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Looking back at the Indiana Avenue Jazz Festival – Part 2
August 27, 2023
This week on Echoes of Indiana Avenue we’ll continue our look back at the Indiana Avenue Jazz Festival — an annual concert series that flourished on the Avenue from 1983 to 1997.
The festival was established at a time when the Avenue was in decline. The expansion of IUPUI during the 1970s saw whole neighborhoods wiped out. By the early 1980s, this once-vibrant mecca of entertainment and culture was beginning to fall silent. The organizers of the Indiana Avenue Jazz Festival dreamed of celebrating the Avenue’s rich legacy, by bringing world class music back to the neighborhood – and they succeeded.
The festival started small, featuring a line-up drawn from local talent. But in a few short years, the festival attracted legendary jazz stars – including: Ahmad Jamal, Betty Carter, Ramsey Lewis, Terence Blanchard, Pharoah Sanders, and more.
Join us as we take a year-by-year look back at the Indiana Avenue Jazz Festival. We’ll listen to music from artists who performed at the festival, with a focus on local musicians - including David Young, Keni Washington and OmniVerse, The Hampton Sisters, Billy Wooten, Cherryl Hayes, Terence Blanchard and more.