July 4 is on us, with some explosive jazz to complement the fireworks this weekend.
Bill Lancton & Legends of Acid Jazz will be at the Jazz Kitchen Friday. Shows are at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.
* Convergence, with guest tenor saxophonist Keni Washington, will play St. Phillips Episcopal Church's free "Fourth Fest" July 4 from 4:30 p.m. until dark at MLK Drive and St. Clair Street. There will be games and food.
* The Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra will host its Fifth Annual Big Band Variety Show Sunday, July 3 at 8 p.m. in the Community Life Center at Washington Park East, 10612 E. Washington St. Featured will be patriotic hits, big band standards and solo features. For tickets call 1-800-595-4849 or the CLC Gift Shop at 317-396-3704.
* Concerts on the Canal at the Indiana History Center will feature an Independence Day Concert Monday, July 4 from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Performing is Tad Robinson's Blues Band of Gold '60s,'70s and '80s Hits and Circle City Sound. Concerts are free except for reserved table seating near the stage. Tables of four, $20, Indiana Historical Society members, $15.
* Cynthia Layne will perform at Concerts on the Canal at the IHC Thursday, June 30 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Concert is free except for reserved tables.
* Gregg Bacon's sax and flute with James Simmons' guitar/keyboard can be heard Tuesday at Cafe @ Ray, 946 S. Meridian St., from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.
* Bacon & Simmons play for lunch diners every Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the 106th Street Grill at 106th Street and Michigan Road.
* Bella Vita Ristorante, 11699 Fall Creek Road at Geist, features Gregg Bacon, sax and flute, James Simmons, guitar, Michael Simmons, keyboards, and Tommy Jones, drums, every Wednesday, playing 6:30 to 10 p.m.
* New jazz group Fred Sight's Mo Betta Jazz featuring Barbara Epps, vocals, Jennifer Kirk, bass, and Clinton Taylor, drums, performs Fridays at Estilo's on the patio, 4939 E. 82nd St., from 6 to 10 p.m.
New on CD
New recordings from local jazz artists will be released this summer. Cathy Morris has an outstanding new CD titled Latin Jazz that features Cathy not only playing but shows she is a good vocalist as well. Her Brazilian/Latin band propels this release to exceptional levels. This is one to watch for.
Guitarist Charlie Smith's long-awaited second CD will be available this summer. Smith is surrounded by some of Indy's top players for a different musical vibe. Titled On The Double, this is a party jam that cooks with a blues feel.