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Annual Indy Jazz Fest to be held virtually with free four-night event

For four nights in November, music lovers can watch Indy's best jazz musicians perform on Facebook and YouTube.
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Rob Dixon.JPG
Posted at 11:49 AM, Oct 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-16 11:49:06-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Much like other planned festivals in 2020, the Indy Jazz Fest has decided to go virtual.

The virtual 2020 Indy Jazz Fest will "Celebrate Naptown" with a free four-part series in November that can be streamed on multiple platforms.

Starting Friday, Nov. 13 festival-goers can watch jazz stars perform on IndyJazzFest.net, Facebook, or YouTube.

The lineup, as mentioned by the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation is as follows:

  • Friday, November 13 – 8 p.m.
    • “Celebrate Naptown All-Star Show”— Recorded at the historic Garfield Park, this all-star mash-up features more than 25 of Indy’s best jazz performers, a great snapshot of the modern-day contribution to Indy’s rich jazz legacy.
  • Saturday, November 14 – 8 p.m.
    • Native Sun - “Legalize Being Black”— The hip-hop trio featuring Richard Floyd (drums) Brandon Meeks (bass) and Bobby Young (MC) present a hip-hop/jazz suite titled “Legalize Being Black.” Their compositions will address the Black Lives Matter movement and the worldwide recent protests of police brutality sparked by the killing of George Floyd.
  • Friday, November 20 – 8 p.m.
    • Charlie Ballantine - “Vonnegut”— In partnership with the Kurt Vonnegut Museum & Library, Charlie Ballantine will present the performance and unveiling of his latest recording of original compositions inspired by the works of celebrated Indianapolis writer Kurt Vonnegut.
  • Saturday, November 21 – 8 p.m.
    • Jared Thompson & Premium Blend - “38th and Post Modernism”— Jared Thompson & Premium Blend present an original music suite that addresses the complex narrative of systemic racism as it pertains to the black communities in Indianapolis today.

Although the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation is offering the event free of charge to the public, it will ask viewers to consider giving a donation.

"Though we are not able to operate as normal in this COVID-19 environment, the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation remains unwavering in its commitment to keep our Indianapolis jazz musicians creating,” Rob Dixon, Indy Jazz Fest's artistic and education director, said. “We have commissioned three accomplished Indy-based musicians to write, perform, and record (for virtual viewing) original music that reflects the subject matter of these uncertain and difficult times. We are confident that we will enable these musicians and their bands to create and express profound artistic statements through the medium of jazz that will have a lasting and impactful effect on Indianapolis and the world."

Click here to learn more about this year's Indy Jazz Fest and to donate.