Jennifer Kirk has been a staple musician as a bassist on Indy’s music scene for a number of years. Locally, her big, booming, bass sound has been the pulse in a wide range of musical settings.
“I am flexible as a musician, I don’t like to limit myself to one particular style or genre,” she says. Kirk played in the American Cabaret Theater Band for 13 years and in other local theatrical productions. The Ball State graduate toured with the Maynard Ferguson Band as a sophomore after graduation, and she toured the world for three years with several renowned jazz groups like Ellis Marsalis, Randy Brecker and Joanne Brackeen.
Kirk is upbeat about the role women have played in music, especially jazz. “I think that the music scene in general has always been good to women, if the women had the skills, knowledge and temperament to do it,” she says. “We are getting the recognition just like men, especially here in the Midwest.”
She is also positive about Indy’s current jazz scene, but has some concerns. “It has grown and it has strengthened,” she says. “I feel that at the same time it has also kind of isolated itself. Indianapolis is too far away to draw fresh players from Chicago, Columbus or Cincinnati. There’s not enough money to entice players to come.”
Kirk is also concerned about the future of local jazz. “Each generation is getting thinner of players and smaller, and that bothers me. Ten years from now, who’s going to be on the scene?” But Kirk does still believe in the traditions of Indy jazz. “Our music is our music; to me it’s precious,” she says.
Kirk performs every Thursday and Friday from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Kincaid’s in Carmel and every Wednesday from 7-11 p.m. at Rick’s Café Boatyard with her trio.