Yellowjackets Russell Ferrante 

Contemporary jazz cutting-edge group The Yellowjackets will be at the Jazz Kitchen Monday, June 12. They are on a national tour celebrating their 25th anniversary and the release of their new CD and DVD, Twenty Five. I spoke with Russell Ferrante, one of the original founders of the group, by phone for this interview.

NUVO: You have been arranging for various vocalists. Is the band considering adding a vocalist?

Ferrante: We have worked with Michael Franks and Take Six. Just before we spoke, I was on the phone with Bobby McFerrin. Bobby has been sitting in with the band a little recently; we have a piece of music that we are working on together. We may do something of a vocal-orithere’s nothing really set at this time.

NUVO: Your synthesizer and Mintzer’s EWI represent technology in the band, but I have noticed that lately the group is going more to an acoustic jazz sound. Is that a new trend for The Yellowjackets?

Ferrante: It has been the trend in the last few recordings, especially since Bob Mintzer joined the band. We blend the two; we will still play things that feature the EWI or my synth as orchestration and color but the core sound is the saxophone and acoustic piano.

Admission prices for The Yellowjackets: 7:30 show $25 advance, $27.50 day of show; 9:30 show $20 advance, $22 day of show.

All about jazz

IUPUI’s Director of Jazz Studies Jack Gilfoy will present a series of concerts as forerunners for the Indy Jazz Fest titled “All About Jazz.” Sunday, June 11, The Jack Gilfoy Trio with the Rev. Marvin Chandler and Steve Dokken will perform two morning services at St. Luke’s Methodist Church, 150 W. 86th St.
Monday, June 12: The Gilfoy Trio will play an “All About Jazz” recital at 7:30 p.m. in Room 152 of the ICTC Building IUPUI, 535 W. Michigan St. Admission is $5.

Wednesday, June 14: The Gilfoy Quintet performs two programs of “Jazz For Little People” at 10 a.m. and noon in the music hall of the Indiana History Center, 450 W. Ohio St. Programs are aimed at kids, but all ages are welcome.

Jazz data

• Jazz is back in a big way at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse downtown on Sunday nights. Pianist/keyboardist Ken Fary anchors a trio setting each week with various guest instrumentalists or vocalists. Last Sunday, I caught a very hip and swinging trio with Fary’s wailing keyboard and guest Michael Eaton blowing some very potent tenor sax along with Joel Kelsey’s strong bass lines propelling the whole thing. Next Sunday night, trombonist and co-leader of the BWJO, Brent Wallarab, will be the guest artist. The downbeat starts at 7 going to 10:30 p.m.

• Pianist/keyboardist Carl Hines plays the Friday, June 9 free “Lunchtime Concert” at the downtown City Market from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

• “Concerts on the Canal” at the Indiana History Center, 450 W. Ohio St., will showcase The Pocket Big Band Thursday, June 8, presented by the IU School of Music at IUPUI, with jazz, swing and standards from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Concerts are free lawn seating.

• Everett Greene will play “Jammin’ at the Jorg” at the Eiteljorg Museum, 500 W. Washington St., Thursday, June 8 from 5:30-8 p.m. Admission is $5 for members and $8 for non-members.

• Award-winning jazz clarinetist Frank Glover and his quartet will headline the “Fourth Art in the Square Evening” Thursday, June 8 at 8:30 p.m. Activities will take place at Deano’s Vino, 1112 Shelby St. in historic Fountain Square. Paintings by local artists will be on display along with special dinner choices and a full menu of wine and beer from around the world.

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