The 20th annual East Lansing Summer Solstice Jazz Festival is set for Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 18 in downtown East Lansing. The Festival showcases a variety of jazz talent and styles spread out across several locations including the Main State at 230 Albert Avenue, the MSU Outreach & Engagement Education Stage on the Ann Street Plaza, and the Fieldhouse Craft Sports Bar at 213 Ann Street.
As part of the event, The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum is holding a Kozmic Picnik in their Sculpture Garden. The event runs from 12-3:30pm on June 18th, and culminates in a traditional New Orleans style “second line” parade beginning at 3:10 pm. The Picnik will include music from several jazz artists, all of which were selected by Deanna Relyea, the Artistic Director of Kerrytown Concert House and Edgefest in Ann Arbor. According to the Museum’s website, Picnik participants of all ages are encouraged to visit the “activity area to decorate parasols and handkerchiefs for the second line parade. Adorned as a traditional New Orleans style second line, we’ll flaunt our custom made flair as we shuffle, stomp, and march our way up Grand River Avenue.”
Opening up the Picnik’s music at 12pm will be the Ken Kozora Quartet, followed at 1:10pm by the Tomeka Reid Quartet at 2:30 pm by The Universal Indians with Joe McPhee. At 3:10pm the Gabriel Brass Band will be ending the Picnic, but leading the second line parade to downtown East Lansing to join the Festival. The band has specialized in second line parades for five generations, and traces its lineage back to New Orleans although it’s now based in Detroit.
The second line parade has its roots in New Orleans’ famous jazz funerals, and includes everything except a casket, mourning, and a trip to the cemetery. Second line parades generally include a brass band, upbeat dancing, and costume-like attire such as brightly colored suits, parasols, bonnets, and more. “The Second Line” also refers to people joining in to the parade behind the first line, which in traditional jazz funerals included the family members of the deceased, the hearse, and the band. “Second line” also refers to the type of upbeat, wild dancing that usually goes on in these parades.
The second line parade will be starting at the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, proceed down Grand River, and end at 230 Albert Avenue.
The Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum is located at 547 East Circle Drive.