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A Great Day in Indy: a Photo Tribute to the Indianapolis Jazz Legacy

David YoungInspired by Art Kane’s legendary 1958 Great Day in Harlem photo of jazz musicians, jazz photographer Mark Sheldon is planning an Indianapolis version, A Great Day in Indy, that will offer visual homage to the city’s jazz legacy. Details follow in the press release that Mark’s sent out:

Exactly 50 years ago, Esquire magazine’s Art Kane shot the iconic “Great Day in Harlem” photo, which captured fifty seven legendary figures in jazz. Inspired by that image and its anniversary, as well as that extraordinary assemblage of jazz talent, Indianapolis photographer Mark Sheldon conceived of “A Great Day in Indy” to pay tribute to the jazz greats past and present of his native city—Freddie Hubbard, J.J. Johnson, Wes Montgomery, Mel Rhyne, David Young, Dr. David Baker and Slide Hampton among them.

Over 100 musicians are expected to convene for a photo on Sunday, June 1, at 10:30 a.m., on the steps of the Indiana Historical Society building at 450 W. Ohio Street.

“We’ve got commitments from many musicians,” says Sheldon, “including Rob Dixon, members of the Buselli-Wallarab Jazz Orchestra, David Young, Dr. David Baker, Frank Smith, Steve Allee, Clifford Ratliff and several others.”

Later that day, at 6:00 p.m., there will be a performance at the Jazz Kitchen featuring many of the participating musicians. Also that evening at the club, WICR radio’s Ralph Adams will present the Ralph Adam’s Annual Lifetime Achievement Awards to several recipients. The Jazz Kitchen is consistently ranked as one of the top 100 jazz clubs in the world.

Sheldon plans to produce a limited edition poster of the “Great Day” photo and to donate proceeds from its sale to the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation (www.indianapolisjazz.org), whose educational outreach programs help provide schools with jazz education and funds for instruments and other resources.

Mark Sheldon, a lifelong music fan born and raised in Indianapolis, has been photographing musicians for 30 years and jazz musicians 20 years. He is a regular contributor to Down Beat and his work has been seen in other publications including Jazz Improv, Double Bassist, Keyboard and Northwest Airline’s World Traveler. He has photographed in many jazz venues around the country as well as the Monterey Jazz Fest, Chicago Jazz Festival, Vision Fest in NYC, the Portland Jazz Fest in Portland, Oregon and he is the primary photographer for the Indy Jazz Fest. www.marksheldonphotography.com

This project is sponsored in part by Owl Studios, the Jazz Kitchen, Fancy Fortune Cookies, the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation and Duke Realty.

For further information about the “Great Day” project, contact Mark Sheldon at 317-445-4640. Current/Former professional jazz musicians may sign up for the photo directly at www.agreatdayinindy.com.

Photo of saxophonist David Young by Mark Sheldon.

David Brent Johnson

Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, David Brent Johnson moved to Bloomington in 1991. He is an alumnus of Indiana University, and began working with WFIU in 2002. Currently, David serves as jazz producer and systems coordinator at the station. His interests include literature, history, music, writing, and movies.

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