IJF becomes IJFF
Last week, Indy Jazz Fest became a non-profit entity, taking on a new name in the process: Indy Jazz Fest Foundation. The co-owners of the Foundation — CEO and president of Owl Studios J. Allan Hall and Jazz Kitchen owner David Allee — gave candid reasons for the change.
Hall made no bones about the fact that the decision was primarily based on economics: "When you're chasing foundation money it makes sense to have a non-profit arm of whatever you are doing. It's important for individuals because they need the tax deductions. It seems to be important for foundations to go foundation to foundations, so it just made sense to do that."
Allee was very upbeat about the change: "We wanted to be in that position when we first acquired the festival, but things moved so fast that we had to go with what we had. Putting on a festival of this size, a lot of times it boils down to funding. People want you to make an impact, people want to make a difference; they want to hear great music, that's a huge part of it. So we try to explore every avenue of developing funds, and grants are a great part of it."
Allee said the Festival is working to expand its footprint by adding two additional stages at this year's Fest. The extra space will allow more local artists and music education students to perform.
Women in Jazz
Jazz Appreciation Month may be winding down, but the month's recognition of "Women In Jazz" will continue on locally with some aggressive new programming by Isis of Indiana, a group founded by local musicians Monika Herzig and Heather Ramsey and dedicated to promoting women's involvement in music creation and mentoring future generations of young girls.
ISIS and the Civic Theatre have joined together for the first "Girls Create Music" summer songwriting camp, to be held June 27 to July 2 at the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre, 3200 Cold Spring Road. Ramsey: "Girls 9-16 will be educated by professional performers and songwriters. They will also receive instruction in music theory, self-image, singing, guitar, bass, drums and piano."
Applications to register or further information should be submitted by June 1 to isisofindy.com.
New Kenton DVD
Stan Kenton fans will be interested in this month's DVD release by Jazzed Media. Artistry in Rhythm: Portrait of a Jazz Legend features over 20 interviews with renowned jazz artist from the Kenton band, including Kenton himself. Twenty live film and television performances from the '40s through the late '70s are included. Almost half of television performances from the '70s showcase Kenton's Indy band, comprised of drummer John Von Ohlen, baritone saxophonist Chuck Carter, trombonist Dick Shearer and percussionist Ramon Lopez. Minus Von Ohlen, this band recorded two CDs in live performance at Clowes Hall for Kenton's Creative World label, one with the Four Freshmen.
More jazz at the Post
American Legion Post 249, 2523 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St., will feature the Indy Jazz Men at a free jazz workshop and jam session series, May 14 from 3 to 7 p.m. The workshop is free and open to all instrumentalists 18 years old and up interested in developing jazz performance skills.
The Post will also present a series of concerts at Watkins Park and Riverside Park in May.
May 8 at 5 p.m.: Billy Ball & the Upsetters, Watkins Park
May 22 at 5 p.m.: Gregg Bacon, Riverside Park
May 29 at 5 p.m.: Clifford Ratliff & the Indy Jazz Company, Watkins Park