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Posted on Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 5:50 a.m.

Courtyard Jazz series returns to the Gandy Dancer this summer

By Jenn McKee

The Courtyard Jazz series is back at the Gandy Dancer (401 Depot St. in Ann Arbor) this summer, with 14 concerts (no cover charge) on Wednesday nights from 6-9 p.m., from June 5-Sept. 11.

A press release contains the Courtyard Jazz series' full schedule.

This year’s series kicks off with the Ellen Rowe Quartet, featuring several faculty members of the University of Michigan’s Department of Jazz & Improvisation. Other crowd favorites returning this summer include alto saxophonist Vincent York, the wildly entertaining traditional jazz group Royal Garden Trio and bluesman Al Hill. The series will also spotlight some of the young Ann Arbor groups that are have re-energized the local jazz scene, including trumpeter Justin Walter, saxophonist Tim Haldeman and vocalist Heather Schwartz’s group The Heather Black Project. The series will culminate in a funky dance party, led by Ann Arbor blues-funk veterans FUBAR.

In addition to the impressive array of musical offerings, the Gandy Dancer will offer a special Courtyard Menu. … Concert-goers at last year’s events were enchanted by the ambience of the 125 year old train station - and most concerts feature a guest appearance by the evening train that chugs by the patio. This is a summer series not to miss.

Here’s a look at the full line up:
6/5 Ellen Rowe Quartet
6/12 Vincent York
6/19 Bill Heid Trio
6/26 Jake Reichbart Quartet
7/10 Sean Dobbins Organ Trio
7/17 Justin Walter Quartet
7/24 Royal Garden Trio
7/31 The Heather Black Project
8/7 Pat Prouty CD Release Party
8/14 Al Hill & the Love Butlers
8/21 Tim Haldeman Quartet
8/28 Ron Brooks Trio
9/4 Scott Gwinnell Quartet ft. Paul Finkbeiner
9/11 FUBAR

Jenn McKee is an entertainment reporter for Reach her at or 734-623-2546, and follow her on Twitter @jennmckee.


Gandy Dancer

Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 6:20 p.m.

There is no cover charge to attend our Courtyard Jazz series. However, we specialize in food and drink, and would hope that our guests would enjoy our offerings while listening to great music.


Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 1:17 p.m.

I'm not clear on how they are "free" if they are held in the Gandy Dancer restaurant courtyard. Are they "free" only to customers having dinner or drinks, in which case, it's not really a "free" concert. It's dinner entertainment. Or are they truly "free" to the public who can attend without purchasing drinks or dinner. More clarity is needed in the article.

Jenn McKee

Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 2:34 p.m.

I am checking in with the Gandy Dancer to see whether the public can listen to these concerts without being part of the restaurant's dinner crowd. I'll respond with an answer as soon as I get one. Thanks!

Bob Needham

Mon, Jun 3, 2013 : 2:34 p.m.

We're trying to get an answer about whether they can accommodate someone who doesn't want to order anything at all, but some people do just have a drink or a cup of coffee.