Jazz riffs

February 8, 2008
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Yesterday, the announcement was made that Aretha Franklin would be headlining this year’s Indy Jazz Fest. More acts, of course, to follow.

Three questions :

1. Who else would you like to see on the lineup this year?
2. More provocatively, who wouldn’t you like to see on the lineup this year?
3. How broadly should the Fest define “jazz”?

OK, four questions  ...

4. The 2008 Kroger Indy Jazz Fest Presented by Coca-Cola is the official title of the event. While sponsorship is a wonderful thing—many events wouldn’t happen without the support of such companies—at what point do naming rights get awkward beyond usefulness?

Your thoughts on any or all of the above?
  • In no particular order:
    Madeleine Peyroux
    Wayman Tisdale
    David Sanchez
    David Sanborn
    Chris Botti (I know he's been here several times, but those eyes!)
    Diane Krall
    Harry Connick Jr.
  • Manhattan Transfer (pleeeeeeease!)
    Jennifer Hanson
    Norah Jones
  • It would be wonderful to have some of the musicians that DK suggests, particularly Diane Krall. However, it would be great if they would also go back to having a blues stage, as they did in the early years. Showcasing talent like Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, or Susan Tedeschi would be very welcome.
  • Well, thanks to this post and comments I have been thinking that I would like to check out the Jazz Fest for the first time. I wasn't going to comment on this post because I thought I didn't know anything about jazz.

    I _don't_ know anything about jazz, but I do recognize some of the names:

    Aretha Franklin (I love driving to her greatest hits.)

    Harry Connick, Jr. (He is so DREAMY. I have been swooning over him ever since I saw him singing at the end of a When Harry Met Sally movie video.)

    Buddy Guy (I forgot about him. Somewhere in my messy house I have a CD that I listened and listened and listened to at one time. I'm going to go look for it after I finish writing this comment.)

    So...yay! Bring on the jazz and blues! I am looking forward to learning more.

    Hope Baugh
  • I agree completely with Barb. Include blues performers like those she mentioned. Saw Buddy Guy at Verizon a few years ago and he was amazing (and so was Joe Cocker!).
  • Well, this certainly is a test for us to limit our response. We could list so many. All those listed above...Buddy Guy can come back every year and Manhattan Transfer is always a favorite. But...our first choice is Diana Krall AND Elvis Costello, together. Then Dave Grusin, then Mose Allison, then Ry Cooder, then Dianne Reeves and Herbie Hancock together (he can bring his new Grammy), then Keiko Matsui, then Pat Metheny with Lyle Mays, then Steve Tyrell, then Ellis Marsallis. If we can get them to travel, Brubeck and Marian McPartland (she can bring any and all of her friends). Local flavor...Carrie Newcomer and Kathy Morris (they are always very good). These would be enjoyed although not pure jazz...Annie Lennox, Mark Knopfler and David Byrne. OK, our real list - the ultimate jazz fest - Bill Evans, Ray Brown, Sarah Vaughn, Mel Torme, Modern Jazz Quartet and Wes Montgomery. We hope they are playing together somewhere. The list just goes on. We have to go put a little Oscar Peterson on now but thanks for the opportunity to dream.
  • Oh, don't forget Acoustic Alchemy and Bob James and/or Four Play. Wait a minute, I think I have a few more names I'd like to see here.
  • I like all mentioned above. What about Gladys Knight, Jimmy Buffet, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Cocker, Buckwheat Zydeco, Sheryl Crow, Natalie Cole, Patti Austin, Michael Bublé, Seal, Bette Midler, John Fogerty, Alicia Keys, Chaka Kahn, or Darlene Love.
  • Steve,
    Ah, but now we get into the question of identity. Would anyone else be concerned that by broadening the definition of jazz too much, the fest risks losing its identity?
  • Yes, I'd be worried that it would lose its identity. Granted, blues and pop are often sold as jazz, but they are not. Some cross-over may be accepted as jazz better than other, and certainly I would let Buddy Guy in any year, but I do like the idea of a JAZZ fest for jazz sake.
  • As for the cumbersome name, most people will just call it Indy Jazz Fest . Of course, this is someone who still slips and refers to Deer Creek and Hoosier Dome.

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  1. I am so impressed that the smoking ban FAILED in Kokomo! I might just move to your Awesome city!

  2. way to much breweries being built in indianapolis. its going to be saturated market, if not already. when is enough, enough??

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  5. I only tried it 2x and didn't think much of it both times. With the new apts plus a couple other of new developments on Guilford, I am surprised it didn't get more business. Plus you have a couple of subdivisions across the street from it. I hope Upland can keep it going. Good beer and food plus a neat environment and outdoor seating.