Yesterday's news about the new leadership for the Indy Jazz Fest was very exciting - not that the American Pianists Association did a terrible job with it, but because the folks behind the new Indy Jazz Fest Corp. (including the Jazz Kitchen, Owl Studios, and the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation) have such a close and vital connection to the music and to the community. Most welcome was the news that other venues would be used to host shows as a prelude to the outdoor event in late June. The Madame Walker Theater was crying out to be a part of this event, and it's the most eligible venue on Indiana Avenue, where the majority of Indy's jazz history took place.
It's also good to see the Jazz Kitchen and Owl Studios be a part of this because they retain links to both traditional and modern jazz, so I have high hopes for the programming of these shows and the festival in general. A favor to ask, please - more Hiromi, less Koz.
It doesn't seem clear how the "big names" the festival has hosted in the past will fare, but this is a great move for the festival as a whole, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens next. Even if I have to sit through a bit of Spyro Gyra to see McCoy Tyner.