When news broke that a Papa John's deliveryman had been murdered while on the job by an unknown assailant, a certain corner of the Indianapolis music scene just stopped.
And then they sprung into action.
Because that deliveryman, Daniel Jaffke, wasn't just a casualty of violent crime. He was a son, a friend, a scene supporter, a fan, a musician.
This Friday, a massive show will honor Jaffke at the 5th Quarter Lounge. Previous arrangements, planned for Rock House Cafe, had to be moved because of space issues. That's because organizers have collected 16 bands, a DJ set (from Jaffke's sister) and a bagpiper to honor him. Jaffke's connections in the music scene ran deep, and they're turning out in full force to honor him. Flights are booked, bands are reuniting.
"He was in Steel Trap, way, way, back when we were kids," says Kevin Gibson, a close friend who is helping put Friday's show together. "Yeti, Two O'Clock Twilight, Furthest To Defy — that was it as far as named projects, but he always had something going on. [He made] countless hours of music."
Jaffke had already put in his two week's notice at Papa John's when he was murdered at an apartment complex on the Southside on Jan. 31. (A suspect has been arrested, and the investigation is ongoing.) He delivered pizzas in addition to his full-time job as a machinist at C&R Racing. And that's in addition to all his work with music. Jaffke was busy – and beloved.
"He was extremely dedicated to music and his friends and family," Gibson, who has known Jaffke for over 15 years, says. "He would give you the shirt off his back and probably his pants too, if you needed them. He worked and worked and worked. If he needed money for another music project, he would go and get another job."
All proceeds from ticket sales and 20 percent of the bar's earnings at Friday's show will benefit the Jaffke family, which includes Daniel's six siblings. Those sales are complemented by a Go Fund Me campaign that has to date raised $14,705.
On this lineup for this Friday's show are: Spacehate, The Clams, These City Limits, Shadeland, Phoenix on The Fault Line, Seven Degrees From Center, In Calico, Bulletwolf, Summon the Destroyer, Black Lions, Ryan Noblitt, Dave DeMaggio, Dead on TV, Involuntaries, Radiation Sickness, Henry French and The Shameless and Forrest Hill. Both the upstairs and downstairs spaces will be utilized; extra parking has been made available, and time and gear have been donated.
Some bands, like Seven Degrees From Center, haven't played together in years. Their drummer is flying in from New York to make the show. Others were favorites of Jaffke's, best friends and musical brothers.
Putting a show of this magnitude together requires a lot of hands. So who all is involved?
"Mona and Tony at 5th Quarter," Gibson says. "Tom and Brian at Clear Sound Design, McGuire Scenic and Justin Strange for the stage, Scotty Steinhoff and Pragmatic for the lights, Dustin Cade for security and various band members, including Thomas Hunt (Bulletwolf) Ryan Green (Summon The Destroyer), Brian Nichols (These City Limits), all of Seven Degrees from Center," among so many stagehands and bookers we don't have space to list them all.
A massive show like this makes Gibson think of the kinds of shows where his and Jaffke's friendship blossomed.
"It reminds me of the shows that me and Dan used to go to when we were kids," he says. "You'd go to the Emerson and there were these massive music festivals — not just one genre, all together. It all just worked. And that's how we all met each other anyways."
Although it's a terrible reason to have to come together for a show, Gibson thinks Jaffke would appreciate at least the effect that his passing has had on his corner of the music scene.
"Since the funeral, everybody [from 15 years ago] is all talking again, and hanging out. That's exactly what he would want."Gibson sends special thanks to Katelyn Rouse, Dawn Jenkins, Laura Giffin, Nikki Morrison, Jennifer Gibson, Jason Hunt, Austin Burton Josh Kappel, Starla Hale, Amanda Dill, Mike Vandergriff, Cody Harper, Will Wadsworth, The Rock House, Lizards Pub.
[Music] DJs + Dancing