American Legion Post 249 is
taking a proactive role in supporting young local jazz musicians this year. Jerry Smith,
the second vice officer of Post 249, which is located at 2523 Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr. St., explains: "We have instituted a jazz workshop featuring some
ofIndianapolis's finest jazz
musicians and clinicians. The participating musicians invite all of our young
aspiring musicians, 18 and up, as well as seasoned veterans. We would like to
create an atmosphere reminiscent of Indy's old club jam sessions, which were
the training ground for many that reached national stardom and fame."
Rudolph Finnell, a retired
music director at Broad Ripple High School who was inducted into the
Indianapolis Jazz Hall of Fame in 2010, co-founded the Jazz Workshop with
Smith. I asked Finnell about the cost for those attending the Jazz Workshop.
"There is no cost to those aspiring jazz musicians," he told me. "It's free to
Jazz Workshops take place the
second Saturday of each month from 3 to 7 p.m. in the Robert C. Collins Hall of
the post. A live jam session performance follows each workshop. Scheduled
performers for the jam session include the Gary Walters Ensemble (March 12),
Clifford Ratliff & The Indy Jazz Co. (April 9),
Indy Jazz Men (May 14) and the John Harden Project (June 11). All sessions are
free and open to the public.
New jazz venues have popped
up on the near northside in recent weeks.
Sahm's Tavern, located on the
ground floor of the Gibson Building at the corner of Capitol Avenue and
Michigan Street, now features the Bill Lancton Quartet on the first and third
Fridays of the month from 8 to 11 p.m. Bluesman Gordon Bonham is holding
down second and fourth Fridays. There is a five dollar cover charge.
located at the intersection of 9th Street and Pennsylvania Ave., is now hosting
jazz groups on Saturdays from 8 to 11 p.m. to complement its Cajun and Creole
dining menu. There is no cover charge.
Jimmy McDaniels returns
at the Crispus Attucks Museum, 1140 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St., until
February 28. McDaniels was inducted into the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation's
Jazz Hall of Fame during its inaugural year of 1998 and into the national Jazz
Hall of Fame in 1984. He was a driving force on the Indianapolis Jazz scene
from 1977 into the '90s.
The exhibition, titled "The Leader of the Band," is coordinated by the Jimmy McDaniel's
Foundation Inc., a national non-profit organization. Its mission is to provide
higher educational opportunities for minority instrumentalists in Indianapolis and Birmingham, Ala. Admission
is free to the public, with donations accepted for jazz scholarships at Butler