By John Rothwell – Collegiate Staff
It is not words you hear Sunday night at the SpeakEZ Lounge but the distinct sound of jazz music.
Each Sunday night Randy Marsh hosts Jazz Night at SpeakEZ.
Marsh, who has been playing Jazz since 1974, started the Sunday night gig in 2011 at HopCat, before moving locations to the SpeakEZ Lounge in October of 2012.
Because Sunday night is usually an off night for musicians, the event creates a creative outlet for local and regional musicians, as well as those who love a jazz venue to sit in, play or just kick back and take in the music.
The first set of the night is reserved for the house band, followed by another set or two of other talented musicians that get called up to sit in and play.
“It’s all about keeping jazz alive in Grand Rapids and West Michigan,” said Randy Marsh. “This is the best jazz between New York and Chicago.”
The gig is an event for all ages, allowing high school and college students to get hands on experience with the music.
“Tell the kids if they really want to learn how to play this music they got to get out and listen to it,” Marsh said. “They need to get beyond just the academics. If you’re ready to play, bring a chart in, bring a tune, a jazz standard we will give you a chance.”
With an abundance of drummers on Sundays, Marsh is hoping to get more horns, piano players and singers.
“If you’re a young cat and think you can play with the big dogs, come on out,” Marsh said.
The SpeakEZ Lounge is located at 600 Monroe Ave. NW, in Grand Rapids. The jazz event is from 7-9:30p.m. every Sunday night. Admission is free.