Composed of approximately 25 middle and high school students, the Lakeland Jazz Impact is an honors youth jazz ensemble bringing together the finest young jazz musicians in Northeast Ohio, and is one of the only groups of its kind in the area. Led by Ed Michaels, it performs on campus, at the Lakeland Jazz Festival, and in recent years has appeared regularly at The Bop Stop at the Music Settlement in Ohio City.
The purpose of the fund is intended to be flexible, so that it can support a wide variety of opportunities the benefit the Lakeland Jazz Impact and its reach to the community. Activities that may be supported include, but are not limited, to:
Operations: Operational support of the Lakeland Jazz Impact.
Supplies: Music related needs, such as performance and stage equipment, music library, etc.
Development: The commission of original works.
Performer Fees: Guest performer fees.
Travel: Travel for the Lakeland Jazz Impact performances.
Other Performances: Performances/programs at Lakeland for students and the community.
Equipment: Music related equipment.
Facility Improvements: Improvements to the Dr. William and Mrs. Evelyn Fletcher Memorial Music Room.
Local middle and high school students are encouraged to participate and all community members are welcomed to be a part of the audience for productions:
Participate: Lakeland welcomes all middle and high school students to participate. Visit Music Ensemble for more information on eligibility, requirements, days and times, etc.
Audience: Lakeland welcomes all individuals interested in listening to the Lakeland Jazz Impact, and please bring guests! Visit Arts at Lakeland for most up-to-date information on upcoming performance details.
The Lakeland Jazz Impact had its beginnings in 1969 under the leadership of Bob Delly, the band director of J.R. Williams Junior High School in Painesville, with the intention of giving high school musicians from the Lake County region an opportunity to play with talented musicians from other area schools. A crowning achievement of the band was performing with the legendary jazz artist Clark Terry at the inaugural Lakeland Jazz Festival.
In the fall of 1974, Delly handed the baton to Len Orcino, the band director at Lake Catholic High School. Under Orcino's direction, the band frequently appeared in concerts and area jazz festivals, including Cuyahoga Community College; Akron University; and The Ohio State University. Two big achievements for the band were performing at the Notre Dame Jazz Festival and recording an album – “Impact Live ‘77”.
Following their success at Notre Dame, Chuck Frank, the music professor at Lakeland Community College, invited the Lakeland Jazz Impact to join the community of performing groups at Lakeland. However, due to financial cutbacks, the Lakeland Jazz Impact became dormant for several years through the mid-80s.
In the spring of 1989, three area jazz musicians – Ernie Krivda, Lee Bush, and Ed Michaels, were appointed to teach jazz improvisation classes through a grant from the Fine Arts Association. At the conclusion of the classes, Michaels was encouraged by Chuck Frank to write a proposal to Lakeland in an effort to re-establish Jazz Impact. The proposal was accepted, and Ed Michaels became the third director of the band.
Under Michaels' direction, the Jazz Impact continues on a strong path. The band plays several concerts at Lakeland each year, and participates in the annual Lakeland Jazz Festival. A highlight of the year is Jazz Impact’s annual concert at the Cleveland Bop Stop. The band has also played at the Tri-C Jazz Festival, recorded for the Lincoln Center Jazz Competition, and performed at various area high schools. The band’s alumni include an impressive list of musicians who have established careers in music education and performance, along with music composition and arranging.
Have questions? Contact The Lakeland Foundation with questions related to Giving. Contact the Arts and Sciences Division Office for questions related to Arts at Lakeland programming.