Tag Archive for Jazz

Indy Jazz Fest 2013 takes place September 12-21

The 15th annual Indy Jazz Fest returns in 2013 with a 10-day lineup in venues “All Around Town” September 12-21, a celebration of its year-round dedication to strengthening the Indianapolis jazz and arts scene. This year’s Festival will feature headliners Allen Toussaint, Ramsey Lewis, Eddie Palmieri, Diane Schuur, Ravi Coltrane, Jeff Coffin and Aaron Diehl. […]

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Indy Jazz Fest 2012: Opti Park Sunday, Sept. 16th

The last day of the Indy Jazz Fest, a smooth jazz tribute to Chuck Workman, took place at Opti Park near Broad Ripple, with music starting at 3:30pm.  Some people sat in lawn chairs in the large park, enjoying cold beers and pizza from the vendors set up on the perimeter.  Others sprawled out on blankets, drifting away with the smooth jazz that emerged from the stage.

First up was Brian Simpson featuring Maysa, who regaled the crowd with stories of lost and complicated love, then translating the tales into silky jazz tunes.  The audience bobbed their heads with the steady beat and commiserated with her.

Gerald Albright followed, who was smooth jazz personified; he favored, in his opinion, a more “old school” approach.  Moreover, the skilled jazz saxophonist produced astounding solos.  Also, he played many songs from the 80’s and even some interesting covers.  Soon the audience was singing and laughing along with Albright.  A woman beside me remarked: “Mmm, so smooth.”

The mellow concert finished with Brian Culbertson, a crowd favorite as well as a great performer.  Soon, the sun set on the park and the Indy Jazz Fest came to an end.  As someone who recently moved to Indianapolis, I am impressed by this city’s love and appreciation of jazz.  The two days of the series that I attended were professional, smoothly run and a lot of fun.  I feel lucky to live in a place that recognizes the importance of music.

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Indy Jazz Fest 2012: West Coast Cool

I’m originally from the east coast and always considered myself a bit out of touch with the west coast.  However, Cheryl Bentyne of The Manhattan Transfer and L.A. songwriter Mark Winkler brought me a little closer to that “West Coast Cool” with their performance for the Indy Jazz Fest at the Cabaret at the Columbia Club.  Although the room was rather warm, the show was 100% cool; Bentyne and Winkler had an undeniable chemistry which transported the audience to the smoke-filled, dimly lit eras of Anita O’Day and Chet Baker.

Winkler called the Indy Jazz Fest a “swingin’ thing” and proceeded to give a short history of the west coast jazz scene.  He and Bentyne, with tireless effervescence and charisma – even sex appeal – covered several jazz standards, including a fun mash-up of “Route 66” and “Alright, Okay, You Win.”  Their singing was always smooth, clean and enthusiastic and their performance infused with the cheeky humor that defines a cabaret.  They also brought picture cards of the famous jazz performers they referenced.

Winkler’s style was definitely finger-snapping, light and cool jazz; he had an easy and upbeat air.  His stand-out solo songs were “Lemon Twist” and “A Lonely Place,” which he wrote as a theme song for the lesser-known Humphrey Bogart film of the same name.

Cheryl Bentyne captivated the audience with her old-world allure, feckless spirit and silky voice.  The ballads “Talk of the Town” and “All about Ronnie” were heart-wrenching in their sincerity and simplicity.  She treated the audience and Indy Jazz Fest experience with great warmth, often addressing the audience.  Both artists spoke with fans and signed autographs after the show.

Additionally, I’d like to mention Jeremy Allen, the upright bassist for the duo.  His playing was slick and skillful, receiving much praise from both the audience and the performers.

“Cool” was certainly the buzzword of the evening, the atmosphere enhanced by the low red and purple lights, cocktails and intimate setting of the Cabaret at the Columbia Club.

Photo Credit: Photos courtesy of Mark Sheldon / Indy Jazz Fest

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Indianapolis Symphonic Choir opens new season with jazz

The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir launches its 76th season with two performances titled Mood Indigo, featuring jazz classics from the American Songbook. Under the direction of Assistant Artistic Director Michael Davis, the 24-voice Indianapolis Symphonic Choir Chamber Singers presents performances at 5:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. at the Indiana Landmarks Center on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012. Tickets for the cabaret-style performances (which include appetizers) range from $20 to $35, and are available at www.indychoir.org or by calling the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir at (317) 940-9057. Tickets are unlikely to be available at the door due to an anticipated capacity crowd.

“I can honestly say that this style of music is right up there next to classical music by Bach, Brahms and all the greats,” states Assistant Artistic Director Michael Davis. “It’s no mistake that these songs made popular by legends like Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Dean Martin continue growing in popularity through today’s artists like Michael Bublé, and the resurgence of cabaret shows. This music is some of the best ever created.”

While the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir is most commonly known as a presenter of classical repertoire, to more completely serve the Indianapolis community and to further expand its audience reach, the institution presents seasons that include classical masterworks, as well as vocal jazz, gospel music and new commissioned works.

These Mood Indigo performances are made possible by title sponsor Deloitte.

 

This post was submitted by Jessica Kiefer.

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2012 Indy Jazz Fest Concert Schedule

Stanley Clarke and George Duke

The Indy Jazz Fest presented by Marsh has unveiled the artists taking the stage as part of the festival’s week long Sunset Series as it prepares to kick off its 14th year. Held over a five-day period September 10-14, the Sunset Series leads into the festival’s annual finale at Opti Park in Broad Ripple, now set to take place over two days, September 15-16. Indy Jazz Fest combines the great venues of Indianapolis with the diversity of jazz styles. The full schedule and ticket information is available at the festival’s website: www.indyjazzfest.net

Sunset series

  • Monday, Sept. 10, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. – Aaron Diehl Quartet at the Jazz Kitchen, 5377 N. College Ave., presented by REI Real Estate. Diehl is the American Pianists Association’s 2011 Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz.

    Tickets are $25.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 11, 7 p.m. – The Latin Tinge featuring Chuchito Valdes and Pavel & Direct Contact at the Indiana Landmarks Center Cook Theater, 1201 Central Ave. Latino piano classics will be performed in an intimate space.

    Tickets are $20.

  • Wednesday, Sept. 12, 7:30 p.m. – “West Coast Cool” will feature a collaboration between Cheryl Bentyne of Manhattan Transfer and Mark Winkler at the Cabaret at the Columbia Club, 121 Monument Circle. Two of California’s hottest jazz singers explore the mellow, “west coast style” of jazz, presented by Printing Partners.

    Tickets can be purchased for $35, $45 and $55.

  • Wednesday, Sept. 12, 8 p.m. – Three bands share the stage for a night of funk and soul, featuring Bashiri Asad and Xenobia Green (Indianapolis), The Right Now (Chicago) and Derobert & The Half Truths (Nashville) at the Jazz Kitchen, 5377 N. College Ave.

    Tickets are $15.

  • Thursday, Sept. 13, 7 p.m. – WICR presents a special free concert featuring the Indy Jazz Fest Band in a tribute to legendary trombonist Slide Hampton at the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center at the University of Indianapolis, 1400 E. Hanna Ave.

    This concert is FREE open to all ages and made possible by United Water.

  • Friday, Sept. 14, 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. – The legendary Slide Hampton will celebrate his 80th birthday with the Steve Allee Big Band at the Jazz Kitchen, 5377 N. College Ave., presented by Foley & Abbott.

    Tickets are $30.

Throughout the week, nightly jazz will be featured at the Jazz Kitchen and Chatterbox.

The lineup in Opti Park will feature headliners Stanley Clarke and George Duke Saturday, Sept. 15 at 8:45 p.m., preceded by Robert Glasper Experiment at 5 p.m. and Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe at 6:45 p.m. Brian Culbertson will headline Sunday, Sept. 16 at 7:15 p.m., following Brian Simpson featuring Maysa at 3:30 p.m. and Gerald Albright at 5:15 p.m. Gates open at 4 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Ticket Information

Now in its fourth year as presenting sponsor, select Central Indiana Marsh Supermarkets will again serve as the ticket outlet for purchasing advance discount tickets for the Opti Park performances September 15 and 16. Attendees can pay only $25 on the regular general admission ticket price of $30 when buying in advance at Marsh Supermarkets. Returning this year will be the VIP Experience packages and the popular week-long JAZZpass, in addition to one and two-day passes for September 15-16. The VIP and week-long passes are available online at www.indyjazzfest.net.

Indy Jazz Fest is also proud to announce that the Hampton Inn Downtown Indianapolis is the 2012 festival’s host hotel, with hotel and ticket rates available for the week.

Enter to Win A Pair of Tickets

Would you like to attend the Indy Jazz Fest concerts at Opti Park on either  September 15th or 16th for FREE?

To enter please fill out the form here on Naptown Buzz with your full name,valid e-mail address by 11:59pm on Tuesday, September 4, 2012 and one (1) lucky winner will be chosen at random to receive a pair of tickets.

Your information is confidential and will only be used for contacting the winner and for prize fulfillment purposes.

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Giveaway Rules:

  • One entry per person
  • Open to Indiana residents
  • Fill out the form above or e-mail us with your full name & valid e-mail address to be entered to win by 11:59pm on Tuesday, September 4, 2012
  • You MUST be able to attend the show
  • Tickets will be mailed to the winner

The winner will be notified by Thursday, September 6, 2012 via e-mail.

 

This post was submitted by Jessica Kiefer.

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The Wolff & Clark Expedition To Play Famed Jazz Kitchen In Indianapolis

New York, NY – The jazz community is buzzing with excitement over the news of a special live engagement at the famed Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis by the Wolff & Clark Expedition on Saturday February 25, 2012. Featuring jazz legends Michael Wolff and Mike Clark, the concert is sure to be an unforgettable evening of hot jazz and funk. The group also features local Indianapolis musicians Rob Dixon on tenor sax and and popular jazz bassist Frank Smith. Hot off the heels of a very successful engagement at the Jazz Standard in New York, which featured James Genus on bass, Lenny Pickett from Tower of Power and now leader of the SNL band, and jazz virtuoso Steve Wilson on alto sax, the Wolff & Clark Expedition are preparing to tear it up in Indianapolis!

Performing together since the 1970s both Wolff and Clark individually have had stellar music careers. Michael Wolff is an internationally acclaimed pianist, composer and bandleader, and is best known for his melodically, fresh,and rhythmically compelling piano style. Wolff made his recording debut in 1972 with Cal Tjader, and went on to record with Cannonball Adderley, the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, Sonny Rollins, Tony Williams, Christian McBride and many others. As pianist and music director for jazz singer Nancy Wilson, Michael wrote orchestral arrangements and conducted more than 25 major symphony orchestras worldwide. From 1989 to 1994, Michael served as the band leader for the Aresenio Hall Show, which heightened his visibility and gave him the opportunity to perform with many established artists such as Ray Charles, Phil Collins, Whitney Houston, Patti LaBelle, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and saxophonist/president Bill Clinton. Michael Wolff has released 12 critically acclaimed solo albums to date as a leader, ‘Joe’s Strut’ being the most recent. He was a winner of the BMI Music Award for television composition and was also the winner of the Gold Gift Award in Japan for piano. Michael will be playing a solo piano concert on Thursday Feb 23, 2012 at University of Toledo, in Toledo, Ohio, as part of their Art Tatum solo piano concert.

What can be said about Mike Clark except that he is a true drum legend! Mike Clark gained worldwide recognition as one of America’s foremost jazz and funk drummers while playing with Herbie Hancock’s group in the early 1970’s. Mike became known as a major innovator through his incisive playing on Hancock’s ‘Thrust’ album, which garnered him an international cult following. While often referred to as the “Tony Williams of funk”, Mike considers himself a jazz drummer, and in fact has become one of the most vital to sit behind a set. He’s performed with jazz greats such as Herbie Hancock, Chet Baker, Vince Guaraldi, Tony Bennett, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, Eddie Henderson, Rob Dixon, Bobby Hutcherson, Woody Shaw, Donald Harrison, Larry Coryell, Jack Wilkins, Mike Wolff, Wallace Roney, Geri Allen, Billy Childs, James Genus, Bob Hurst, Chris Potter, Onaje Allan Gumbs, Bobby McFerrin, Al Jarreau, Dave Liebman, Nat Adderly, Oscar Brown Jr., Bill Doggett, Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, Mose Allison, Maxine Brown, Gil Evans and his orchestra and many illuminating artists too numerous to list. Mike is currently putting the finishing touches to his forthcoming solo CD ‘Indigo Blue’, which features Randy Brecker, Christian McBride, Ron Dixon and Antonio Farao.

Where: The Jazz Kitchen, 5377 N. College Ave., Indianapolis, IN, 46220 – Phone: 317-253-4900
http://thejazzkitchen.com/
When: Saturday, February 22, 2012 – 8 and 10 PM
Price: $15

Michael Wolff: www.michaelwolff.com
Mike Clark: www.mikeclarkmusic.com
Wolff & Clark Expedition Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/pages/Wolff-Clark-Expedition/256266051109019

This post was submitted by William James.

Indy Jazz Fest 2011

The Indy Jazz Fest presented by Marsh has unveiled the artists taking the stage as part of the festival’s week long Sunset Series as it prepares to kick off its 13th year. Held over a five-day period September 12-17 in many locations, Indy Jazz Fest combines the great venues of Indianapolis with the diversity of jazz styles. The full schedule and ticket information is available at the festival’s newly redesigned website: www.indyjazzfest.net

Sunset series

• Monday, Sept. 12, 7 p.m. – Aaron Diehl Trio at the Jazz Kitchen, 5377 N. College Ave. Special opener by guitarist Jeff McLaughlin, winner of the 2010 Owl Studios Emerging Artist Competition. Tickets are $25.

• Tuesday, Sept. 13, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. – The Headhunters at the Jazz Kitchen, 5377 N. College Ave. The former Herbie Hancock backing band combines funk, groove and latin. Tickets are $25.

• Wednesday, Sept. 14, 7 p.m. – Kevin Mahogany and the Steve Allee Trio at the Cabaret Columbia Club, 121 Monument Circle. Jazz standards and nostalgic gems. Tickets can be purchased for $35, $45 and $55.

• Thursday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m. – WICR is presenting a special free concert featuring the Indy Jazz Fest Band at the Christel de Haan Fine Arts Center at the University of Indianapolis, 1400 E. Hanna Ave. This concert is FREE and open to all ages.

• Friday, Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m. – Freda Payne pays tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and the Great Ladies of Jazz at Madame Walker Theatre Center, 617 Indiana Ave. Payne, known for her hit “Band of Gold,” will cover other jazz greats including Billie Holiday, Lena Horne and Dinah Washington. Tickets are $25.

Multi-Grammy award-winning musician George Benson will be the 2011 festival headliner as part of the outdoor grand finale September 17 on the grounds of Opti Park in Broad Ripple. Additional Saturday Main Stage performers include Spyro Gyra, Yellowjackets and Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue and Rufus Reid’s “Out Front” Quintet. Gates open at 12 p.m. with music on three stages from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m.

This post was submitted by Jessica Kiefer.