:: 2012 :: Give a warm welcome to the Saginaw Area Youth Jazz Ensemble, returning for the second year in a row to the Lansing JazzFest. SAYJE gives young musicians the chance to meet with many other similarly interested students in a friendly, inspiring, and intensive musical experience. The group, open to musicians age 13-21, is versed in music theory, music history, and instrumental technique pertaining to the jazz idiom.

Music director Raeann Jones has a B.S. in instrumental music education from Central Michigan University, and taught at the Midland Academy for Advanced and Creative Studies, Carrollton Middle School, and A & A Music Academy in Chicago. She has performed as part of the CMU Concert Band, the Marching Chippewas, Central Air Jazz Ensemble, and 50s-80s cover band Benson Band. She has also served as jazz director of the Bay Area Summer Music Festival.