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.
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.
Click here for this year's adjudication application!
2024 adjudication schedule
|Eastlake North High School
|Chardon High School
|Chardon High School Jazz Orchestra
|Charles F. Brush High School
Brush Jazz Effect
|Shaker Heights High School
|Willowick Middle School
|Charles F. Brush High School
|Brush Jazz Effect
|Brooklyn High School
|Brooklyn Jazz Ensemble
|Bedford High School
|Willoughby South High School
|Hawken Upper School
|Willoughby Middle School
|Joel Tyrrell and Joshua Woodie
|Willoughby South High School Combo
Theresa May - Trumpet
Theresa J. May is a native of Cleveland, Ohio. She received her master's degree in trumpet performance from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and her Bachelor of Music from the University of Dayton. Theresa keeps a vigorous performance and teaching schedule. She is adjunct faculty at Cuyahoga Community College, where she teaches Applied Trumpet, African American Music History and World Music. Theresa also plays trumpet in the Cleveland Opera Theater Orchestra and has performed with the DIVA Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Sherrie Maricle, in the monthlong production of Maurice Hines' "Tappin' Thru Life" at the Cleveland Playhouse. She has also been featured as a guest artist in the Alumni Recital Series at the University of Dayton.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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
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
"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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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
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