September 20, 5:30 - 11:00 p.m.

A2 Jazz Fest: Day 2

Theo Croker Star People Nation
Ron Brooks Quartet
Jordan Anderson's Soulful Tomorrow

All events are free and open to the public! Walk-ins only. More info at https://www.a2jazzfest.com/

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

FRIDAY SEPT 20 (DAY 2) -

5:30 p.m. - Jordan Anderson's Soulful Tomorrow

Featuring: Kasan Belgrave - Saxophone; Jordan Anderson - Piano; Jonathon Muir - Cotton-Bass; Michael Reed - Drums.

Enjoy original compositions tapping into the origins of Black American Culture.

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7 p.m. - Ron Brooks Quintet

Featuring: Ron Brooks - Bass; Dwight Adams - Trumpet; Vincent Bowen - Tenor Saxophone; Jeff Kressler - Piano ; Tom Starr - Drums.

Ron Brooks has been a major player in, and influence on, the Detroit jazz community for several decades. Ron emerged as a player in the 1960s, performing on bass with piano greats-to-be Bob James and Stanley Cowell. He was a member of the Contemporary Jazz Quintet, led by the late, great Detroit pianist Kenn Cox, which recorded for Blue Note Records in 1968 and 1969. Ron was also a founding member of the 1970’s group Mixed Bag, which included the legendary Eddie Russ on keyboards, Larry Nozero on saxes, Jerry Glassel on guitar, and Danny Spencer on drums.

In 1985, Ron opened the Bird of Paradise jazz club in downtown Ann Arbor, anchoring a vibrant jazz scene for over two decades. Ron founded the Southeastern Michigan Jazz Association (SEMJA) in the spring of 1987. For its 25th anniversary in 2012, SEMJA named an award for Mr. Brooks, honoring individuals who have made important contributions to the Detroit jazz community as performers and educators.

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8:30 & 10 p.m. - Theo Croker Star People Nation

Trumpeter Theo Croker is an adventurous jazz musician known for his cosmically minded, spiritually enlightened take on post-bop, funk, and electronic-tinged fusion. The grandson of famed trumpeter Doc Cheatham, Croker first garnered attention in the 2000s playing straight-ahead jazz before issuing such stylistically expansive albums as 2014’s Dee Dee Bridgewater-produced Afro Physicist and 2016’s Escape Velocity.

Born in 1985 in Leesburg, Florida, Croker began playing trumpet around age 11, inspired by his grandfather. By his teens he was studying music at the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, Florida. From 2003 to 2007, Croker attended the music conservatory at Oberlin College. While at Oberlin, he was mentored by legendary trumpeter and educator Donald Byrd. Also during this time, he earned the Presser Music Foundation Award, which funded his debut album, 2006’s Fundamentals. After graduating Oberlin, Croker relocated to China, where he took up residency at Shanghai’s House of Blues. His 2009 album, In the Tradition, paid tribute to Cheatham.

In 2013, Croker returned to the States and began work on his third solo album, the Dee Dee Bridgewater-produced Afro Physicist. Released in 2014 on OKeh Records, the album found him branching out stylistically, weaving elements of funk, Latin jazz, and hip-hop into his sound. In 2016, he delivered Escape Velocity, which found him delving deeper into a genre-bending, spiritually enlightened, funk-influenced jazz sound. The equally cross-pollinated hip-hop, R&B, and electronic fusion effort Star People Nation arrived in 2019 and featured production by Karriem Riggins.

Theo Croker will be playing at 8:30pm & 10pm on September 20 (Day 2 of the A2 Jazz Fest) as well as at 9:45pm on September 21 (Day 3 of the A2 Jazz Fest)

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

More info at https://www.a2jazzfest.com/

Suggested Entertainment Fee

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 a “suggested entertainment fee” 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.
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