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Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Don’t miss Indy Jazz Fest

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If you have never made time to attend the Indy Jazz Fest, then what are you waiting for?

For 10 years the annual event has treated Indianapolis and its visitors to some of the most talented names in jazz, R&B, blues and soul music.

Thousands of people have already made special memories by enjoying those artists in a concert series that provides a relaxing, family-friendly atmosphere with great food and of course, awesome entertainment.

Indy Jazz Fest is a three-day concert series with two stages that feature top national and regional performers. Everyone who has yet to experience it will have another chance when the event is held June 13-15 at Military Park downtown.

“It is definitely one of the best festivals in the Midwest because it is a real community event,” said Kim Lewis, director of operations for Indy Jazz Fest. “The festival provides a friendly, laid back vibe that makes it a wonderful opportunity to run into friends and other people you know.”

This year’s Indy Jazz Fest promises to uphold a decade-long standard of quality entertainment with guests such as John Legend, Ramsey Lewis, Buddy Guy, Freddie Hubbard, Fourplay, Bettye LaVette, the Robin McKelle Quartet and many others.

“This edition is very special because it marks our 10th anniversary celebration,” said Lewis. “We also have a very diverse group of performers this year. We have John Legend, who has appeal to both younger and older fans. We also have artists like Paquito D’Rivera, an outstanding Latino artist, and Dave Koz, a great smooth jazz saxophonist.”

In addition to music, Indy Jazz Fest offers a unique attraction called the Home Grown Indiana Cuisine Food Court. The food court features some of the best cuisine grown and prepared by Hoosiers. Some of the most popular items over the years have included local barbecue favorites, homemade apple dumplings and cool Italian style ice drinks.

Since 2003 Indy Jazz Fest has been operated and organized by the American Pianists Association (APA), an Indianapolis based national organization dedicated to discovering, promoting and advancing the careers of world-class jazz and classical pianists.

Established in New York in 1979, the APA decided to move its headquarters to Indianapolis three years later and assumed control of Indy Jazz Fest when its original organizers encountered financial difficulties. The APA already had experience hosting concerts, having held its annual Taste of Jazz in the Park event for several years.

“We didn’t want to see the festival go away,” said Helen Small, president and CEO of the APA.

Since then, Indy Jazz Fest has attracted numerous people, including local residents and out-of-town visitors who make it their business to attend year after year.

“It’s the most happening event of the summer,” Small added. “Those three days offer so much for everybody. It doesn’t matter what your age is or even whether or not you think you’re into jazz. It’s a really fun, diverse atmosphere and the crowd is always beautiful.”

One thing the organizers of the festival are not looking forward to is the possibility of bad weather, which has literally “rained on the parade” of a few performances in the past.

“I’ve ordered sunshine and decent weather,” said Lewis. “So hopefully that order will be delivered correctly on all three days.”

Tickets for this year’s Indy Jazz Fest can be purchased at Kroger stores until June 13 for $25 (one day of fest) or $65 (all three days). They are also available online at www.indyjazzfest.com until June 12. Tickets will be sold during the shows at the gate at Military Park for $25 on Friday (June 13) and $35 on Saturday (June 14) and Sunday (June 15). Children 14 and younger are free if accompanied by ticket holding adult.

Note: Only cash will be accepted at the gate. ATM machines will be available.

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