High-flying indie rock, Feinstein/Manchester matinee, great jazz encounters and more
Welcome back to Interlude! Now that the Madness is over, we know you’ll want to enjoy some fine arts and general cultural enrichment.
Live at the Center artist unafraid of heights
In Greek mythology, Icarus was the guy who flew a bit too close to the sun. In Indianapolis, Tommy Icarus is a songwriter who’s not afraid to take a few risks in his work, which runs the gamut from folk to indie rock to ’80s-inspired electronic pop. Performing solo and with a band, Icarus will headline our next Live at the Center free livestream on Wednesday, April 14. Learn how and when to watch it.
Nationally known music photographer Mark Sheldon has been documenting the entire LATC series for NUVO and recently posted galleries from the performances by Huckleberry Funk and the Warrior Kings.
CEO looks back – and forward
The past year is one we’re happy to see in the rearview mirror, but on further reflection, it was also a year of innovation and surprise success stories here at the Center, such as the series noted above. President/CEO Jeffrey C. McDermott looks back on the pandemic year in a new column for the local Current newspapers.
Speaking of the return of live audiences, you’ve probably heard by now that this season’s first in-person Center Presents concert takes place May 15, when Artistic Director Michael Feinstein hits the Palladium stage with a special guest: Grammy-winning pop songstress and longtime friend Melissa Manchester.
The limited-seating 8 p.m. show is darn close to selling out, so we’ve added a matinee performance at 3 p.m. Visit our website for ticket options, which also include a livestream of the 8 p.m. show for home viewers around the world.
Fateful moments in jazz history
In jazz music especially, upcoming players are often shaped and inspired by their interactions with older mentors. These encounters are not always friendly, but they often motivate the younger generation to new heights.
April being Jazz Appreciation Month (JAM), our friends at the Songbook Academy® are celebrating women's contributions to the field.
Four talented alumni of the Songbook Foundation’s national summer music intensive – Natalie Johnson (’20), Anaïs Reno (’18), Brooke Lambert (’18) and April Varner (’15) – are taking over and jazzing up (pun intended) the Academy's Instagram account this month. Each Friday, you’ll have a window into the lives of these rising young jazz artists as they navigate their careers in a changing world, attending top music colleges like Frost and the Manhattan School of Music and making albums celebrating great jazz artists like Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn.
To follow their journeys, just follow Songbook Academy on Instagram and Facebook at @songbookacademy. (And by the way, a little place called the Smithsonian also has some interesting material on women in jazz.)
This week in performing arts history
April 6: On this date in 1937, country singer Merle Haggard was born in Bakersfield, California. Haggard scored 40 No. 1 hits on the Billboard Country charts, joined the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1994, received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, earned a Kennedy Center Honor in 2010 and – perhaps most notably – performed at the Palladium in October 2013.
April 7: On this date in 1805, Ludwig van Beethoven conducted the premiere of his groundbreaking Symphony No. 3 in E♭ major, aka the Eroica symphony. The Center’s resident Indiana Wind Symphony performed the work in February 2017.
April 7: On this date in 1938, jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard was born in Indianapolis. His distinctive tone made a mark on bebop, hard bop, and post-bop and earned him gigs with the likes of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones. Hubbard won the 1973 Grammy Award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, First Light, and was named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master in 2006.
April 10: On this date in 1959, Grammy-winning R&B singer, songwriter and producer Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds was born in Indianapolis. Babyface, whose name graces I-65 as it passes through the city, performed at the Palladium in October 2011 (pictured above).