Now in its 18th year of bringing its unique blend of traditional big band and contemporary jazz arrangements to the summer venues of Michigan’s beautiful southwest region, the LAKE EFFECT JAZZ BIG BAND has become one of the premier big bands in the Midwest. This season the band will be performing music from the classic big band libraries of Buddy Rich and Count Basie, and also showcasing the sounds of more contemporary ensembles and composers like Gordon Goodwin, Alan Baylock, the Beatles and Radiohead. The Lake Effect Jazz Big Band is committed to preserving the uniquely American art form of big band jazz in concert and jazz festival settings across Southwest Michigan.
The band is led by Steven L. Reed, retired instrumental music teacher for the St. Joseph Public Schools, where he taught jazz ensemble, orchestra, and band for 35 years. Several members of the Lake Effect Jazz Big Band are current or retired music educators and jazz education is a priority for the LEJBB.
The band performs between twelve and fifteen concerts each summer including Jazz Festivals, full length concerts at the Box Factory in St. Joseph, and outdoor venues in Southwest Michigan cities and townships. Featured artists that have performed with the Lake Effect Jazz Big Band include vocalists Michelle Bythrow, Paul Mow, Katie Rohrer, Lisa Dabrowski, and Chicago jazz vocalist Tammy McCann. Instrumental soloists have included local trombonist Ed Bagatini, Chicago vibraphonist Jim Cooper, and Ann Arbor alto saxophonist Doug Horn.
Steven L. Reed