The People’s Jazz Band
Saturday, Aug 6, 2016 – 6:45 to 8:15
MICA (South) Stage
The People’s Jazz Band is a 12 member, Flint, Michigan based jazz ensemble, which performs a wide variety of traditional and contemporary jazz. All of the music performed by the PJB has been written and or arranged by Michigan musicians.
The band’s origins date back to May of 1980 when the late great Mid-Michigan jazz drummer and band leader, Joe Freyre, wrote a successful grant in collaboration with Greater Flint Arts Council, subsidized through the C.E.T.A. (Comprehensive Employment and Training Act) Program to fund a 12 piece jazz ensemble in Genesee County. The band’s sole purpose was “to bring Jazz music to the people.”
While the project was only L4 months in duration, from May 1980 – July 1981, the PJB performed upwards of 200 concerts in schools, parks, theaters, and festivals all free to the public. The high-point of the band included performances at the newly inaugurated Montreux- Detroit International Jazz Festival in 1981-, the newly organized Flint Jazz Festival (founded by Joe Freyre, 19821, and then performances, and a recording at the North sea Jazz Festival, and the Montreux International Jazz Festiva I respectively.
Following those “high-times” in the early 19g0’s, the band went into a long hibernation, resurfacing only once at the 20th Anniversary for the Flint Jazz Festival in 2001. That is until about 3 years ago when the idea of reorganizing the band was proposed for the 30th anniversary of the Flint Jazz Festival.
At first, the notion of reforming the PJB seemed undo-able, as several band members has passed on, while others had long since moved away. Additionally, the band’s library of music was in tatters and unusable. Despite these challenges, the PJB was reassembled with both original and new members. The music was reorganized, put back together, and augmented with new material. And lastly, the desire to create something new and exciting was back!
Every year the bands current writers drummer/percussionist Mark Holan (Mark Holan Zambomba) and pianist Doug Jordan continue to amaze with something new, as you will hear again this year!