Indy Jazz Fest announces 2016 lineup celebrating the magic of Wes Montgomery 

Our man Wes

  • The Turf Club, Indianapolis, circa mid-1950s
  • Photograph by Philip Kahl. Courtesy of the Buddy Montgomery estate

New this morning: Indy Jazz Fest announced its preliminary lineup for the 2016 fest, which celebrates the legendary Wes Montgomery in a 30+ band performance on Saturday, September 17. 

We've written a bunch about Wes' magic, most recently in a long interview with Zev Feldman of Resonance Records, which released a three-LP package of early and rare Montgomery recordings last year. 

This is a Wes-tastic week — the Museum of Music and Entertainment celebrates NUVO jazz writer Chuck Workman with a posthumous Ralph Adams Lifetime Achievement Award and a Wes Montgomery tribute concert. 

Here's more details of Indy Jazz Fest, from the organizers: 

A mainstay in the Indianapolis arts and culture scene, the annual Indy Jazz Fest returns in 2016 with a 10-day lineup celebrating the legendary Indianapolis native and GRAMMY Award winner Wes Montgomery (1923-1968), widely known as one of the foremost innovators and performers in jazz.

Indy Jazz Fest will once again be in venues “All Around Town” September 15-24, featuring performances at the IUPUI Campus Center, the historic Madame Walker Theatre, Indiana Landmarks Center, Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, Indianapolis Central Library, Main Street in Speedway, The Jazz Kitchen and Chatterbox Jazz Club.

“Wes Montgomery is a shining example of Indianapolis’ rich musical legacy,” said Indy Jazz Fest Director David Allee. “Wes’ music and innovations are a rite of passage for any jazz musician and along with his talented family and the community of Indiana Avenue musicians, their music brought forth a revolutionary sound that is emulated and celebrated worldwide to this day.”

Featured Lineup
The 2016 Indy Jazz Fest featured lineup will include the following, with additional artists to be announced soon.

Thursday, September 15 – 5-8 p.m.
Indy Jazz Fest “Let’s Get Excited” Party
Sponsored by Tom Wood Automotive Group & Faegre Baker Daniels
Indiana Landmarks Center - 1201 N. Central Ave.
Tickets: $20, FREE for Indianapolis Jazz Foundation Members

Get ready for a 10 day celebration of jazz in Indianapolis. The night starts as a cocktail party and media event complete with live music tributes to Indiana’s rich jazz legacy and the 2016 IJF Hall-of-Fame inductees.

Friday, September 16 – 7:30 p.m. & 10 p.m.
Jazz En Dominicana | Yasser Tejeda & Palotré
The Jazz Kitchen - 5377 N. College Ave.
Tickets: $20 ($30 - front row table)

Yasser Tejeda & Palotré is a Dominican fusion band that brings invigorating rock, jazz and fusion sounds to traditional Dominican rhythms. Founded by bandleader, composer and guitarist Yasser Tejeda, Palotré also includes drummer/percussionist Otoniel Nicolás, percussionist Juamy Fernández and bassist Luis Feliz.

Palotré’s debut CD Mezclansa (2009) was dubbed one of the “100 essential recordings of Dominican music” by the nation’s Association of Art Writers (Acroarte).

Friday, September 16 – 8 p.m. (doors at 7 p.m.)
Norman Brown | Smooth Jazz Guitar Icon
Sponsored by Eskenazi Health
Madame Walker Theatre - 617 Indiana Ave.
Tickets: $85, $65, $40, $20
Free Parking North of the Theater Center

GRAMMY Award winner Norman Brown is on close intimate terms with his audience. For almost two decades, it has been an engaging, mutually rewarding relationship, with the multitalented guitarist, composer and singer offering tasty sonic tidbits of classic R&B and contemporary jazz and his fans melting into satisfied aural experience.

Saturday, September 17 – 1-8 p.m.
Remembering Wes Celebration Presented by IUPUI
An event of the Indiana Bicentennial Celebration
Sponsored by IUPUI & REI Real Estate
IUPUI Campus Center - 420 University Blvd
4 floors | 5 stages | 30+ bands
Lobby concerts, exhibits, discussions – FREE
Main Performances – $25 adults | $10 students
VIP – All shows + hors d’oeuvres – $150 (limited to 100 people)

The biggest names in jazz guitar converge for an all-ages, conference-style interactive day of concerts, workshops, vendors, panel discussions, a student ensemble and local favorites. Headliners include Pat Martino, Chuck Loeb, Henry Johnson, Russell Malone, Bobby Broom, Fareed Haque, Dave Stryker, Will Matthews, Royce Campbell, Peter Bernstein plus numerous local, college and high school performers.

Sunday, September 18 – 3 p.m.
Pavel & Direct Contact | Africa - Clave Without Borders
Sponsored by Eskenazi Health, IndyGo, & Indianapolis Marion County Library
Indianapolis Central Library - 40 E St. Clair St.
Tickets: Free

Guest Artist Kwesi Brown from Sweet Poison Victim
Hosted by Rafael Sanchez from RTV6
A historic musical journey exploring the roots of clave and its development from Africa to the Caribbean and back.

Sunday, September 18 – 6:30 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Russell Malone Quartet
Sponsored by The Law Firm of Foley & Abbott
The Jazz Kitchen - 5377 N. College Ave.
Tickets: $25 ($35 front row table)

An adept jazz guitarist with a clean attack and fluid, lyrical style, Russell Malone plays a swinging, straight-ahead style weaving in elements of blues, gospel, and R&B. Malone was hooked on jazz and began intently studying albums by legendary guitarists like Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery. Guitarist for Diana Krall, Harry Connick Jr., Jimmy Smith.

Wednesday, September 21 – 7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.
Ravi Coltrane Quartet
Sponsored by Van Riper Woodard Family Foundation
The Jazz Kitchen - 5377 N. College Ave.
Tickets: $30 ($40 front row table)

Ravi Coltrane – saxes, Orrin Evans – piano
Jonathan Blake – drums, Dezron Douglas - bass

Ravi Coltrane (son of John & Alice) has released six albums as a leader. His latest, 'Spirit Fiction,’ was released for the Blue Note label. Additional credits include performances as well as recordings with Elvin Jones, Terence Blanchard, Kenny Baron, Steve Coleman, McCoy Tyner, Jack DeJohnette, Matt Garrison, Jeff 'Tain' Watts, Geri Allen, Joanne Brackeem, The Blue Note 7, among others. He is a co-leader of the Saxophone Summit with Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman.

Thursday, September 22 – 6 p.m.
Indy Jazz Fest Band presents “The Indianapolis Sound”
Sponsored by 88.7 WICR
Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center - 1400 E. Hanna Ave.
Tickets: FREE

IJF Hall-of-Fame guitarist Bill Lancton leads an all-star cast in tribute to the Indianapolis Sound. Notable performers and composers who represented and crafted the Indianapolis Sound include Wes, Monk and Buddy Montgomery, Freddie Hubbard, Slide Hampton, JJ Johnson, Jimmy Coe, Pookie Johnson.

Friday, September 23 – 6-10 p.m.
Jazz in Speedway Sponsored by Speedway Chamber of Commerce,
Dallara Indy Car Factory & Lino’s Coffee
Main Street, Speedway / Dallara IndyCar Factory
Tickets: FREE

The Town of Speedway is living up to its moniker “Speedway, More Than a Day in May.” This year's musical offering includes two of Indy's top groups on a beautiful outdoor stage at the Dallara Car Factory. Slated to perform are the Farrelly Markiewicz Jazz Quartet and the Red Hot Whiskey Sippers led by guitarist Bill Lancton.

Friday, September 23 - 7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.
Sullivan Fortner Trio
Sponsored by REI Real Estate & American Pianists Association
The Jazz Kitchen - 5377 N. College Ave.
7p | $30 ($40 front row table)
9:30p | $20 ($30 front row table)

Sullivan Fortner dazzled Indianapolis when he won the 2015 Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz of the American Pianists Association. A native of New Orleans, he has already made significant forays into the jazz world with notable tours performing with Stefon Harris, Christian McBride, and Roy Hargrove. He returns to Indianapolis with his trio featuring Indy favorites Kenny Phelps on drums and Nick Tucker on bass ready to share his music with friends and a city that has embraced his talent.

Friday, September 23 – 8 p.m.
Saturday, September 24 – 7 p.m.
Allan Harris – Nobody’s Gonna Love You Better
Sponsored by Morris Machine Co, Inc. | Chris Morris & James Gibson
The Cabaret at the Columbia Club - 121 Monument Circle, Suite 516
Tickets: $65/$55/$45/$35 + $12 Food or beverage minimum

"One of the three best male jazz vocalists in the country." - CNN's Showbiz Tonight

Award-winning singer and guitarist Allan Harris is one of the most versatile talents in jazz today. The Miami Herald describes Harris as an artist with, “the warmth of Tony Bennett, the bite and rhythmic sense of Sinatra, and the sly elegance of Nat ‘King' Cole.” Tony Bennett has called Allan "my favorite singer."

Saturday, September 24 – 3 p.m.-midnight
Indy Jazz Fest Block Party
Sponsored by Eskenazi Health & Printing Partners
The Jazz Kitchen & Yats - 54th & College Ave.
Tickets: $20 per person / $10 after 9:30p (at the door only)

Closing night celebration with 11 bands on 2 stages inside and out.
A shared buffet of food from the The Jazz Kitchen and Yats will be available for $10 per person. Join us for food, drinks and great music. It’s a party! Adults 21+. Please check for line-up.


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Katherine Coplen

Katherine Coplen

Always looking for my new favorite band. Always listening to my old ones, too. Always baking cakes. Always collecting rock and roll dad quotes.

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