20th Annual EDGEFEST 2016: 20 Years at the Edge!

View this year's lineup

What is Edgefest?

      Read the 2016 Edgefest Official Press Release

Edgefest In The Press

Edgefest Funding & Sponsors

Reserve seats now!


Discover FRINGE at the EDGE

Become an EDGEHEAD


The Lineup

This year's lineup coming soon!


What is Edgefest?

"The annual rite of fall in Michigan music...running off the beaten tracks."
- Downbeat

Founded in 1997, Edgefest is an award­-winning annual avant­-garde jazz and creative new music festival with a unifying purpose: to explore new music created by today's composer­s and performers from the United States and beyond. Under the direction of founder Dave Lynch, it began as a single­day event and is now a major 4­ day festival that includes collaborations and educational outreach.

The 20th Annual Edgefest: 20 Years at the Edge will take place October 26th through 29th, 2016 and will celebrate the iconic and avant-garde artistry of the past 20 years, while looking ahead to the future of the festival and jazz at the edge itself! On the occasion of the festival’s 20th anniversary, Dave Lynch, founder of Edgefest and the Artistic Director for its first 10 years, joins KCH in the planning of this banner year. Drawing from the artist rosters of former Edgefests, 2016 will feature distinguished groundbreaking composer­s and performers with their ensembles and collaborators, illuminating their various innovative roles in the avant/jazz world of today. In the tradition of Edgefest, the roster will also include renowned performers and ensembles from our home community of Southeast Michigan and other new­-to­-the­-festival faces from the front lines of the avant­-garde jazz scene.

Read the 2016 Edgefest Official Press Release

Edgefest In the Press

Drouot, Alain. "Edgefest Now Bigger Than Ever." DownBeat. November 2016. 

Bjorn, Lars. "Edgefest 2016 Marks 20 Years." SEMJA Update. October 2016.

What People Are Saying About Edgefest:

"If you've got an ear for adventurous music that doesn't care much for the constraints of genre, labels or convention, then you should be in the audience for Edgefest."
- Mark Stryker, The Detroit Free Press

"To paraphrase the state motto of Michigan, if you seek a deeper groove, look about you."
- Lawrence Cosentino, Signal to Noise

 “One of the premier national events for avant-garde and improvisational music in the world.”
- Mike McGonigal, The Detroit Metro Times

“Edgefest sits squarely at the nexus of improvised music and contemporary composition, ignoring, nay obliterating, any concern of genres and boundaries...Edgefest once again cast its bright light on some of the world’s most exciting and challenging music.”
- Arlene & Larry Dunn, I Care If You Listen

Read reviews from previous Edgefests:

Review of Edgefest 2012 by Arlene and Larry Dunn

Live review of Edgefest 2011 by Lawrence Cosentino,
from Signal to Noise

Edgefest 2011 Review in Jazz.ru

Edgefest Funding & Sponsors

Edgefest 20 is made possible through the generous sponsorship of The Maxine and Stuart Frankel Foundation, in honor of Maurice and Linda Binkow on the occasion of her 80th birthday and their 60th wedding anniversary.
Edgefest 20 is honored to receive a matching grant on ticket sales from the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation, including double for every new attendee.
Encore Records at 417 E. Liberty St. has sponsored and hosted the Tuesday evening Fringe events. Check back later for our exact schedule, and check out Encore Records for one of the most interesting music selections in the area!
Edgefest 20 is supported by New Music USA, made possible by annual program support from the Helen F. Whitaker Fund and the Aaron Copland Fund for Music. To follow the project as unfolds, visit the Edgefest project page here.
Additional support for Edgefest is made possible in part by an awards from the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, the Michigan Council for Arts & Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.
Additional support for the festival is also provided by The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, & Dance.


As part of the 20th anniversary of Edgefest this, KCH is kicking off a new series of free public performance events throughout Ann Arbor in the lead-up to the celebration of this banner year! Join us for one of our free Warming Up the Edge concerts throughout October!

Warming Up the Edge Lineup

5:00pm Mark Kirschenmann's Big Fun
At the UMMA
8:00pm Samuel Blaser & Gerry Hemingway
At Encore Records
8:00pm Dave Rempis's Gunwale
At Encore Records

Discover FRINGE at the EDGE

As part of the 10th anniversary of Edgefest in 2006, KCH created a series of free public performance events which took place during the days and early evenings in restaurants, cafés and galleries in downtown Ann Arbor, featuring some of the areas most accomplished creative musicians.

The Fringe project, now a festival staple, has been very successful in moving creative and imaginative music making out of the conventional concert hall venue and into public spaces such as bars, restaurants and markets.

Fringe Lineup

8:00pm Daher-Malis Duo with John Lindberg, and a solo set by Jason Kao Hwang
At Encore Records
5:00pm Ken Kozora Group
at Amadeus Restaurant
9:00pm Ornâmatik
At Sweetwaters Coffee & Tea
5:30pm All Sanctuary
At The Lunch Room

Reserve your seats now!

Call or click:
734-769-2999 or Reserve Online


Edgefest will take place at Kerrytown Concert House as well as other downtown Ann Arbor venues. Tickets for individual events may be purchased by cash, check, or credit at the door of each concert site beginning 30 minutes prior to each show. All seating reserved through phone or e-mail is guaranteed only until performances are scheduled to begin. Edgepasses may be reserved directly through the KCH website or by calling 734-769-2999. Individual day passes will be available for purchase after the lineup is announced.

$160 - Edgepass

• Entrance to the Edgefest VIP opening dinner party
• General admission to ALL ticketed Edgefest events (over $250 value)

Become an EDGEHEAD

The festival depends on individual contributions, even more as cuts in corporate sponsorships affect the festival. As an Edgepass holder who becomes an Edgehead, you will not only be invited to the opening night dinner - always a gourmet feast in an informal, fun atmosphere - but those pass holders contributing $150 or more will have assigned seats in the first and second rows at ticketed events and those contributing at least $100 will have assigned seats beginning in the third row.

Guests who purchase the special EDGEHEAD Edgepass at $260 receive personalized, reserved seating in the second section (rows 3-5) at all ticketed Edgefest events, and guests who purchase the EDGEHEAD Edgepass at $310 receive personalized, reserved seating in the first section (rows 1-2) at all ticketed Edgefest events. Seats are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, so reserving early is highly recommended! Edgepass holders, EDGEHEADS and sponsors are invited to the VIP opening dinner party. Edgepasses may be purchased by cash or check (made payable to "KCH") and picked up at Kerrytown Concert House at any time during the festival. Edgepasses can also be paid for via credit card over the phone (with a 3.5% processing fee) or in person at KCH (with a 2.75% processing fee).

$260 - EDGEHEAD Edgepass ($100 of which is tax-deductible)

• Entrance to the Edgefest VIP opening dinner party
• Personalized, reserved seating in the second section (Rows 3 - 5) for ALL ticketed Edgefest events (over $400 value)

$310 - EDGEHEAD Edgepass ($150 of which is tax-deductible)

• Entrance to the Edgefest VIP opening dinner party
• Personalized, reserved seating in the first section (Rows 1 - 2) for all ticketed Edgefest events (over $500 value)


The Microtel Inn and Suites is a sponsor of Edgefest, offering Kerrytown Concert House Edgefest artists and patrons a special Edgefest rate. An added Microtel benefit is seeing and meeting Edgefest artists as they come and go at the Microtel.


To make a reservation at the Microtel (3610 Plymouth Road-near US 23):

  1. Call the Microtel Reservations Desk at 734-997-9100
  2. Make a reservation with the front desk and be sure to mention that you are an Edgefest patron.

For more information on places to stay in Ann Arbor, see our Planning Your Visit page or go to visitannarbor.org

Planning Your Visit

Our historic Kerrytown neighborhood



20th Annual EDGEFEST 2016: 20 Years at the Edge!

20th Annual EDGEFEST 2016: 20 Years at the Edge!

Mark Your Calendars for Edgefest 21

Wednesday-Saturday, Oct. 18-21, 2017