Appleton acknowledges that Wes made him serious about music and jazz. “I was just a kid and Wes would make me rehearse. He said, you’ve got something special and I can’t let that go to waste.” Appleton admits that as a kid he didn’t appreciate Wes Montgomery until much later, which is why he has put together this tribute, for all that he learned in those days of playing with Montgomery and Melvin Rhyne at the old Hub Bub Club on West 30th Street. Earlier this year in New York, Appleton debuted his Montgomery tribute and he plans to record an album dedicated to Wes Montgomery entitled Roots Back Home Again In Indiana.
Appleton has found a guitarist that he feels is capable of recreating Montgomery’s sound in veteran New York guitarist Greg Skaff. Skaff has been performing for 20 years nationally and internationally. He is fluent and versatile in playing bebop, blues and ballads. His credentials are impressive as a regular in Stanley Turrentine’s group and playing with Indy jazz legend Freddie Hubbard as well as backing vocalists Gloria Lynne and Ruth Brown.
Appleton’s lineup for the Jazz Kitchen “Tribute to Wes” will have Skaff on guitar, Luke Gillespie on piano, “Pookie” Johnson on sax and Joel Kelsey on bass.
When asked how he feels about the state of jazz being played today, Appleton has some staunch beliefs. “It seems that the younger players that I am hearing think that they are playing more, by playing more notes and by changing the form around and by putting all different kinds [together]. The younger kids that are coming up today, the only thing they can do is listen to those that created this music on record. That’s not actually being there and feeling it the way that it was when I was coming up. We are losing so many of our jazz giants rapidly.” Killer Ray Appleton is on a mission to maintain the integrity of jazz and especially that which came from Indy and Wes Montgomery.
Cathy Morris and the Brazilian Lounge Band will be featured with the Indianapolis Arts Chorale and the International School Children’s Choir in a special concert entitled “Cantos! The Spirit of South America” at the Freemason Hall at the corner of North and Illinois streets Saturday, Nov. 6 at 8 p.m. Music from Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela and other South American countries will be featured. For tickets and more information call 317-847-9673.
The third annual Hoagy Carmichael Festival will be held in Bloomington at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater Thursday, Nov. 4 to Sunday, Nov. 7. Thursday’s 8 p.m. kickoff will feature Jazz From Bloomington with small ensemble performances from local groups and vocalists headed by David Baker, Luke Gillespie, Patrick Harbison, Michael Lucas and Thomas Walsh among others. Friday, Nov. 5, nationally acclaimed sensation, 21-year-old pianist vocalist and songwriter Peter Cincotti will headline the evening starting at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6 features the 70-member Bloomington Pops Orchestra. Sunday, Nov. 7 is “Carmichael in Cinema,” a day of movies starting at 1:30, 3 and 7 p.m. For more information and tickets call 812-323-3020.
Chatterbox, 435 Massachusetts Ave. Friday, fusion jazz by KWYJIBO. Saturday, jazz harp with Jan Aldridge Clark Jazztet, 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.; cover charge.
Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, 45 S. Illinois St. “Sizzling Steaks & Jazz Sunday” with Brian Meyers Trio, 7 to 10 p.m. Ken Fary, piano, Monday to Thursday, 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.
Jazz Kitchen, 54th Street and College Avenue. Friday, national artist pianist Michael Wolf. Saturday, Killer Ray Appleton’s “Tribute To Wes Montgomery” shows at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m.
Sullivan’s Steakhouse, 3316 E. 86th St., Keystone at the Crossing. Friday, Steve Corn, piano, Joe Deal, bass. Saturday, John Spicknall, piano, John Huber, bass. Music 5 to 11 p.m. Sunday, Bill Kennaugh, piano, Joel Kelsey, bass. Music 5 to 9 p.m.
Midtown Grille, 815 E. Westfield Blvd. Dave Hepler, piano, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 7 to 10 p.m.
Smokehouse Cafe, County Line Road and Meridian Street. “Sunday Jazz Brunch” tasty jazz and dining music by The Impulse Trio, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Dine & Dance with Tommy Wills Twosome, 7 to 10 p.m.
Pauly’s Italian Restaurant, Southport Road and Highway 37. Sax sounds with Sophie Faught and Maiden Voyage. Wednesday, 6:30 to 9 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 to 10:30 p.m.
Chuck Workman is the producer/host of the Sunday Morning Jazz Show at 107.9 WTPI.