The Lansing City Market is excited to announce the return of our summer concerts on the riverfront. The Grand Concert Series is comprised of Jazz on the Grand, Blues on the Grand, and a new addition this year of R&B on the Grand. The City Market and LEPFA have been working with local organizations, including the MSU College of Music, and T. Rose Inc, to give back to the community and provide more entertainment options for Greater Lansing residents.
The event’s FREE ADMISSION is due to generous sponsorship from LAFCU, Wolverine Development, Forsberg Real Estate Company, and WKAR.
Bring a camp chair, but leave the food at home, because you can grab a drink and dinner at the Waterfront Bar & Grill. Other select merchants will be open throughout the event, including River Town Adventures renting out kayaks to watch the concert from the river.
July 20th’s headliner is local jazz duo, Horn and Holland. Their bio on the website www.hornandholland.com provides their history and influences:
“Combining their extensive and diverse musical backgrounds to create a fresh new sound and vision for contemporary urban jazz, keyboardist/producer Darren Horn and saxophonist Dr. Sean Holland – recording and performing under the catchy moniker Horn & Holland – are bringing the genre a major step forward with the release of their infectious, easy grooving, soulful debut single ‘Steps of a Good Man.’ The track, co-written by Horn, Eric Scott and Donyea, dynamically blends jazz, gospel ad R&B with a steady groove, powerful horn textures and cool, choir-like backing vocals. In addition to showcasing Holland’s passionate alto sax, it’s the perfect, dynamic embodiment of Horn’s long-time credo as a songwriter: ‘I love to tell stories with music even before a lyric hits the paper. I feel like I have 14 seconds to buy another 30 seconds more of your listening time. If I can hook you in by that point, you’ll want to stick around to hear the rest of the story.’
The tale of how these two major musical talents met and formed their unique partnership is an exciting narrative in itself. Their faith was a driving force. The two met at a National Day of Prayer gathering at the Marriot Hotel in their mutually adopted hometown of Lansing in 2014. Holland, Senior Pastor at the Epicenter of Worship Church, was a keynote speaker, and Horn was there performing with his wife, renowned gospel singer AnnaMaria; Horn has been writing and producing projects for her for many years. After that event, Holland and Horn kept running into each other at other faith based events, and at one point, Holland invited Horn and his wife to share their music at one of his church’s worship services.
As their friendship grew and they started having deeper discussions about their love of music, Holland – who had set aside his musical ambitions for years to pursue success in business and later launch a ministry and congregation – began writing down his goal to one day play sax professionally and record CDs. Dreams began to take shape as reality after a local concert by Christian rock band Ashes Remain, which featured AnnaMaria as an opening act. Thinking of future projects, Horn asked Holland if he knew of anyone who could play sax. Holland nearly told him of someone else he knew, but then a ‘little voice’ inside him told him to share the truth of his formidable talents. Horn was blown away by Holland’s skills and showmanship – and soon the two were working together as a duo, recording and performing live.
Explaining their chemistry and mutual vision to contribute a new vibe to the urban jazz world, Holland says, ‘When Darren and I realized we had this incredible connection, we focused not just on writing nice songs people might like but ones that had the power to move and influence people and could change the atmosphere of their whole day. Our goal was to produce a sound that would inspire people would say, ‘That’s different.’ We started talking about our backgrounds and realized we could mix gospel, jazz and R&B in a new way that fashions creative bridges from the old R&B/jazz era to the new.’
Horn echoes his partner: ‘Our literal goal is to take the listener places – and when you get to the end of the song, you feel like you’ve been on a journey. No matter what was going on in your life before you listen to Horn & Holland, we want these songs to touch you. If you’re in a positive atmosphere, we want to enhance that. If you’re in a negative place, we want to drag you out of there. Our motivating force is getting people to focus on the positive through our music.’”