Jazz in the Sanctuary

May 5, 2019 @ 3:00PM — 4:30PM

Hosted by Robin Connell with Alain Sullivan and Elgin Vines

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There are currently no tickets available for this event, but you can still make a donation.


Our JAZZ IN THE SANCTUARY concert series concludes its fifth season in May! Host and curator Robin Connell (piano/vocals) welcomes guest performers Alain Sullivan (saxophone) and Elgin Vines (bass). General admission is $15 (or $5 for students with ID) online or at the door.

ELGIN VINES has been described as one of the most sought-after jazz bassists in West Michigan. As a student at Norfolk State University, he paid his tuition by gigging along the Virginia Beach strip and was a member of the house trio on the daily Morty Nevins Television Show for three years. After graduating, he went on the road with The New Direction for eight years, and then in 1972 settled in Grand Rapids to play for the Bennie Carew Trio and work as a technologist for Amway. Since then, he has performed or recorded with virtually every notable jazz musician to come through West Michigan, solidifying his reputation as one of the Midwest's preeminent bassists. In 2005, the West Michigan Jazz Society named him their Musician of the Year.

ALAIN SULLIVAN is a 19-year-old jazz saxophonist, bandleader, composer/arranger, and woodwind instrumentalist based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He currently attends the University of Michigan, pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry toward pre-medicine, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in jazz studies under the tutelage of its esteemed faculty, including Andrew Bishop, Ellen Rowe, Dennis Wilson, Robert Hurst, and Benny Green. He has performed in a wide variety of musical settings, including jazz settings of all types and several pit orchestras for musicals, doubling on flute and clarinet. He has played frequently throughout Michigan, across the country, and in Germany and Denmark. In 2018, he was presented with a YoungArts award, which is given to just a handful of young artists in multiple disciplines.

ROBIN CONNELL received West Michigan Jazz Society's 2017 "Musician of the Year" award for her widespread collaboration with area jazz artists and her work on this series. In 2016, she won the ArtPrize Public Choice Award for her original composition "Prisms". An advocate for jazz education, she co-directs the Youth Jazz Combo at St. Cecilia Music Center, teaches every June at Aquinas College Jazz Camp, and formerly served as summer jazz faculty at Interlochen Center for the Arts for 20 years.

Jazz in the Sanctuary is made possible by the Fountain Street Church Music Committee, Aquinas College Music Department, Blue Lake Public Radio, West Michigan Jazz Society, and WYCE 88.1fm.