Carmel Jazz Fest has strong local flavor


Besides national acts, the Carmel Jazz Festival will feature many of the top jazz performers based in central Indiana during the Aug. 9-10 event.

“We’ve got some great talent in Carmel and the surrounding areas,” Carmel Jazz Festival Artistic Director Blair Clark said. “It’s great to bring in performers like Pavel (Polanco-Safadit), Wendy Reed and Brenda Williams. Some of these artists I have the privilege to work with and I know are going to bring in a crowd and entertain the people that are there. They are called local artists but many of these artists travel all over the country and all over the world.”

Williams, a vivacious singer/actress who has won awards for her performances at American Cabaret Theatre, the Indiana Repertory Theatre and Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, is set to appear from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Aug. 9 at The Tarkington. Polanco-Safadit is an Internationally known Latin jazz pianist originally from the Dominican Republic. Pavel & Direct Contact will perform from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 9 at The Tarkington. 

Electric violinist/vocalist Cathy Morris will perform from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 10 at The Tarkington.

Clark, a jazz vocalist, and The Naptown Strangers are set for Aug. 9 performances at the Carter Green stage. The Naptown Strangers blend genres to create a unique sound that combines rock, funk and soul.

The Aug. 10 performances from central Indiana on Carter Green include Premium Blend, Wendy Reed and DysFUNKtion Brass.

Premium Blend, a quartet led by saxophonist Jared Thompson, performs regularly in the Indianapolis area. The band’s original compositions are rooted in the hard bop tradition, while incorporating modern grooves and harmonies.

Reed is a regular on the Indianapolis jazz club circuit. Clark describes DysFUNKtion Brass as a Mardi Gras horn-line band.

Northside Exchange, a jazz trio founded in 1999 by Joseph Filipow and Darnell Perkins, will perform from 9 to 10:30 p.m. Aug. 10 at the Studio Theater at the Center for the Performing Arts.

A full lineup with times will be announced soon, Clark said. For more, visit