.



Aidan Plank - Bass

Bassist Aidan Plank is a highly sought after bassist in the Cleveland/Akron region. He has performed with Joe Lovano, The Cleveland Orchestra, John Fedchock, Joe Maneri, Dan Wall, Jamey Haddad, Joshua Breakstone, Howie Smith, Andrew Waggoner and many others.

Aidan is the jazz bass instructor at Kent State University and he is a frequent adjudicator and clinician at jazz festivals in the region.

Aidan can be heard on NPR's Jazz Night in America with Joe Lovano ("Cleveland's Joe Lovano Comes Home"), on Collage Project's Off Brand, and on Dan Bruce's Beta Collective's Time to Mind the Mystics.

Aidan is also a member of the Third Law Composers Collective where many of his compositions are featured. Many of his compositions and arrangements can also be heard performed by the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra.

Along with being a member of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Aidan co-leads the quartet Pulse and serves as the bassist for Jazzworks. Aidan can also be seen in ongoing collaborations with guitarist Daniel Lippel.

Aidan graduated from Cleveland State University with a BS in Biology. He is currently completing his MM in Jazz Studies under the guidance of Dave Morgan. Aidan also studied classical bass with Kevin Switalski, who is recently retired from the Cleveland Orchestra.

Bettyjeane Quimby - Saxophone

Bettyjeane Quimby received her BM in music education (2005) and her MM in music performance (2012), both from Cleveland State University. During her master's degree at CSU,  she won the graduate concerto competition performing a jazz clarinet concerto with the University Orchestra. For the past 20 years she has been performing locally with numerous ensembles including; Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Great Lakes Theater, Sammy DeLeon y Su Orchestra, The Lakewood Hometown Band, The Dazzle Awards  and many diverse musical groups across  Northeast Ohio. 

In addition, she has shared the stage with The Temptations, The O'Jays and The DIVA Jazz Orchestra with the production of Maurice Hines is Tappin' Thru Life. In 2022  she was invited to perform the Artie Shaw Concerto for Clarinet at the International Clarinet Association conference in Reno, Nevada to honor her former professor Theodore Johnson. 

Steve Renko - Percussion

Steve Renko is a Cleveland-based, award-winning drummer and percussionist. After his first professional engagements at the age of 9, Steve became a widely sought sideman with Jazz, Blues, Rock and Funk outfits in his hometown Cleveland, Ohio. Holding a bachelor's degree from the New School for Jazz in New York, he has studied with world renowned musicians like Bobby Sanabria, Matt Wilson, Jamey Haddad and The Clayton Brothers. Steve has carved out a professional career performing with musicians, some known, and many more that are tragically under appreciated. A regular in the recording studio, Steve has worked with acclaimed songwriters and producers in New York City and Cleveland, Ohio.


Jack Schantz - Trumpet

Jack Schantz was artistic director of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra from 1994 to 2009. Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Akron, Jack has toured with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Artie Shaw Orchestra and Woody Herman. He also has worked in the pickup bands of Jimmy Dorsey, Larry Elgart and Guy Lombardo. Among shows he worked: "Miss Saigon," "Annie Get Your Gun," "Guys and Dolls," "Kiss of the Spider Woman," "The Color Purple" and "The Sound of Music." He also has performed with artists such as Mel Tormé, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, Cleo Laine, Jack Jones, Nancy Wilson and Diane Schuur. He has played trumpet and flugelhorn with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, the Blossom Festival Orchestra, the Blossom Festival Band and the Akron Symphony Orchestra. He led the Jack Schantz Jazz Unit in the ‘90s and in 1993 recorded "Speechless" under the Jack Schantz Jazz Quartet name. He also contributed to the Paul Ferguson Jazz Orchestra's "Big Band Christmas" album and to Dave Morgan's "The Way of the Sly Man." Schantz earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in theory from the University of Akron as well as a master's degree in trumpet.

Meet the Jazz Festival co-directors

Steve Stanziano 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.

Edward Michaels 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.

Past Productions
  • 2023 - dan bruce's :beta collective, Chuchito Valdés, Cleveland State University Jazz Ensemble
  • 2022 - Diego Figueiredo, Nellie McKay; Red Light Roxy, Kent State University Jazz Orchestra
  • 2021 - Carol Welsman Trio
  • 2020 - Festival cancelled
  • 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
  • 1974 - Al Blaser, saxophone
  • 1973 - Clark Terry, trumpet

Yellow jackets


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 52-year history (2024), 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.

Carmen Lundy


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.

Chris Potter


 Paul Ferguson "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

Ernie Krivda 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

Evelyn Wright "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 2024 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 2024 Lakeland Community College Jazz Festival is March 8-10.


The festival is on Lakeland's campus in the Dr. Wayne L. Rodehorst Performing Arts Center, D-Building.

Friday, March 8, 2024 | 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The Lakeland Jazz Festival begins with its "Serving the Schools" initiative from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is a unique opportunity to the music education community in Northeast Ohio, where middle school and high school jazz bands perform on campus for adjudication by celebrated educators and leaders in the jazz community.

Saturday, March 9, 2024 | 8 p.m.

Headlining this year's festival is none other than The 3D Jazz Trio! Fiercely swinging on purpose, with purpose, experience their smooth and riveting sounds that the New York Times called "blistering hot!"

The "Divas," Jackie, Amy and Sherrie, are experienced, enthusiastic musicians and educators, presenting workshops and clinics at numerous universities, colleges and high schools throughout the country.

They have performed at many of the world's most prestigious venues and festivals, including The Blue Note (NYC), Mezzrow (NYC), Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors (NYC), The Jazz Kitchen (Indianapolis), Blues Allery (Washington D.C.), The Deer Head Inn, Rochester International Jazz Festival, The Gilmore International Keyboard Festival (Kalamazoo, MI) and soon at the Festival Internacional de Musica La Guarapachanga (Pinar del Rio, Cuba).

Sunday, March 10, 2024 | 4 p.m.

The Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra and the Lakeland Jazz Impact will feature accomplished vocalist and songwriter Ava Preston in presenting a joyous program of jazz classics. 

An 11-time national Downbeat SMA Winner for Vocal Jazz and Blues/Pop/Rock, Preston has been featured at a number of local venues, including The Bop Stop, BluJazz+. Beachland Ballroom, Tri-C JazzFest and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She has also performed with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, Dominick Farinacci, her own combos, and is the lead singer for two 17-piece big bands.



Layce Artman I graduated with my associate degree from Lakeland while at the same time graduating as Valedictorian from high school. I plan to attend the Holden University Center to complete my bachelor's degree in criminal justice. Layce Artman College Credit Plus

Michelle Timms One thing I really love about Lakeland and being in the honors program is that the teachers have small classes and they are very devoted to their students. My friends at four-year institutions are taking the same intro classes that I am, but in large lecture halls with a lot more students. Michelle Timms Associate of Arts

Staging Enabled