Interlude - April 8

April 8, 2021

Over an exterior photo of the Center for the Performing Arts' campus, the text reads "Interlude: Virtual Arts and Entertainment from the Center"

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

Singer-songwriter Tommy Icarus poses in a suit and cap

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.


Live at the Center sponsored by Allied Solutions

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

President/CEO Jeffrey McDermott stands outside the Palladium

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.


As for the future ahead, the man we call “McD” offered some hints in this Current story about the return of live audiences at the Center and elsewhere.



Matinee show added for Feinstein and Manchester

Michael Feinstein and Melissa Manchester smiling

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

Hosts Doug Tatum and Todd Williams site on the Palladium stage for an episode of JazzTalk

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.


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Next Tuesday, April 13, join our JazzTalk hosts Todd Williams and Doug Tatum for a look back at “Great Encounters” in the lives of icons like Dizzy Gillespie, Art Blakey and Ben Webster. Viewers can join in via Zoom and pose questions after the discussion. Register for JazzTalk here – it’s free!



Songbook Academy women can JAM

Compostie image of four young women from the Songbook Academy

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

Babyface and his band perform on the Palladium stage in 2012.

Babyface performs at the Palladium in 2012.

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).


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