To provide a learning environment that fosters aesthetic literacy and expressive capability through the cultivation of artistic techniques and skills and the exploration of creative traditions and possibilities.
"I've enjoyed being part of the Lakeland jazz festival since observing Len Orcino direct jazz impact in 1978-I was 17. Over the years, I've been a listener, performer, judge and clinician. I'm grateful for all of the experiences with the late Chuck Frank, Bob Brown, Dan McCarthy, Ed Michaels and Dave Sterner. In my view, it's several decades of fine musicianship and exceptional music education, and I'm glad to have played a small role."
-Paul Ferguson, Music Director of the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra
I had the privilege to be associated with the Lakeland Jazz festival as the director of the Lakeland Jazz Orchestra and as Artistic Director of the Festival. This annual event brought the attention of music students and the community some of the greatest jazz musicians to play the music. Louie Bellson, Phil Woods, Buddy DeFranco and many other Jazz greats graced the LCC Performing Arts Center Stage during my tenure. It was a positive force for the music before me and continues as one of the great events in Northeast Ohio. Once again it was a privilege and a joy to be part of it!
-Ernie Krivda, Cleveland Jazz Legend Award, 2005
"Love it! Lakeland Jazz Festival is a place to catch stellar performances with a high level of education. Lakeland brings that warmth of an interactive jazz community!"
-Evelyn Wright, Tri-C Jazz Legend 2008
The Lakeland Jazz Festival was founded by retired professor and music department Coordinator Charles M. Frank in 1973 and remains the oldest jazz festival in the State of Ohio. The Lakeland Jazz Festival has remained true to its original mission of instilling the excitement and magic of jazz education to the younger generation of musicians. Over 25,000 middle and high school musicians from throughout the state have participated in the festival in celebration of this uniquely American art form, jazz. The festival features two parts:
- Serving the Schools: Typically, a two-day event over a Friday and Saturday in March where local middle and high school jazz ensembles perform for adjudication. Due to the pandemic, the 2022 portion will feature online adjudication of mp3 recorded solos and jazz emsemble adjudication.
- Lakeland Jazz Festival Artists: For 2022, a total of three performances (between Friday night and Sunday afternoon) will feature a national artist(s), regional jazz group Red Light Roxy, and the Kent State University Jazz Orchestra and the Lakeland Civic Jazz Orchestra live on campus. Show times and ticketing will be forthcoming.
Dr. Stephen Stanziano is a composer, educator, and bassist and holds a Ph.D. in music theory and composition from Kent State University. His works have been performed throughout the United States and Europe including at the St. Peters Basilica in Rome by the Cleveland Chamber Collective, with the Panoramicos, by guitarist Jason Vieaux, and by members of the Cleveland Orchestra. He is a member of ASCAP and the past president of the Cleveland Composers Guild. He is currently on the music faculty of Cleveland State University, Lakeland Community College and Hiram College. He has helped co-direct the Lakeland Jazz Festival since 2009.
Over the years, Edward G. Michaels has established himself as a strong voice in the field of music education and jazz saxophone. He is well-known for his leadership in directing the annual Lakeland Community College Jazz Festival (1999-2008); the Lakeland Summer Jazz Camp; and Lakeland's all-star high school jazz ensemble, and Lakeland's Jazz Impact.
Michaels earned his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from Duquesne University, in his native town of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and a Master of Music from Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois, where he studied saxophone with the legendary Dr. Fred Hemke. He studied improvisation with Phil Rizzo, a clinician for the Stan Kenton Jazz Orchestra.
As a tenor saxophonist, Michaels is often heard performing with the top musicians of Northeast Ohio, among them, some of his former students. He has recorded a CD as leader, entitled "Going Beyond" on the Nice Jazz Label. The list of musicians with whom he has performed include Phil Woods, Donald Byrd, Pacquito D'Rivera, Bobby Sanabria and Clarence Clemons. His quartet has played extended engagements at the Century Room of Cleveland's prestigious Ritz-Carlton Hotel, the Grille Room of downtown Cleveland's Embassy Suites Hotel, Cleveland's Fat Fish Blue, and Club Isabella. Whatever the venue, he feels a strong commitment to promoting jazz and American music; and this can especially be seen in his love for both teaching and playing.
Michaels is also a full-time faculty member of the Willoughby-Eastlake School District where he teaches instrumental music, focusing especially on the district‘s beginning band program. Among his latest accomplishments in music education was receiving an honorarium and publication from the Cleveland Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for his music appreciation lesson plan, entitled "Timbre: Identifying the Tone Color of the Saxophone Using Pop/Rock Music Examples." He was also instrumental in helping his school district receive a grant from the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, which provided new percussion instruments for his Willowick Middle School students.
- 2019 - The Ralph Moore Quartet featuring Ralph Moore, tenor sax, Xavier Davis, piano, Rodney Whitaker, acoustic bass, Sean Dobbins, drums
- 2018 - The Donald Harrison Quintet featuring Donald Harrison, saxophone/vocals, Zaccai Curtis, piano, Darryl Staves, drums, Jasen Weaver, bass; East Central Jazz Educators; All Star Big Band
- 2017 - The Ernie Krivda All Star Quartet featuring Lafayette Carson, Renell Gonsalves, and Jeff Halsey; The Dizzy Gillespie All Stars featuring John Lee, Claudio Roditi, Eric Alexander, Cyrus Chestnut and Tommy Campbell
- 2016 - The Tony Monaco Hammond B-3 Organ Trio; The Kenny Garrett Quintet featuring Marcus Baylor, Rudy Bird, Vernell Brown, Cocoran Holt; Youngstown State Jazz Ensemble
- 2015 - Sammy De Leon y su Orquesta; Baldwin-Wallace Jazz Ensemble
- 2014 - Dan White Sextet; The Carmen Lundy Quartet featuring Carmen Lundy, vocals, Patrice Rushen, piano, Ralph Peterson, drums and Kenny Davis, bassist
- 2013 - Chris Potter Quartet featuring Chris Potter saxophone, David Virelles piano, Larry Grenadier bass, Eric Harland drums; Jamey Haddad All-Star Trio featuring Jamey Haddad drums, Leo Blanco piano and Robert Occhipinti bass
- 2012 - Dave Morgan and Friends; Yellowjackets; The Dave Banks Big Band
- 2011 - Organ Ism; Bobby Selvaggio's Grass Roots Movement; Kurt Rosenwinkel; Mojo: The Generations Big Band
- 2010 - T.S. Monk Sextet featuring T.S. Monk Jr. on drums, Helen Sung piano, Dan Loomis bass, James Zollar trumpet, Patience Higgins alto sax, and Michael Karn tenor sax
- 2009 - Pat Martino guitarist, Tony Monaco Hammond B-3 organ, Louis Tsamous, Drums; Helen Welch, Quintet
- 2008 - Larry Coryell, guitarist, Jeff Berlin, bass, Paul Wertico, drums, Jazz Fusion; Dave Sterner Quintet
- 2007 - Jim McNeely, piano, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra
- 2006 - Bobby Sanabria, drums, Quarteto Ache, Ed Michaels, tenor saxophone, Jackie Warren, piano; Roberto Ocasio Latin Jazz Project
- 2005 - Paquito D'Rivera, clarinet, Barbara Knight, vocalist, Paul Ferguson, trombone, Ed Michaels, tenor saxophone, Dave Sterner, alto saxophone; Youngstown State Jazz Ensemble; Jazz Impact Reunion Band; Youngstown State Faculty Trio; Clinic with Dr. Bob Brown & Paquito D'Rivera
- 2004 - Barbara Knight, vocalist, Paul Ferguson, trombone, Ed Michaels, tenor saxophone, Jack Schantz, trumpet, Dave Sterner, alto saxophone; The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra; The Silky Sounds, Jazz Vocal Quartet; Youngstown State Jazz Ensemble
- 2003 - Marji Jay, vocalist, Barbara Knight, vocalist, Dave Sterner, alto saxophone, Ed Michaels, tenor saxophone, Alton Merrel Jr., piano, Dave Morgan, bass; The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra; Youngstown State Jazz Ensemble
- 2002 - Banu Gibson, vocalist & The New Orleans Hot Jazz; The Fat Tuesday Big Band featuring Susan Hesse, vocalist, Warren Vache, cornet, Dominic Farinacci, trumpet, Jiggs Whigham, trombone, Ernie Krivda, tenor saxophone, David Boeddinghaus, piano, Howard Alden, guitar, Chris Berg, bass, Jim Rupp, drums
- 2001 - Ken Peplowski, clarinet, Bucky Pizzarelli, guitar, Terry Blaine, vocalist, Mark Shane, piano, Jim Masters, trombone, Susan Hesse, vocalist, Ernie Krivda, saxophone
- 2000 - Buddy DeFranco, clarinet, Marlene VerPlanck, vocalist, Cal Collins, guitar, Gene Parker, vibes, Dave Powers, piano, Chris Berg, bass, Jim Rupp, drums
- 1999 - Terry Gibbs, vibes, Bob Breithaupt, drums, Jeff Halsey, bass, Bob Brown, piano
- 1998 - Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band featuring Jerry Gonzalez, trumpet, flugelhorn, congas, John Stubblefield, tenor, Joe Ford, alto/soprano Kenny Kirkland, piano, Steve Berrios, drums, bells, Percussion
- 1997 - Lew Soloff, trumpet, Pharez Whited, trumpet, Jeff Jarvis, trumpet, Phil DeGreg, piano, Bob Breithaupt, drums, Chris Berg, bass, Ernie Krivda, saxophone
- 1996 - Phil Woods, saxophone, Chuck Israels, bass, John Fedchock, trombone, Dan Wall, piano, Val Kent, drums, Ernie Krivda, saxophone
- 1995 - David Baker, cello, Bill Dobbins, piano, Jim Rupp, drums, Paula Owen, vocalist, Marion Hayden, bass, Erinie Krivda, saxophone
- 1994 - Chuck Findley, trumpet, John Von Ohlen, drums, Mar'shal Baxter-Beckley, vocalist, Ernie Krivda, saxophone, Marion Hayden, bass, Joe Hunter, piano
- 1993 - Louie Bellson, drums, Gary Carney, trombone, Ernie Krivda, saxophone, Bill Plavan, bass, Bob Brown, piano
- 1992 - Kenny Burrell, guitar, Nick Brignola, saxophone, Jeff Halsey, bass, Val Kent, drums, Bob Brown, piano
- 1991 - Donald Byrd, trumpet, Ed Uribe, drums, Jim Kurzdorfer, bass, Paul Ferguson, trombone, Bob Brown, piano
- 1990 - Bud Shank, saxophone, Pete Christlieb, saxophone, Kenny Davis, trumpet, Jeff Halsey, bass, Mark Gonder, drums, Bob Brown, piano
- 1989 - Conte Candoli, trumpet, Howie Smith, saxophone, Anthony Leonardi, bass, Mark Gonder, drums, Bob Brown, piano
- 1988 - The Rob McConnell Trio featuring Rob McConnell, trombone, Robert Piltch, guitar, Neil Swainson, bass; The Ernie Krivda Quartet featuring Ernie Krivda, saxophone, Chip Stephens, piano, Joe Brigandi, drums, Jeff Halsey, bass
- 1987 - Ernie Watts Quartet featuring Ernie Watts, saxophone, Pat Coil, keyboards, Bob Leatherbarrow, drums, Joel DiBartolo, bass, Mike Barone, composer/ trombone
- 1986 - The Jim Pugh Trio featuring Jim Pugh, trombone, David Ratacjzak, drums, David Finck, bass
- 1985 - The Nick Brignola Quartet featuring Nick Brignola, saxophone, Bill Dobbins, piano, John Lockwood, bass, Dave Calarco, drums
- 1984 - The Jeff Tyzik Quartet featuring Jeff Tyzik, trumpet, Brian Scanlon, saxophone, Ed Czach, piano, Dave Mancini, drums
- 1983 - Randy Purcell, trombone, Tim Eyermann, saxophone, Jack Schantz, trumpet, Tony Leonardi, bass
- 1982 - Phil Wilson, trombone, Howie Smith, saxophone, Jack Mouse, drums
- 1981 - Bob Curnow, composer/trombone, Marv Stamm, trumpet, Rufus Reid, bass
- 1980 - Rich Matteson, euphonium, Jack Peterson, guitar, Ed Soph, drums
- 1979 - Allen Vizzutti, trumpet
- 1978 - The Phil Woods Quartet featuring Phil Woods, saxophone, Mike Melillo, piano, Steve Gillmore, bass, Bill Goodwin, drums
- 1977 - Arnie Lawrence, saxophone
- 1976 - Bill Watrous, trombone
- 1975 - Curt Wilson, saxophone, James Adkins, drums
- 1974 - Al Blaser, saxophone
- 1973 - Clark Terry, trumpet