Lakeland News Posting

Legendary Lakeland Jazz Festival celebrates its 50th year

Posted: February 24, 2022

The Annual Lakeland Jazz Festival, the oldest jazz festival in the State of Ohio, will celebrate its 50th year with a series of concerts set for March 18, 19 and 20, 2022. The concerts will take place in the Dr. Wayne L. Rodehorst Performing Arts Center on Lakeland’s campus, in the D-Building located at 7700 Clocktower Dr., Kirtland.


Concert tickets are available for sale online only at

Friday: $15 general admission and $7 students.

Saturday: $25 general admission and $17 students.

Sunday: $10 general admission and $7 students.

Guests should bring their order confirmation to show at the door.

The festival begins Friday, March 18, at 8 p.m. with a concert by Cleveland band Red Light Roxy. The group’s name is a nod to the old Roxy Theater on Cleveland’s Short Vincent Avenue, which was a hub of jazz music, gambling, gangsters and wild nightlife in the 30s, 40s and 50s. The band plays a variety of genres from jazz, swing and blues to R&B and boogie-woogie.

For the Saturday, March 19, concert at 8 p.m., two remarkably talented performers combine for the festival headliner. Brazilian guitarist Diego Figueiredo is an award-winning and Grammy Award-nominated guitar sensation. Known as one of the world’s greatest living jazz guitarists, he has toured all over the world with a vast discography that includes 28 CDs and three DVDs. Nellie McKay is an award-winning stage, TV and film actress and singer, who is also an excellent jazz artist that crosses over to other genres, like cabaret, folk and pop music. She has produced seven albums and her music has been featured in many movies as well as musical biographies.

The festival wraps with a Big Band Extravaganza March 20 at 4 p.m. The Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Ed Michaels, and the Kent State University Jazz Orchestra, led by Bobby Selvaggio, combine for a tribute to Chuck Frank, founder of the Lakeland Jazz Festival. Guests will be treated to a premier performance of an original composition written by Len Orcino.

The festival also presents a unique opportunity every year to the music education community in Northeast Ohio through its Serving the Schools initiative. Typically, middle and high school jazz bands perform on campus for adjudication by celebrated educators and leaders in the jazz community. This year, students are submitting videos of solo performances of either a chorus of the song “Broadway Street” or an original jazz composition for adjudication by members of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. In addition, this year, high school, and middle school band directors may submit one video performance for adjudication.



The Lakeland Jazz Festival was founded by retired professor and music department Chair Charles M. Frank. The festival has remained true to its original mission of instilling the excitement and magic of jazz education to the younger generation of musicians. Over 30,000 middle and high school musicians from throughout the state have participated in the festival in celebration of this uniquely American art form, jazz.

Festival coordinators are Ed Michaels, email and Stephen Stanziano, Ph.D., email

Lakeland Jazz Festival

Related Links:

  • Arts at Lakeland
  • By: Jeri Pilarczyk

    Media Contact:
    Kerry Jonke