September 19, 5:30 - 11 p.m.

A2 Jazz Fest: Day 1

Justin Walter's Woodland Creatures
Marion Hayden Sextet
Miles Okazaki
Eliza Salem Quartet

All events are free and open to the public! Walk-ins only. More info at

Note: This is a past event. For upcoming events, click here.


5:30 p.m. - Eliza Salem Quartet

Featuring: Eliza Salem – Drums; Darianna Videaux Capitel - Capital; Jordan Anderson – Piano; Kaleigh Wilder – Baritone Sax.

Eliza Salem is an up-and-coming young jazz drummer. She is currently based in Ann Arbor, Michigan where she is pursuing a jazz degree from the University of Michigan. Part of the next generation of improvisers, she is always working to expand her traditional and modern jazz repertoire and find ways to play “outside the box.” Salem is a Metro DC native who learned her craft in the Washington area’s vibrant musical and cultural scene under the guidance of mentors Paul Carr and Chris Allen. She draws inspiration from the broader East Coast community’s jazz tradition, and has performed at historic DC and Baltimore jazz venues such as Columbia Station, An Die Musik, the Keystone Korner, Twins, and Jojo’s. For the past two years, Salem has studied under Michael Gould and Sean Dobbins at U-M’s School of Music, and worked closely with professors Ellen Rowe, Dennis Wilson and Robert Hurst. She has performed with the University of Michigan Jazz Ensemble, the Newport Foundation’s Generations Jazz Assembly Band, and various other student groups in Ann Arbor and Detroit. Salem is the new concert coordinator at Ann Arbor’s renowned music venue Canterbury House, and she will be debuting her original music at the Ann Arbor Jazz Festival this year with her quartet.


7 p.m. - Miles Okazaki (solo guitar)

Miles Okazaki is a NYC based guitarist originally from Port Townsend, a small seaside town in Washington State. His approach to the guitar is described by the New York Times as “utterly contemporary, free from the expectations of what it means to play a guitar in a group setting — not just in jazz, but any kind.” His sideman experience over the last two decades covers a broad spectrum of approaches (Kenny Barron, John Zorn, Stanley Turrentine, Dan Weiss, Matt Mitchell, Jonathan Finlayson, Jane Monheit, Amir ElSaffar, Darcy James Argue, and many others). He was seen prominently with Steve Coleman and Five Elements from 2009-2017. As a leader Okazaki has released four albums of original compositions over the last 12 years and is an artist on the Pi Recordings label. He has also released a six album recording of the complete compositions of Thelonious Monk for solo guitar, published a book Fundamentals of Guitar with Mel Bay, has taught guitar and rhythmic theory at the University of Michigan for five years, and holds degrees from Harvard University, Manhattan School of Music, and the Juilliard School.


8:30 p.m. - Marion Hayden Sextet

Featuring: Vincent Chandler - Trombone; Jeffrey Trent - Saxophone; Keyandra May - Vocals; Corey Kendrick - Piano; Tariq Gardner - Drums; Marion Hayden - Bass.

Born in Detroit, MI, a crucible of jazz, Marion Hayden is one of the world’s finest proponents of the acoustic bass. Mentored by master trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, Hayden began performing jazz at the age of 15. She has performed with such diverse luminaries as Sheila Jordan, Bobby McFerrin, Nancy Wilson, Geri Allen, Regina Carter, Steve Turre, George Benson, Gregory Porter and James Carter. She is co-founder of the Grammy nominated jazz ensemble Straight Ahead- the first all woman jazz ensemble signed to Atlantic Records. Hayden adjunct assistant professor in Jazz Dept at U of Michigan School of Music Theatre and Dance and is an Artist in Residence and touring All-Star for the Detroit International Jazz Festival.

Widely recognized as a cultural advocate, Hayden received a 2019 Art X Detroit Performance Grant and the 2018 Knight Arts Foundation Grant for a project encouraging young women in jazz. In 2016 Hayden received the prestigious Kresge Artist Fellowship, the Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Hero Award , a Special Recognition from the Society of the Culturally Concerned and the Spirit of Detroit Award.


10 p.m. - Justin Walter’s Woodland Creatures

Featuring: Justin Walter - Trumpet, Composition; Dan Bennett - Sax; Tim Haldeman - Sax; Vincent Chandler - Bone; Charlie Sutherland – Guitar; Erik Hall – Guitar; Michael Malis - Keys; Tim Flood - Bass; Nick Collins - Drums.

Woodland Creatures pays homage to those that dwell in fur and nest. With inspiration at hand, this music was carefully written and recorded in 2010, but has yet to breathe life into a live performance. So we pick up here in 2019 at the A2 Jazz Festival.


If you are interested in volunteering for the 4th annual A2 Jazz Fest, please sign up here.

More info at

Club Event – Make a Reservation

With the goal of providing amazing hospitality with minimal rules, the Blue LLama Jazz Club doesn't have a mandatory cover charge when featuring local and regional artists. However, our mission is to bring the best talent to our community and you will see an optional cover line on the check. While it's not required, you're welcome to add the suggested amount per person to help us continue our mission of presenting amazing music five days a week on the Blue LLama stage.
Back to Events