Edgefest 2020: A virtual Edgefest 24 series

Edgefest 24 WENT virtual THIS YEAR!

Please read below for details

Preparations for Edgefest 2020, scheduled for four days in October, were all but complete when the national health crisis hit the nation, shutting down businesses and necessitating the practice of social distancing for months, creating much uncertainty about the near future and requiring us to cancel all in-person performances at KCH. Given all the work that had gone into Edgefest 24, and the joyous anticipation among artists and fans alike, this was a difficult and painful decision, but one that had to be made to protect the health and wellbeing of everyone involved. 

In spite of the uncertainties we faced, we followed through with our promise at the time, which was to prepare an alternative way of keeping the spirit of Edgefest 24 alive by pivoting to virtual presentations while also looking forward to the grand 25th edition of the festival coming up this October, 2021.


October 23 – Purple Gums | Skeeter Shelton & Djallo Djakate

November 20 – Steve Swell / Dave Sewelson Duo | Wilder/Reid Duo

December 18 – Edgefest 2020 – A Trio of Solos: Rafael Statin, Jen Baker, Dave Douglas

January 22 – EDGEFEST: Jaimie Branch, Andrew Bishop

February 19 – Kenny Green & Dushun Mosley | Mara Rosenbloom | Jason Kao Hwang’s Human Rites Trio

March 26 – Alwin/Joalland/Michalowski/Thomas | Joseph Daley Tuba Trio

Virtual Edgefest 24 Lineup

The virtual pivot for EDGEFEST 24 culminated in a six-event schedule of streamed performances by a wonderful collection of musicians, arranged for the most part to adhere to the original brass theme “Partial to the Edge.” The new virtual plan was developed, with many thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts and our other generous donors. Each online concert event (one per month from October ’20 through March ’21) featured major artists from all over the country with opening sets by distinguished musicians from the southeast Michigan area.   All events were free to the public, with donations strongly encouraged in lieu of ticket purchases, and are now catalogued in our livestream archives for you to enjoy at any time from any place.

See below for individual concert dates and listings, or click the images above!

October 23, 2020: Purple Gums | Skeeter Shelton & Djallo Djakate

This unique Edgefest series will kick off on October 23rd with the group Purple Gums, a freely improvising brass ensemble featuring Bobby Bradford (cornet), Francis Wong (tenor saxophone), and William Roper (tuba & voice). We are particularly thrilled to welcome back the magnificent Bobby Bradford, whose musical artistry, storytelling, and collaborative spirit contributed so much to the success of last year’s Edgefest.  

Preceding Purple Gums will be two of Detroit’s finest and most versatile improvisers, woodwind multi-instrumentalist Skeeter Shelton and drummer Djallo Djakate.

Made possible with generous support from Marc Andren & Christine Reardon.

Click here for more info, artist bios, and photos.

November 20, 2020: Steve Swell & Dave Sewelson | Wilder/Reid Duo

The second concert, on November 20, will feature the duo of trombonist Steve Swell and baritone saxophonist Dave Sewelson. Steve is an old friend and a veteran of the festival, having appeared in many groups, and we welcome Dave to the family for the first time.

Swell & Sewelson will be preceded by the Wilder/Reid Duo, Detroit’s rising stars Kaleigh Wilder, baritone saxophone, and Everett Reid, drums.

Click here for more info, artist bios, and photos.

Made possible with generous support from Mike Resil.

DECEMBER 18, 2020: A Trio of Solos: Rafael Statin, Jen Baker, Dave Douglas

The third presentation, on December 18, will offer two national artists; first an Edgefest debut featuring virtuoso trombonist, Jen Baker, who will demonstrate her mastery of so-called extended techniques, including the use of simultaneous multiple sounds, as part of her Silo project; performance inside a Michigan Silo!  Next a rare solo appearance by the trumpet hero Dave Douglas, who has appeared at Edgefest several times from the very first years.

Preceding them will be Detroit artist, Rafael Statin.

Click here for more info, artist bios, and photos.

JANUARY 22, 2021: JAIMIE BRANCH, SOLO TRUMPET | Andrew Bishop, reeds

Another recital will herald the new year on January 22 performed by trumpeter, Jaimie Branch, and reedist, Andrew Bishop, musicians who has been prominently featured at earlier editions of the festival.

Made possible with generous support from Keith Martin.

February 19, 2021: Kenny Green & Dushun Mosley | Mara Rosenbloom | Jason Kao Hwang’s Human Rites Trio

Edgefest 24’s 5th virtual installment premieres Friday at 7:30 PM EST with a triple bill! Kicking off the evening are the duo of Detroit-based Kenny Green on piano and Chicago-based Dushun Mosley on percussion. In the second set, rising NYC star Mara Rosenbloom, fulfills her description from All About Jazz as “a whole-hearted poet of the piano” with her own set. Rounding out the evening are the national artists that comprise Jason Kao Hwang’s Human Rites Trio, who converse freely and eloquently in a musical language created together over years of collaboration.

Made possible with generous support from Luis Torregrosa and Alan Feller

Click here for more info, artist bios, and photos.


The Edgefest 24 series concludes with a two-part musical celebration starting off with a local and innovative collaboration featuring Abby Alwin (cello), Baptiste Joalland (trombone), Piotr Michalowski (woodwinds) and Kenn Thomas (piano). Capping off the concert is a stellar national trio – The Joe Daley Trio – led by the great tuba master Joe Daley with Scott Robinson (reeds) and Warren Smith (drums).

Click here for more info, artist bios, and photos.

Made possible with generous support from Nimish Ganatra, Niraj Ganatra, and Bonnie Patterson


This year, in March 2021, students in the Scarlett Middle School (Ann Arbor, MI) band programs took part in virtual workshops with Edgefest 24 artists Jen Baker and Andrew Bishop. As a culmination of their in-class unit on sound and improvisation, Baker and Bishop took the students through an exploration of how they apply those principles in their composing and performing careers. 



Marc Andren & Christine Reardon
Luis Torregrosa
Keith Martin
Mike Resil
Niraj Ganatra
Nimish Ganatra
Bonnie Patterson
Alan Feller


Marjorie Fisher and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan 


Deanna Relyea & Piotr Michalowski



Lars Bjorn & Susan Wineberg
Barrie Chercover
Fred Eurich
Barbara & Ron Kramer


Alan Feller
Will Gale
Cynthia Nicely
Ed Sarath & Joan Harris
Mike Resil
Kay Tuttle
Gary Vartanoff