Jazz appreciation month

April is here, and that means Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM). In 2002, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History launched JAM, which has since become an international celebration of jazz. As fans, you can take someone to a jazz concert. Share a favorite jazz CD, DVD or book with a friend. Bring someone not familiar with jazz into the music’s history.

Locally, the Artsgarden is celebrating JAM with 11 free jazz concerts scheduled during the month. On Thursday, KWYJIBO plays fusion jazz at 12:15 p.m. Saturday, it’s smooth jazz by the Paradigm Jazz Band at 1 p.m. Tuesday, the Briggs Houchin Duo plays classic jazz standards at 12:15 p.m.

Indy’s Jazz Fest

The American Pianist’s Association’s Ninth Annual Indy Jazz Fest features six top local and 14 national talents. The festival runs June 15-17 in Military Park (downtown Indianapolis). It’s a jazz star-loaded roster this year. Four of the top jazz artists performing have won 27 Grammy Awards combined.

The lineup includes Chick Corea (with nine Grammys) and Bela Fleck (eight Grammys); the McCoy Tyner Trio (four Grammys); the Regina Carter Quintet; the Cool City Swing Band; Al Green; Monika Herzig and Women in Jazz; Hiromi; Mike Milligan & Steam Shovel; James Hunter; the Monk Legacy Septet; Sherrie Maricle’s Diva Jazz Orchestra; Nnenna Freelon (six Grammys) and Rachel Price; ORI; Frank Smith; Spyro Gyra; Somi; Yerba Buena; this year’s APA Cole Porter Fellow in Jazz; and Indy’s Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra High School All Stars.

Indy Jazz Fest tickets are on sale at all Kroger stores for $20 (single day; $30 at the gate) and $50 (three-day pass). Children ages 14 and under are admitted free with a ticket-holding adult.

WICR Jazz Festival

WICR 88.7 FM The Diamond presents its first WICR Jazz Festival, a free, all-ages, outdoor event, on Saturday, April 14 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on the University of Indianapolis campus, 1400 E. Hanna Ave. The festival will take place in the middle of campus on Smith Mall.  

Performing artists include: The UIndy Jazz Combo at 11 a.m.; Harry Miedema & Bossa Rio Sextet at noon; Rob Dixon & Triology Plus One at 1 p.m.; Mary Moss & Friends at 2 p.m.; Bill Lancton at 3 p.m.; and the Monika Herzig Trio at 4 p.m.

In the event of rain, the festival will be held in the Ransburg Auditorium. Admission and parking are both free on the campus.

The WICR Jazz Festival marks the closing of the spring fund drive and celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month.

Jazz notes

• Indy jazz photographer Mark Sheldon will present a photography exhibit, Faces of Jazz, featuring local and national jazz artists April 9 through July 7 at the Jazz Kitchen. The exhibit opening, Monday, April 9, begins at 5:30 p.m. with light hors d’oeuvres from the Jazz Kitchen and wine tasting courtesy of Los Vascos and All American Wines. Music by the Frank Glover Quartet starts at 7:30 p.m.

• Jazz Kitchen owner David Allee was not superstitious about his club’s 13th anniversary last Sunday. “I really don’t have any time to worry about anything else other than getting the food out and making sure the drinks are cold,” he said. Allee was surprised recently when he received the Meridian Kessler Neighborhood Association’s Sid Mauer Award as the area’s top businessman.

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