Drummers need to keep a steady beat. No matter the time signature, no matter the genre, be it soul or R&B or jazz or calypso, the drummer keeps the time, and the other musicians follow the drummer. But what happens when the drummer’s own time keeper, the heart (the internal metronome, if you will), beats too fast and too hard? That was the issue prolific Indianapolis drummer Devon Ashley was confronted with when he discovered he had abnormally high blood pressure. The famed producer recently underwent two surgeries “due to complications stemming from high blood pressure” at Community North’s Heart Hospital and Methodist Hospital, but not without cost. Today, the Indianapolis musician is still playing strong, but the help of his friends and fellow musicians has been instrumental to his survival. On Friday, June 3, 2011, you’ll have the chance to help get one of Indy‘s more well known drummers back on his throne, pounding out that eternal steady beat: attend the Heart & Soul Jam at the Vogue Theater, educate yourself on the risks of high blood pressure, and give to a good cause all at the same time.
|Video of The Pieces and drummer Devon Ashley performing live at the Vogue in Indianapolis; the Heart & Soul Jam will be a benefit concert for Devon Ashley on June 3|
Devon Ashley has been playing in Indianapolis for a long time, providing original rhythms for a number of Indianapolis bands. As a drummer and producer, his credits include stints with The Lemonheads, Over the Rhine, garage band Those Young Lions, The Pieces, The Ben Ishmael Revival, and most recently, the funk/soul outfit SouLove Universe, which formed back in 2007 with Ashley as its full time drummer. The Heart & Soul Jam will feature many artists who have worked with or been influenced by Devon Ashley. The headliner for Friday’s Indianapolis event will be J. Jones, a pianist and songwriter who is working on bringing his music to the national stage; currently, he plays piano at Howl at the Moon, an Indianapolis bar that has no problems getting people up and dancing. Jones will also be performing with original members of SouLove Universe, who will be playing in various incarnations throughout the evening.
|Video of Jay Jones covering “So Sick” by Ne-Yo; Jay Jones will be playing at the Heart & Soul Jam benefit concert in Indianapolis|
Other Indianapolis music groups that will be performing in Broad Ripple Village on Friday for the Heart & Soul Jam will include Bashiri Asad, The Philosophy and J-Rhyme, and Ms. Fields. Bashiri Asad is an Indianapolis music regular who currently plays with Xenobia Green; Asad is a soul singer with great talent who channels the likes of Stevie Wonder and Otis Redding into his self-described “Indy Soul.” The Philosophy is an experimental hip hop group whose 2006 album, In the Trenches, is described as “the best music of all coasts melted into a sweet, fondue-style meal,” and Ms. Fields is the stage name of Courtney Fields, a soul singer who just happens to celebrate her birthday the night of the Heart & Soul Jam. Together, these musicians should bring in plenty of support for Devon Ashley.
|Video of An Evening with Bashiri Asad at Hyde in Indianapolis; Bashiri Asad will be performing at the Heart & Soul Jam benefit concert|
The Heart & Soul Jam isn’t just about music. Indianapolis health plays a part in the event as well. On the event’s Facebook page, the Heart & Soul Jam’s “mission is to educate the public about the prevention of and risks associated with high blood pressure.” To that end, The Vogue will host members of the health and wellness community, funded by the American Heart Association, who will answer questions about high blood pressure and other health related concerns. You can also get a free blood pressure screening at the Heart & Soul Jam; don’t dance too much before your test, or you might think you need emergency surgery. It’s also one of the few Indianapolis concerts where you can win stuff: a raffle and auction will be ongoing throughout the night, with prizes from the Indianapolis Colts, Empire Beauty School (an Indianapolis school that specializes in cosmetology), and the Indiana Fever.
|Video montage for “Paradise” by Ms. Fields; Ms. Fields will be playing at the Heart & Soul Jam benefit concert in Indianapolis|
So if you’re interested in getting one of the Circle City‘s top drummers and producers back on track in addition to educating Indianapolis people about high blood pressure, Broad Ripple Village is the Indianapolis cultural district you need to be in on Friday night. On Friday, June 3, 2011, The Vogue will be hosting the Heart & Soul Jam, featuring the talents of SouLove Universe, Jay Jones, The Philosophy, Ms. Fields, and DJ Topspeed. A $10 donation is requested at the door, and all proceeds go towards keeping Devon Ashley’s internal metronome ticking into the future.
Heart & Soul Jam at The Vogue
Friday, June 3, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.
Tickets: $10 donation requested
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