Celebrate 25 Years at the Edge with Edgefest

Edgefest is celebrating 25 years of avant-garde jazz with Celebrating 25 Years at the Edge. Check out the best avant-garde jazz festival in the area.

edgefest 2021
Image courtesy of the Kerrytown Concert House Facebook.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the world-renowned avant-garde jazz, hosted by Kerrytown Concert House. To celebrate, Edgefest 2021 will pull up some of the most noteworthy artists of the festival’s history while continuing to chart new directions for the festival in the years to come. This year’s Edgefest takes place from Thursday, October 28 until Saturday, October 30.

Edgefest 25 aims to engage our community with an artistic experience that expands their musical, cultural, intellectual, and worldviews of the art of music. Edgefest is the only festival in our area that is dedicated to presenting the best groundbreaking artists and composers in today’s world of avant-garde jazz and creative improvised/composed music. This year will prove to be no exception!

Edgefest 2021

This year’s event will include ticketed concerts featuring composer-led and collaborative ensembles of international stature. Many of these artists have given Edgefest great moments over the past 25 years. These events will also include unique collaborations between visiting artists and artists/composers who live and work in southeast Michigan. The concerts will take place in Kerrytown Concert House’s intimate concert hall and at the Bethlehem United Church of Christ, located down the street from the Kerrytown Concert House.

A live audience will be welcome to all concert events. However, vaccinations are required of all artists, audience members, and staff. Most events will be live-streamed for those who want to stay home but participate in the event.

Featured Edgefest Artists include:

  • Matthew Shipp – solo piano
  • Ingrid Laubrock – saxophone / Stefan Crump – bass / Cory Smythe – piano
  • Michael Malis – solo piano
  • Ken Kozora Group
  • Andrew Bishop Group featuring: Andrew Bishop – saxophone / Peter Formanek – saxophone / Angelica Sanchez – piano / Michael Formanek – bass / Jon Taylor – percussion
  • Fay Victor’s SoundNoiseFUNK
  • Alex Harding – reeds / Joel Peterson – bass / Dave Hurley – percussion
  • “Blue Reality” featuring: Joe McPhee – cornet, reeds / Jay Rosen – percussion / Michael Marcus – clarinets / Warren Smith – percussion
  • Angelica Sanchez – solo piano
  • Andrea Wolper – vocals / Ken Filiano – bass
  • William Parker – bass / Hamid Drake – percussion
  • UM Center of World Performance Studies, directed by Michael Gould featuring Edgest artists and UM students improvising on original instruments from the UM Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments
  • Steve Swell’s “If Trains Could Speak” – a meditation on Swell’s ninety-minute train ride from Krakow to Auschwitz in 2009. The twists and turns of thoughts and feelings on that ride and the visit to the camp itself create a deeper understanding of how his family came to be born in this country and not there. This will feature: Steve Swell – composer/trombone / Steve Rush – piano / Jason Hwang – viola / Dave Sewelson – Tenor sax / Piotr Michalowski – bass clarinet / Deanna Relyeah – vocals / Ken Filiano – bass / Michale TA Thompson – percussion

Additionally, two selected Edgefest artists will create a 2-day residency at Scarlett Middle School. The artists will collaborate with Caroline Fitzgerald, Director of Bands, to provide “out of the box” creative activities not part of the traditional curriculum. The students will appear at Kerrytown as they participate in the Edgefest parade at noon on Saturday.

Tickets for Edgefest and EdgePasses will be on sale soon at the Kerrytown Concert House Website.

415 N. Fourth Ave, Ann Arbor. 734-769-2999. kerrytownconcerthouse.com.