231-299-0603 Tyra@jazzminhouse.com

Out of the numerous events taking place in Idlewild this spring and summer, John Meeks, Sr., a nonagenarian, with the energy and creative drive of a person one third his age, will likely be at most, if not all, of the events.

Idlewild is located in Lake County, a rural area at the edge of the Manistee National Forest on the northwestern Michigan.

Founded in 1912, Idlewild was one of the nation’s most popular African American resort communities until the mid-1960s. Well known entertainers and professionals from across the country, visited, performed, vacationed, purchased property and opened businesses in Idlewild. Desegregation ushered in its decline until about 2000.

Thanks to the state’s efforts and the work of countless individuals, and especially Mr. Meeks, Idlewild has experienced a resurgence in popularity.

Mr. Meeks created several popular annual events such as the 5th Annual Idlewild Homecoming Jazz and Blues Festival, which will take place on Saturday, August 5, 2017.He’s also spearheading the Idlewild African American Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament on July 29, 2017.

A forward thinker, in 2000 Mr. Meeks founded the Idlewild African American Chamber of Commerce to promote existing local businesses and attract new ones. Mr. Meeks, who is featured in this attached video, is a jewel who loves the Idlewild community. The video was taken after the 2nd Annual Homecoming Jazz and Blues Festival. It’s still free and attracted 800 guests last year.
In fact, he has dedicated the last 30 years to developing Idlewild, which means nurturing numerous relationships while constantly building new ones.

Every conversation I’ve had with him is delightful and I learn much more than I expected. Whenever possible, I try to introduce friends to him. They always feel the same way – delighted and enlightened.

I consider him a friend and hope you get to meet him one day.