Jazz on the River at Elizabeth Park in Trenton

Get your toes tappin' to some smooth jazz on the banks of the Detroit River at the annual Jazz on the River festival at Elizabeth Park in Trenton, Aug. 4-5, 2018.


No other music genre speaks to the soul quite like jazz. But kids these days don’t get to experience it how past generations did. If you want to get your kids to dig the soulful and smooth tunes of the genre’s coolest modern-day cats, bring them to the 23rd annual Jazz on the River festival in Trenton, happening Aug. 4-5, 2018.

Kick off your weekend on Friday at 1 p.m. with Pontiac native Melanie Rutherford as she belts out tunes the whole family will enjoy. At 5:45, professional flutist Alexander Zonjic takes the stage with pianist James Lloyd and Oleta Adams, a soul and gospel singer closes out the day at 7:30 p.m.

Day two features even more concerts by big names in jazz music, including Justin Young, Alex Bugnon and Marsha Ambrosius, among others.

But that’s not all. This fest also serves up a variety of delicious barbecue, Caribbean and Mexican eats sure to satisfy when the fam can’t jump or jive any longer; plus desserts and plenty of local vendors selling a wide variety of different handmade goodies.

The Children’s Pony Ranch, which is among some great petting farms in Michigan, will also be open during the fest, so be sure to swing by and treat your kids to pony rides and live animal fun.

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The festival opens at 10 a.m. both days and closes at the end of the final performances, which start at 7:30 p.m.

Admission to the festival is free, but there is a $5 donation fee for on-site parking. Off-site parking is available throughout the downtown Trenton area. A free shuttle will take off from Kennedy Ice Arena for those who choose not to park at the festival.

For more information on Jazz on the River at Elizabeth Park in Trenton – or other family fun things to do this weekend – visit the Metro Parent calendar.

Photo courtesy of Public Services for Wayne County