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Sunday, May 16, 2021

‘They keep the music playing’:Jazz Kitchen wraps up Jazz Appreciation Month

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Tributes to Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker and Ella Fitzgerald are among the shows that will wrap up the Jazz Kitchen’s celebrations of Jazz Appreciation Month.

On April 23, musicians Amanda Gardier and Mark Buselli will be joined by “The Voice” winner Josh Kaufman to celebrate the legendary collaborations between Mulligan and Baker. The duo began recording with each other in the early 1950s and their group is still regarded as one of the best cool jazz groups in the country. The tribute shows will be 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

At 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. April 24, local talent Yvonne Allu will pay tribute to “the first lady of song” Ella Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald’s voice was a staple in Allu’s childhood in St. Louis, and she’s been paying tribute to her since 2017.

“She set the tempo and crossed all genres of music and hit all audiences,” Allu said. “She kept to the music, not just jazz music, but music period. Later on in her career, she recorded pop songs, R&B, and artists and the public alike recognized the beauty in her music.”

Allu released her first solo album last year, and said she’s channeled Fitzgerald throughout her career, working with many different musicians and bands to cultivate her own unique sound.

It’s impossible to talk about Indiana history without discussing jazz. In the early 20th century, jazz musicians provided the soundtrack to Indiana Avenue, and Allu met many of the legends, who she said helped her hone her skills, when she moved to Indianapolis.

The clubs that used to line the Avenue are long closed now, but the Jazz Kitchen, Allu said, is keeping the legacy alive.

“They’re great, they keep the music going,” she said. “I’m thankful to them for doing this tribute and for giving me and others a platform and a family for when I stepped into the jazz scene here in the city.”

After the Fitzgerald tribute, the Jazz Kitchen will host a tribute to John Coltrane on April 25 and a Jazz Jam Session on April 26.

Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.

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