Caesar Capital Management will again be presenting Alexander Zonjic’s Cabin Fever Jazz Festival March 19-20 at the Ford Community & Performing Arts Center, 15801 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn.
The festival was first held at the center last year, and most of last year’s performers will be returning. Zonjic explained that the festival is held inside the Hubbard Ballroom in order to recreate the layout of an outdoor concert providing preferred seating, people bringing their lawn chairs, and food for purchase from two vendors, only indoors.
“The audience moves around during the concerts, and there’s also preferred seating as we provide chairs right up front,” Zonjic said. “It’s the same model for outdoor concerts, and we wanted to go into the Hubbard Ballroom because it’s big windows and big area made it right for that.”
“We were very successful with our first festival last year, and we have every reason to expect this one will be too. In Dearborn we want to make this an annual event,” he said.
Zonjic said this weekend’s lineup of artists will be noteworthy performers from the national scene, the regional scene and local scene. The Saturday headliner, Marion Meadows, he said, is an award-winning saxophonist of national stature.
Meadows will be preceded tomorrow afternoon by another contemporary jazz keyboardist, Joe McBride, who will be coming from Dallas, Texas. Another jazz star, New Yorker Matt Marshak, also tours widely with his funk jazz guitar sound of old school blues and groove mixed with the modern sound.
“My special guest, Rich Braun, is an amazing trumpet player, that I’ll be playing with on Sunday night,” Zonjic said.
Braun, who will be closing the festival with Zonjic at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, was an after-session and touring musician from the Eastman School of Music, before his first major album Beat Street in 1995 launched his career as a solo artists. He collaborated with saxophonist Boney James on remaking Hugh Maskela’s “Grazing in the Grass.”
The lineup will also include 496 West and Phil Denny from Lansing, as well as Detroit Queen of Blues Thornetta Davis and also Lin Rountree from the Detroit music scene, Zonjic said, “we have regional, local and national scene represented here.”
The food vendors for the Cabin Fever Jazz Festival, Gateway Deli Cafe from downtown Detroit and Maccabees At Midtown from the Detroit Cultural Center, will be providing “a good variety” with deli-style and jambalaya, he said, with bar provided by the city’s own caterer for the Ford Community and Performing Arts Center.
Starting tomorrow, the two-day concert schedule will feature on Saturday 496 West at 1 p.m., Davis at 2:30 p.m., Rountree at 4 p.m., McBride at 5:45 p.m. and Meadows at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday lineup will start with Lady Sunshine and the X Band at 1 p.m., the Urban Jazz Coalition at 2:30 p.m., Denny at 4 p.m., Marshak at 5:45 p.m., before Zonjic’s and Braun’s 7:30 p.m. closeout.
Flutist Zonjic does 100 cool jazz shows yearly across the country, hosing a syndicated radio show “Alexander Zonjic From A to Z” on Canadian radio and WVMVs HD2 channel. He is also the creative director for summer music festivals in the Detroit-Windsor area, including the new Cabin Fever Jazz Festival.
For tickets ($25, $40 for preferred seating) are available by calling (313) 943-2354, or by going to www.Dearborntheater.com. For more information, go to (313) 964-5050 or to www.zonjic.com.
The Ford Community and Performing Arts Center is located on the eastern edge of the city’s municipal complex (including the Dearborn Police Headquarters and 19th District Court, the Henry Ford Centennial Library, an athletic field and the Dearborn Administrative Center). It is on the south side of Michigan Avenue (U.S-12), generally across from the Ford World Headquarters and just east of Exit 6 off the Southfield Freeway (M-39).