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Celebrate Indiana’s jazz legacy

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Next week the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation (IJF) will invite everyone –from the streets of Indianapolis, to the Atlantic and Pacific coasts – to join them in a grand celebration of the Circle City’s Jazz heritage.

The IJF promises plenty of fun, great memories and awesome music with several jazz stars during its annual Holiday Showcase, which will take place on Thursday, Nov. 19 inside the Grand Casino Ballroom on the fourth floor of the Madame Walker Theatre, 617 Indiana Ave.

“This event will mark the 13th year for our holiday showcase, and we are definitely excited about what is in store for those who join us,” said IJF President Bill Lancton. “Last year our sellout crowd enjoyed great music, awesome food, exciting auctions and just a relaxing evening of fun. We know this year will be just as spectacular.”

During Thursday’s event, the IJF will induct its 2009 Hall of Fame members.

The event will also be designed to pay tribute to legendary Indianapolis jazz performers such as Wes Montgomery and Mary Moss.

Performers scheduled to appear this year include the Steve Allee Trio, Cynthia Layne, Brenda Williams and various winners of IJF student scholarships.

Formed in 1994 by a group of jazz musicians, promoters and connoisseurs, the IJF was established with the mission of preserving the rich legacy of jazz music in Indiana by promoting exciting performances and interactive educational opportunities to develop new generations of musicians and fans.

The IJF has created programs to promote the appreciation of jazz, provide leadership and educational outreach programs, assist music teachers with information and resources, and present clinics and symposiums that allow people to explore their musical sensibilities.

The IJF also works in conjunction with organizers of other events such as the Indy Jazz Festival to ensure the success, growth and unity of the local jazz community.

Since 1998 the IJF has operated a Hall of Fame that inducts prominent figures from Indiana’s unique jazz history. Each year at least three musicians, vocalists and promoters are honored, including well-known figures such as Jimmy Coe, Pookie Johnson, The Hampton Sisters, J.J. Johnson, Chuck Workman, David Baker, Larry Ligget, Slide Hampton, Killer Ray Appleton, Hazel Strong, Harry Mediema and many others.

Since the time jazz music became popular across the United States during the 1920s Indianapolis has been known among music enthusiasts as a city with strong jazz roots, thanks in large part to the music community that was born in the predominantly African-American clubs and performance venues located on Indiana Ave. between the 1920s and 60s.

“WITH THE HISTORY OF INDIANA AVENUE AND SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS MADE TO THE MUSIC SCENE BY SO MANY JAZZ MUSICIANS, JAZZ HAS EARNED A SIGNIFICANT PLACE IN THE CULTURAL LANDSCAPE OF INDIANAPOLIS,” SAID MICHAEL CARTER, A LOCAL CONCERT PROMOTER AND FOUNDER OF JAZZ-CITY RADIO, AN INDIANAPOLIS BASED STATION THAT CAN BE HEARD ON LIVE365.COM. “WE NEED TO DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO SUPPORT THIS MUSIC SO THAT IT WILL BE ENJOYED FOR GENERATIONS TO COME.”

HAVE A JAZZY TIME!

What: IJF Holiday Showcase

When: Thursday,

Nov. 19, from

6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: Madame

Walker Theatre,

617 Indiana Ave.

Tickets: $20 in advance and $25 at door. Order at Walker Box Office or call (317) 236-2099.

For more info:

Visit www.indianapolisjazz.org.

CAN’T MAKE IT

TO THE PARTY?

If you’re unable to make it to the Holiday Showcase, you can still support the Indianapolis jazz community by visiting the following jazz venues all year:

The Jazz Kitchen – 5377 N. College Ave.

Phone: (317) 253-4900

Website: www.thejazzkitchen.com

The Jazz Cooker – 925 E. Westfield Blvd.

Phone: (317) 253-2883

Website: www.thejazzcooker.com

Chatterbox Jazz Club –

435 Massachusetts Ave.

Phone: (317) 636-0584

WEBSITE: WWW.CHATTERBOXJAZZ.COM

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