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Catching up with Josh Kaufman

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Josh Kaufman - SUBMITTED PHOTO
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After winning The Voice in May, soul singer Josh Kaufman has been in a whirlwind of musical excursions, including a summer tour with the NBC show. But come September, Kaufman and his trademark fedora will return to his roots in Indianapolis as a headliner for the 16th annual Indy Jazz Fest.

While fans of Kaufman got to see him perform pop and R&B songs on The Voice, at Jazz fest, he will also illustrate his love for jazz.

"I'm excited about the fact that I'll get to do a variety of music, and I hope to incorporate more jazz-influenced stuff, because that's something that I've done before," said Kaufman during a phone interview.

Before The Voice, Kaufman did both solo gigs and performances with his band, The New Etiquette, around Indy at places such as Monkey's Tale, White Rabbit Cabaret and the Chatterbox. During this time, Kaufman and his band covered a wide variety of genres, including jazz, which gave him the opportunity to explore its similarity to the improvisational aspects of soul music.

"It's so at the roots of everything that has come out of American music," says Kaufman.

So while he's back in his town, Kaufman will celebrate the heritage of his city's jazz scene along with many other musicians to immerse the community in one of the oldest music genres in American history.

"I love it. It's music that I really enjoy. I just think that it's important. Jazz is the heart of American music, and that's what we've contributed to the world of music," says Kaufman.

Indy Jazz Fest Director, David Allee, believes all music lovers can find a branch of jazz to fit their taste in music; they just have to hear it first. And by bringing Kaufman up on stage for this year's festival, Allee hopes to show pop or R&B lovers that they may love jazz too.

"We're thinking of this show as a good way to connect a bridge between somebody that may be more of a pop listener or singer/songwriter type listener to what we do musically jazz wise," says Allee in a phone interview.

Kaufman will perform at the Murat Theatre at Old National Centre on September 13 at 8 p.m. Tickets for the show are on sale now.

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