The Lake Effect Jazz Big Band is in its 19th year of bringing a unique blend of traditional and contemporary jazz big band music to the summer venues of beautiful southwest Michigan. The band performs new compositions for contemporary big bands as well as new arrangements of classic standards and golden oldies. It performs music from the libraries of Stan Kenton, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Natalie Cole, Duke Ellington and others. 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 Lake Effect Jazz Big Band will once again feature soloist Becky Derbas Selvidge for two concerts at the Box this summer – June 28th and August 23rd.
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.