Famed jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis once said, “Jazz music is America’s past and its potential, summed up and sanctified and accessible to anybody who learns to listen to, feel, and understand it. The music can connect us to our earlier selves and to our better selves-to-come. It can remind us of where we fit on the timeline of human achievement, an ultimate value of art.”
Tomorrow, attendees of the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation’s annual Jazz Legacy Showcase will have a chance to experience this “timeline,” from an Indy perspective.
“The Jazz Legacy Showcase is an annual highlight for music lovers and those who treasure Central Indiana’s cultural heritage,” said IJF President Katherine Nagler in a written release.
The occasion will feature dinner and cocktails, the unveiling of a special commissioned work by artist Rita Spaulding, an award ceremony and live performances from the Indianapolis Jazz Collective and the Indy Jazz Futures – a band of up and coming young musicians from area high schools.
Saxophonist and founder of the Indy Jazz Futures, Rob Dixon, shared that he is particularly thrilled about the significance of tomorrow’s gathering.
“I think one of the greatest investments you can make in the community is with youth,” he said.
“We expose the students to not only music but expose them to a performance experience they may have never had before whether that be at the arts garden or another place,” he said.
Dixon shared that since the organization’s inception (six years ago), each of the Jazz Futures students has graduated high school and many of them have gone on to study music and other subjects on full scholarships.
“In a general sense (jazz) broadens their horizons to the world. I don’t want them to only be citizens of Indy but citizens of the world.”
The Indianapolis Jazz Foundation will also honor the contributions of Bloomington High School North Director of Bands Janis Stockhouse, who will receive the Dr. David Baker Indiana Jazz Educator of the Year Award.
Additionally, three students from area colleges and universities will receive $1,000 IJF scholarships and the opportunity to play alongside their mentors and luminaries. The winners include:
Gregory Pryor, Butler University: Bass
Lamont Webb, Ball State University: Saxophone
Peter Schultz, Purdue University: Piano
About the 2016 Jazz Legacy Showcase
Thursday, Nov. 17
Indiana Landmarks Center, 1201 Central Ave., 46202
6:30 p.m. Doors open for cocktails; music by the Indianapolis Jazz Collective
7:00 p.m. Dinner and program
Music by the Indianapolis Jazz Collective:
Rob Dixon, sax
Steve Allee, piano
Kenny Phelps, drums
Nick Turner, bass
Plus invited guest artists and Jazz Futures (high school-age jazz students led by Rob Dixon).