It's been two years since one of Indy's best jazz vocalists, Cherryl Hayes, left town and took up residence in Bangkok, Thailand, where she has made a name for herself on the exotic hotel and nightclub circuit of the Pacific Rim. Hayes just returned home last Sunday for a two-week stay. She has been performing all over the region. "I have been working in Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong and mainland China."
Cherryl Hayes performs two shows this Saturday at the Jazz Kitchen with Steve Allee, Frank Smith and Kenny Phelps.
Hayes was surprised by the youth and response of audiences to her work when she performed in China. "I just performed there last week. I was really surprised by the young Chinese people who came out. They didn't understand what I was singing but they enjoy it. I think that's because they were curious."
According to Hayes, the hotels and clubs have changed and now want a mixture of jazz and pop. Hayes says she is working constantly throughout the region but she recently had a memorable moment. "I spent time with Shirley Horn in Singapore. She was there for a concert. It was a thrill just to hold her hand and talk and be in her company."
She had some words of advice for any musicians and singers who plan to come to the Pacific Rim to work. "They have to be strong and willing and don't undercut the pay scale to get their foot in the door. If you can't come over there professionally then you should stay home."
She admits she has changed her repertoire to include more pop tunes along with jazz that she will do at the Jazz Kitchen Saturday, June 11. Backing up Hayes will be Steve Allee, Frank Smith and Kenny Phelps.
If you haven't heard Hayes, this is a rare chance to enjoy a complete singer who can emote with great conviction and innovate on ballads, then turn around and scat up-tempo tunes and give swinging renditions of standards with her dynamically free-flowing vibrato. Welcome back, Cherryl, even for just a little while.
* Keni Washington will play "Summertime On Easley Street" Saturday at Easley Winery from 2 to 5 p.m. Free.
* Essence Factor & Goldie are at "Blues In the Hood" Sunday at Watkins Park from 5 to 8 p.m. Free.
* The Dixie Power Trio is featured Thursday at the Indiana History Center's Concerts on the Canal from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Free except for reserved tables.
* Bill Lancton plays a free lunchtime Concert on the Canal at the Indiana History Center Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
* Knee Deep in the Weeds performs Friday at 7 p.m. at the Chateau Thomas Winery in Plainfield. Free.
* The Uptown Jazz Quartet will play the Upper Room of the Broad Ripple Steakhouse Friday from 9 p.m. to midnight. Saturday, they play Jazz at Twilight & BBQ in Zionsville at St. Francis Episcopal Church, 1525 Mulberry St., 6 to 9 p.m.
* The Indianapolis Jazz Club, now in its 49th year, presents the Buffalo Ridge Jazz Band in concert Sunday at Park Tudor School's Clowes Commons, 71st Street and College Avenue, from 2 to 5 p.m.
* Jazz pianist Roy Meriwether's Trio of Frank Smith and Kenny Phelps play an evening of jazz Thursday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. in the East Gallery of the Wells Cultural Center, 638 North St., downtown Lafayette.