Lots to learn, celebrating Sarah Vaughan, the Center’s nerve center and more
Welcome back to Interlude, your weekly digital St. Bernard toting a care package of artsy goodness to help you survive the snows of February.
For your edutainment ...
As you know, the Center strives to provide joy and enlightenment for people of all ages. The next few days bring three fine examples:
Saturday morning: This month’s Faegre Drinker Peanut Butter & Jam for wee ones and their folks features music from children’s performer Mr. Daniel. The on-site event is sold out, but your crew can watch for free on Facebook or YouTube!
Monday evening: Students with the showbiz bug will dig the next KAR Front Seat Q&A session with NYC-based actor and comedy writer-producer Maggie Politi Stiggers. Non-students can enjoy the conversation too. Find out how to join in.
Tuesday afternoon: Local artist Arlon Bayliss – whose massive public works can be seen at the Indianapolis Central Library, Indianapolis International Airport, Circle Centre Mall and three Carmel roundabouts (one pictured above) – will discuss his creative process in a live Zoom session from his studio. Buy a ticket for this Luminaries series presentation.
Livestream series gets trippy
We’ve brought you jazz, soul, rock and more, but the Live at the Center series takes a slight turn toward the psychedelic next Thursday, Feb. 25, with the dreamy, poetic guitar pop of Joshua Powell and the Great Train Robbery. Here’s what they look and sound like.
Sure, the Palladium, the Tarkington and the Studio Theater are fabulous venues where living legends and top local artists delight their audiences, but have you ever seen the Center’s … administrative offices?
On weekdays – during non-pandemic times, at least – the Gallery Level of the Palladium is where the real action goes down: the scrutinizing of spreadsheets, the proofreading of marketing materials, the calls of appreciation to generous donors and sponsors. Few mortals ever glimpse this hotbed of nonprofit thrills, but VP of Operations Jeff Steeg boldly takes you there in the latest episode of Places, Please!
‘Sassy’ Songbook History with Sarah Vaughan
Ella Fitzgerald called her the world’s “greatest singing talent,” and Mel Tormé said she had “the single best vocal instrument of any singer working in the popular field.”
The power, range and flexibility of that voice made Sarah Vaughan – also known as “Sassy” and “The Divine One” – a legend of American music. With her rich, controlled tone and vibrato, she could deliver astounding performances of standards, often with bebop-influenced phrasing. Along with Billie Holiday and Ella Fitzgerald, Vaughan helped popularize the art of jazz singing, influencing generations of vocalists to follow. Learn more about Sarah Vaughan and other artists as our friends at the Great American Songbook Foundation celebrate Black History Month through their Songbook History series.
This week in performing arts history
February 14: On this date in 1972, Grease, the “Rock ’n’ Roll Musical” about high school romance, opened in New York. At one time it was the longest running show in Broadway history at 3,388 performances. The film version became one of the most successful movie musicals ever. The Center’s resident Civic Theatre hosted a Grease sing-along in February 2016 and produced the theatrical musical in July 2017 (pictured above).
February 15: On this date in 2005, the Internet video-sharing platform YouTube was founded by former PayPal employees Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. It was purchased by Google the following year and is now one of the world’s most-visited websites. The Center posts many livestreams and educational events on its YouTube channel.
February 15: On this date in 1797, Steinway & Sons founder Heinrich Engelhard Steinway was born in Brunswick, Germany. The Center houses three Steinway grand pianos, including one on display that was owned by composer Richard Whiting and donated to the Great American Songbook Archives.
February 17: On this date in 1982, jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk died of a stroke at age 64. Monk was among the creators of bebop and is one of the most-recorded composers in jazz history as the author of such standards as “’Round Midnight,” “Well, You Needn’t” and “Blue Monk.” In January 2018, John Beasley’s MONK’estra performed Monk classics at the Palladium.
February 18: On this date in 1947, Dennis DeYoung, keyboardist, vocalist and co-founder of the rock band Styx, was born in Chicago, Illinois. He performed many of the band’s hits in November 2018 at the Palladium.
February 19: On this date in 1940, singer, songwriter, producer and Motown legend William “Smokey” Robinson (“The Tears of a Clown,” “I Second That Emotion,” “Being with You”) was born in Detroit. He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, with other honors including the Grammy Living Legend Award, the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences Lifetime Achievement Award, the Kennedy Center Honors and the National Medal of Arts. Robinson performed at the Palladium in August 2013.