The second week to “Hear the Big Beat” of Animals & All That Jazz at the Indianapolis Zoo, 1200 W. Washington St., will resound with the 16-piece Steve Allee Big Band playing music to listen and dance to. The concert at the Cafe on the Commons stage will start at 5:30 p.m. and run until 8:30 p.m. In the event of rain, the performance will be held under the Kroger Pavilion tent. Dining options are available through Crystal Catering. Admission is free for zoo members, and regular zoo admission for non-members.
Jackie Allen’s vocal zone
The venerable jazz label Bluenote is moving in a new direction since the highly successful reign of Norah Jones. Focusing on vocalists who complement the Jones trend, they have added the individualistic style of Jackie Allen to their vocal roster along with such high-powered talents as Dianne Reeves and Cassandra Wilson.
Allen now resides in Muncie with her husband, educator/bassist at Ball State University Hans Sturm. Allen’s debut recording, Tangled, should add even more luster to her career and Bluenote’s contemporary recording path.
Allen, who started out as a straight-ahead jazz vocalist, admits she needed a different comfort zone. “I am a pop-oriented jazz singer,” she said.
In 1994, Allen made the decision to go with her passion and crossed over from jazz into pop. “It’s really difficult to define jazz anymore because the world is a melting pot.”
I asked her if she thinks the classic jazz tradition is becoming passe. “My guess is that it is going to get smaller and smaller. My guess is there will be something else new that will replace it.”
Allen is also a music educator and teaches at Chicago’s Roosevelt University. She performs at the Jazz Kitchen Saturday, July 22 in shows at 9 and 11 p.m. Backing her up will be John Moulder, guitar, Hans Sturm, bass, Steve Schmitt, keyboards, and Ernie Adams, drums.
As Allen says, “The elements of jazz and pop have always been mixed in my life.”
Jazz data• Easley Winery, 205 N. College Ave. “Groovin’ in the Garden” will feature guitarist Bill Lancton Saturday, July 22 from 2 to 5 p.m. Burke & Taylor will play Tuesday, July 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. Admission is free.
• “Concerts on the Canal” at the Indianapolis History Center Canal Plaza, 450 W. Ohio St., has the European string swing jazz of the Hot Club of Naptown Thursday, July 20 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Free lawn seating available; reserved tables of four are $25, $20 for members; table of eight, $35, $30 members.