National recording artist Tony Monaco brings his B-3 jazz organ trio to the Indianapolis Zoo for week three of Animals & All That Jazz. Monaco has been a sensation on the national jazz scene since the passing of legendary jazz organist Jimmy Smith. Monaco makes no bones about Smith being at his jazz core. “Since I heard Jimmy Smith I have devoted my life to the art of jazz organ,” he said.
His recording career includes six CDs, five of them on the Summit label. Monaco’s latest release, East to West, is on his own new label, Chicken Coop Records. He picked the label name because of Jimmy Smith’s album cover for Back at the Chicken Shack, with Smith pictured in front of a chicken wire cage and a hen appearing over Smith’s left shoulder.
Monaco is now riding dual waves of success. Chicken Coop Records is devoted to showcasing new organists. His own career is also soaring, this past week he headlined a jazz festival in Ontario, Canada, that was televised nationally with a potential DVD being made of the event. Monaco, who has become a favorite of Indy jazz fans, will bring his longtime teammates Robert Kraut, guitar, and Louie Tsamous, drums, to the zoo. As Monaco says, “We truly love playing together and get along like brothers, as each one of us contributes his best to the music.”
Concert time is 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the Cafe on the Commons Stage. In the event of rain, Animals & All That Jazz will be held under the Kroger Pavilion tent. Dining options are available by Crystal Catering. Admission is free for zoo members, non-members pay regular zoo admission fee, lawn chairs are welcome.