PREMIUM BLEND

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA

March Madness brings April Laughter,

We are gearing up for another crazy month of shows! Our very own, Jared Thompson, will be traveling with the Indy native BYBYE to play during SXSW. When he returns, you can catch us for a free performance at The University of Indianapolis as a part of their Jazz Concert Series. 

In April, we are thrilled and honored to return to the stage at Laughing Matters, a local cancer benefit that brings national talent. This year, Whoopi Goldberg headlines and we could not be more excited!

 

Open Bite Night: Ridiculous!

What started as an impromptu neighborhood cookout in July of 2016, Open Bite Night has morphed into an energetic culinary and artistic display for the residents of the 46208 zip code and beyond.

Husband and wife Earl and Ro Townsend, the creators of the event, will be at it again October 7th from 2-8pm at the Flanner House located at 2424 Dr. Martin Luther King St. With over 20 food vendors providing everything from soups to sliders, seafood to savory vegan/vegetarian dishes, and a multitude of desserts, Open Bite Night is anticipating over 1,100 people in attendance this year.
Admission is only $3 and the proceeds got to several local nonprofit organizations
(GRoE Inc, Flanner House of Indianapolis Inc, The Learning Tree, Voices Corp, Growndwork Indy, and Kheprw).

Premium Blend will be the final performance of the evening from 7:15-8pm.

Learn more about Open Bite Night here and be sure to follow them on facebook!

Septemeber & Indy Jazz Fest are upon us,

September in Indianapolis is marked by shorter days, cooler nights, and Indy Jazz Fest.
The week-long festival continues with the "all around town" concept in order to bring great jazz to every section of the Circle City. The festival begins September 14th and ends with a massive block party on the 23rd at the Jazz Kitchen from 3pm-1am.
This year's roster includes Grammy winners Kirk Whalum and Randy Brecker, as well as other national giants such as Charlie Hunter and Tony Monaco.
Below you'll find the full line-up for Indy Jazz Fest 2017. Go to http://www.indyjazzfest.net for tickets and venue/concert info.

 

Outside Yats stage

3:15p | Monika Herzig & The Time Flies
4:30p | Charlie Ballantine
5:45p | Jared Thompson & Premium Blend
7p | Tucker Brothers
8:15p | Bashiri Asad & Xenobia Green
9:30p | Kevin Anker Experience

Inside JK stage

3p | Scott Routenberg Trio
4:15p | Ella Tribute – Brenda Williams, Yvonne Allu, Wendy Reed, Sandy Lomax
5:30p | Rob Dixon & Triology + trombonist Ernest Stuart
6:45p | Steve Allee & Friends
8p | Clint Breeze & the Groove
9:15p | Charlie Hunter
10:30p | 4Korners
11:45a | Taylor McFerrin

IndyGo Route 17 | indygo.net
 

Indianoplace No Longer

      Being a native of the Circle City isn't always easy when it comes to cultural identity. Even though Indy is the 12th largest city in the nation, many artists here feel the frustrations of the "Indianoplace" stigma that has plagued us for decades. This is especially true for the jazz musician. Despite the illustrious contributions to jazz history, i.e. Indiana Avenue, Wes Montgomery, Freddie Hubbard, J.J. Johnson, Dr. Willis Kirk, Dr. David Baker, Oliver Nelson, Pookie Johnson, Melvin Rhyne, and the Hampton Sisters, Indianapolis is frequently overlooked as a hub for musical prowess. We get it. Chicago is a mere three hours away, Detroit is a musical Mecca of all genres, and St. Louis isn't a city to snub either. But even after the hey-day of Indiana Avenue, "Naptown" jazz musicians have been churning out high-level records with a sense of pride and integrity that would make their bop ancestors proud.


      The following albums are just a few examples of the greatness that has come out of this city within the last 10 years; so to say that these records are the "Modern Jazz Bible" would be a woefully irresponsible statement. Some selections reflect the influence Indy Jazz has had on R&B as well as hip hop as those selections recruited some of the most prominent jazz voices in the city to bridge the gap to younger audiences. Each album/artist paints a very genuine and diverse picture of what Indianapolis jazz culture feels and sounds like. Keep in mind that this is NOT a review of the albums themselves. It's YOUR job to review the various layers of what has become the "Naptown Sound."

1. Beautiful Soul

Released in 2007 by Cynthia Layne, this is for the R&B/smooth jazz fans out there. Find it on iTunes.

 

2. Reinvention

Released in 2008 by The Dixon Rhyne Project. This is for crossover fans, with modern jazz and bop organist legends meeting in the middle of hard bop and contemporary. Available on iTunes.

3. Step into the light

Released in 2012 by Native Sun. This is for the hip hop fans, with jazz musicians teaming up with a notable MC to create sound for the 21st century world of hip hop. Find this album on iTunes.

4. Undeniable

Released in 2014, another gem from Native Sun. Available on Soundcloud only.

5. Dragonfly

Released in 2012 by the Steve Allee Trio and available on iTunes. Grammy-nominated Steve Allee puts Indianapolis modern jazz where it needs to be.

6. Nine is the Magic Number

Released in 2015 by The Tucker Brothers. Brothers Nick and Joel Tucker present their first album, debuting Indy's new generation of jazz musicians. Find this on Amazon.

7. The Look

Released in 2015 by Marlin McKay, trumpeter McKay flexes his composition muscles and musical sensitivity in this poignant and "classic" sounding album. Find this on iTunes.

8. Providence

Released in 2016 by Charlie Ballantine, his second album has carved his niche on the scene with unique and ethereal takes on modern jazz. Available on iTunes.

9. Basically Baker, Vol. 2

Released in 2016 by Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra. This is a moving tribute to the late Dr. David Baker. The BWJO has become a fixture of the jazz community, keeping the big band era alive and well. Find this on iTunes.

10. Red, Black, Green

Released in 2016 by Brandon Meeks, one of the most sought after bassist in the city/region. His first solo album conjures the feel of Christian McBride with the social consciousness of Max Roach. Find this on Bandcamp.