What happens after the stages go dark at the Indy Jazz Fest? For serious jazz fans, the after-set or jam session can be just as important as what they heard at the festival itself. The buzzword among jazz lovers is “the hang” — where the jam sessions take place. The term “jam session” has been loosely tossed around since its original inception. It was originally held in high esteem as a musical rite of passage and schooling to develop jazz skills by musically interacting and exchanging musical ideas with established jazz musicians.
In theory, that tradition still holds true among jazz musicians today. Sadly, there are not as many venues that provide an outlet for this time-honored tradition. Indy does have two exceptional jazz clubs, the Chatterbox and the Jazz Kitchen, that recognize the importance of the jam session and make certain that its format is respected regularly on their stages.
Chatterbox owner David Andrichik has had some legendary jam sessions among national jazz names and this city’s jazz musicians on his small stage. “Our music starts late,” Andrichik says. “The word has certainly gotten around, musicians know even if they are traveling around Indianapolis that they can come here late and play and jam with the local groups. So we do have a regular Friday and Saturday night of music that weekend starting at 10:30 p.m. until 2 a.m. Both groups are set up to receive and accept and welcome players that come in.” On tap to welcome Indy Jazz Fest artists for jamming on Friday, June 18 will be the avant-garde jazz group of guitarist Peter Kienle, KWYJIBO. Pianist Reggie Bishop’s new quintet, Mo Funk, featuring Rob Dixon on tenor sax, will debut Saturday, June 19.
Jazz Kitchen owner David Allee welcomes the late night “hang” for jazz fans: “That’s what the music is about, the interaction between players. They will find those magic moments a lot of times just in the off the cuff impromptu moments.” Allee is looking forward to hosting the first Latin jazz jam session with some of Indy’s best players in the jazz genre Friday, June 18 to compliment Latin Jazz Night at the Indy Jazz Fest, which is showcasing Pancho Sanchez and Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra of Lincoln Center.
Saturday, June 19 some of the Jazz Kitchen’s regular performers will be on hand for the annual Indy Jazz Fest jam that has left jazz fans talking about memorable sessions of previous years. “We are expecting good participation,” Allee predicts. “We have got some local guys that will help get things kicked off and we are hoping we get some good participation from some of the all stars there at the festival. We have always had great attendance with our late night things.”
D’Vine’s Indy Jazz Fest Premiere Party
On Thursday, June 17, I will be hosting, with WTPI 107.9, an Indy Jazz Fest Premiere Party at the new, upscale D’Vine Wine Bar (formerly Arturo’s) at 86th Street just off the Keystone exit in the Woodfield Shopping Center. The party goes from 7 to 9 p.m., complete with local jazz guests on hand and chances to win tickets to the Indy Jazz Fest. D’Vine will be a regular on the jazz scene by offering live jazz nightly Wednesday through Sunday.
Buddy Montgomery honored
One of Indy’s great jazz legends, pianist/vibist and composer Buddy Montgomery, is being honored in San Francisco June 18-19 by Savanna Jazz for his 50 years of musical excellence. Montgomery was a big hit at last year’s Taste of Indy Jazz Fest and the Independent Jazz Festival. Some of the greatest names in jazz will be on hand for “A Tribute to Buddy Montgomery.”
Jazz Happenings Downtown Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, 45 S. Illinois St. “Sizzling Steaks & Jazz Sunday” features The Bill Lancton Trio June 20 playing 7-10 p.m. Easley Winery, 205 N. College Ave. Wine Garden Jazz Thursday June 19 has The Keni Washington Quartet playing 2-5 p.m. Sunday, June 20 Quatro Locos performs 4:30-7:30 p.m. Concerts on the Canal, Indiana Historical Society, 450 W. Ohio St. Wednesday, June 17 free Indy Jazz Fest Preview: IUPUI Jazz Ensemble, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 18: Lee Jones Band in a free lunchtime concert 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. St. Elmo Steakhouse, 115 S. Illinois St. The Rob Dixon Quartet Wednesday, June 18 from 7-10 p.m. Indianapolis Artsgarden, Illinois and Washington streets. Tommy Wills & the Tomcats playing a free concert Friday, June 19 at 12:15 p.m. Murat Centre, 502 N. New Jersey St. Smooth jazz saxophonist Boney James concert is Wednesday, June 16 at 8 p.m. Southside Smokehouse Cafe, Meridian Street and County Line Road, Greenwood. A new Sunday Jazz Brunch from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m., featuring jazz and standards by The Blue Note Trio each week. Chuck Workman is the producer/host of the Sunday Morning Jazz Show at 107.9 WTPI.