Flint, MI—Downtown will be filled with music this week as the Flint Jazz Festival makes its return to the city after a one-year COVID-imposed hiatus.

From July 29-31 jazz groups, both local and from out of town will be occupying bars and parks along Saginaw Street. A 40-year-long tradition in the city, the Flint Jazz Festival has earned its spot as a classic Flint summer event.

Harold Hill, operations manager for the Greater Flint Arts Council has been organizing the festival for 10 years. He said for him, the festival has always been about bridging the gap between the city’s colorful musical history and the current generation of artists.

“That’s one of the things we do as a council is promote the jazz scene here in Flint. We highlight and present the local jazz musicians. We try to promote and develop young jazz musicians and there are a lot of them. We try to give them as many opportunities as we can to develop and keep their interests in jazz music since the city has such a rich history of jazz,” Hill said. 

The festival will kick off July 29 at 5:30 p.m. with what organizers call the Flint jazz walk. The music will start at the White Horse Tavern where Pat Cronley & Friends will be playing. From there, attendees will then be able to make their way down Saginaw Street where Cork on Saginaw, Market Tap, and the Soggy Bottom bar will feature other live music sets.

The July 30 and 31 performances at Riverbank Park will both require admission. The shows start at 5:30 p.m. on July 30, 1:30 p.m. on July 31 and 2 p.m. on August 1.

The weekend pass is $20 while the daily pass is $10. 

Hill said he hopes after three days of music, Flint residents and visitors alike will walk away with a deeper appreciation for the arts in Flint.

“Jazz is still alive and well in Flint. There are still a number of jazz musicians and bands in Flint. The festival is an opportunity for folks to see these musicians and these groups. There is still a lot of good jazz to be heard around here in this little city,” Hill said. For more information, visit the event site here.

Santiago Ochoa is Flint Beat's Latinx Community reporter. He is always looking to write about anything Flint or Latinx. He especially enjoys investigative reporting and human-interest stories. A communications...