Indianapolis Music Events 9/16 to 9/19: Indy Jazz Fest Finale, Indy Irish Fest, ORANJE Exposition

This weekend in Indianapolis music, much anticipated Indianapolis festivals bring residents and visitors alike to the Circle City in droves. A week of hard bop, fusion, and New Orleans soul comes to a close with a bang; kilts, bagpipes, and sheep fill Military Park to the brim; and Indianapolis artists and musicians gather for a juicy night of culture in a warehouse on Illinois Street. This weekend is perhaps the best weekend to be making the trip to Central Indiana: there are several annual Indianapolis events that are reaching their climax this weekend.

The historic 2010 Indy Jazz Fest wraps up its week long celebration of America’s genre on Saturday with a big jazzy blowout at Optimist Park, right across the street from the Indianapolis Art Center. A packed slate of virtuoso performers will be playing original tunes and standards from noon to eleven or so. Bands scheduled to play at the Indy Jazz Fest finale include the High School Jazz Showcase, Indy‘s own Owl Studios All-Stars (who will be having an afterset later at the Jazz Kitchen), the New Orleans soul of the Charmaine Neville Band, jazz vocalist Al Jarreau, fusion guitarist Mike Stern, and saxophonist/flautist Najee. If you haven’t seen any other concerts at this year’s Indy Jazz Fest, this grand finale at Optimist Park is your chance to see the best of the festival.

Another classic Indianapolis event taking place this weekend is the Indy Irish Fest, now entering its 15th year. The 2010 Indy Irish Fest will feature everything that made the 2009 Indy Irish Fest the “Best Outdoor Festival” according to NUVO Newsweekly‘s “Best of Indy” poll: over 20 live bands, spanning the Irish genres from “jig punk” to jazzy takes on traditional Irish songs. Toast contests, sheep herding demonstrations, tons of games for Indianapolis children, a soccer tournament (sorry, AFL fans, no rugby this year), and, of course, the Kilted Mile make this trip through Irish culture and history one of the most looked forward to events of the year. The 2010 Indy Irish Fest will be happening from Friday through Sunday at Military Park in downtown Indianapolis.

If Indianapolis art and culture is more up your alley than kilts and Irish lilt, head on up to the warehouse at 2323 Illinois Street for one of the most invigorating nights of Indianapolis music and culture that there is: the 2010 ORANJE Exposition. ORANJE has been growing and evolving for the past eight years, and the time is ripe once again on Saturday, September 18. This year’s iteration will feature over 45 artists from around the United States and 35 Indianapolis bands and musicians, showcasing virtually every genre in Indy. Highlights of the music stages at ORANJE 2010 will include the “Sexiest Band in Indianapolis,” Beta Male, socially conscious girl rockers Neon Love Life, the dreamily percussive Slothpop, drum n bass/dubstep DJ Psynapse, and many, many more. $20 gets you a whole night of music, art, and fun at the 2010 ORANJE Exposition.

If those three mega events aren’t enough to satisfy your Indianapolis nightlife needs, there are still plenty of one-off concerts and shows happening throughout the Indianapolis cultural districts and beyond. Check out our handy Indianapolis show calendar below to see where you need to be this weekend:

Thursday, Sept 16
Justin Townes Earle, Jessica Lea Mayfield @ Radio Radio Music Lounge

Video of Justin Townes Earle performing “Mama’s Eyes” live at SXSW; Justing Townes Earle will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

Bryan Lee @ The Slippery Noodle Inn

Video of Bryan Lee performing live; Bryan Lee will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

Butler Scion Free Music Thursday w/ Dr. Finger @ Locals Only Art and Music Pub

Video of Dr. Finger performing “Crusty Justice” live; Dr. Finger will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

Chooch II @ Apres Jack’s Restaurant
Justin Townes Earle @ LUNA Music

Video of Justin Townes Earle performing “They Killed John Henry” live in-studio; Justin Townes Earle will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

Loo Abby Trio @ The Britton Tavern in Fishers, Indiana

Video of Loo Abby performing “Ain’t No Sunshine” live in Indianapolis

Pike, Gypsyhawk, Ready the Destroyer, Phoenix on the Faultline @ The Melody Inn

Video of Gypsyhawk performing “The Bokors Procession” live; Gypsyhawk will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

Valient Thorr, Junius, Howl @ Rock Lobster

Video of Valient Thorr performing “Red Flag” live on TV; Valient Thorr will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

Friday, Sept 17
2010 Indy Jazz Fest Presents Dee Dee Bridgewater @ Madame Walker Theatre

Video of Dee Dee Bridgewater performing “Just Tell Me Why” live; Dee Dee Bridgewater will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

2010 Indy Jazz Fest Presents PROLOGUE w/ DJ Logic, DJ Indiana Jones, DJ Rusty Redenbacher, Mike Clark, Rob Dixon and Triology @ Jazz Kitchen

Video of DJ Logic spinning live; DJ Logic will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend


The Ataris, Gasoline Heart @ Radio Radio Lounge

Video of The Ataris performing “Takeoffs and Landings” live; The Ataris will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

15th Annual Indy Irish Fest @ Military Park

Video of Irish step dancing at the 2009 Indy Irish Fest; the 2010 Indy Irish Fest will take place in Indianapolis this weekend

John Michael Montgomery @ 8 Seconds Saloon

Video of John Michael Montgomery performing “I Can Love You Like That” live; John Michael Montgomery will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

Krista Richter @ Indianapolis Artsgarden
Sleeping With Sirens @ The Emerson Theater

Video of Sleeping with Sirens performing “In Case of Emergencies” live; Sleeping with Sirens will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

Phillip Steven and the Open Road @ Chateau Thomas Winery

Video of Phillip Stevens and the Open Road performing “The Star Spangled Banner” live; Phillip Stevens and the Open Road will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

Battle of Birdy’s, Round 1, Week 7 w/ Slow Mary, Two Shades of Pain, Presomnia, Pass the Peas, Pragmatic, Goliathon @ Birdy’s Bar & Grill

Video of Goliathon performing live; Goliathon will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

Hairbangers Ball @ The Vogue Theater

Video of Hairbangers Ball performing live; Hairbangers Ball will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

Brad Real, P Hardy, Mr. Kinetik, Oreo Jones, Dale Baker @ Locals Only Music Pub

Video of Mr. Kinetik performing “Soul Sincere” live at Birdy’s Bar & Grill in Indianapolis

Amo Joy CD Release Party w/ Jookabox, Sleeping in the Aviary, Golden Moses @ Melody Inn

Video of Jookabox performing live at The Vollrath Tavern in Indianapolis

Killing Karma @ Britton Tavern

Video of Killing Karma covering “Bring Me to Life” live; Killing Karma will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

Saturday, Sept 18
Indy Jazz Fest Finale w/ Owl Studios All-Stars, Mike Stern, Al Jarreau, Najee, Charmaine Neville Band @ Optimist Park in Broad Ripple Village

Video of the Mike Stern Band performing live in Moscow; the Mike Stern Band will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

ORANJE 2010 @ 2323 N Illinois St

Promo video for the 2009 ORANJE Exposition in Indianapolis

Blue River Band @ 8 Seconds

Video of the Blue River Band performing live in Greenfield, Indiana; the Blue River Band will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

Breaking Laces @ Locals Only

Video of Breaking Laces performing “Tonight We Can Be Great” live; Breaking Laces will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

Beech Party ’10 w/ Healing Sixes, Larry Crane, Vinnie & The Moochers, Pure Gold, Project 19, The Late Show, Blue River Band, Judgment Day Redemption Committee @ Beech Grove Fall Festival in Beech Grove, Indiana

Video of Healing Sixes covering “I Am the Walrus” live at the Music Mill in Indianapolis

Sky’s the Limit @ The Artsgarden
Groovin’ in the Garden w/ Donn & Savannah Smith @ Easley Winery
Grand Evolution, Misunderstood, The Great Flood Catastrophe @ The Emerson

Video of The Great Flood Catastrophe performing “The Oscars” live; The Great Flood Catastrophe will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

Punk Rock Night w/ Lockstep, Kill City, Applecore, Dumpy a Jampa @ Melody Inn
Ali Baba’s Tahini @ The Bluebird in Bloomington, Indiana
Raging Vegas @ The Britton
Indy Jazz Fest Afterparty w/ Steve Allee, Frank Smith, Mike Clark, Rob Dixon, Derrick Gardner @ The Jazz Kitchen

Video of Mike Clark (drums) performing live; Mike Clark will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

Monika Herzig Acoustic Project @ Chatterbox Jazz Club

Video profile of Monika Herzig; Monika Herzig will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

Gene Deer and the Blues Band, Doghouse Daddies @ The Slippery Noodle

Video of the Gene Deer Blues Band playing with Governor Davis at the Slippery Noodle Inn in Indianapolis

Sunday, Sept 19
Mother Culture, The Glass Accident, Ryan Traster, Gardendale & Berkley @ The Vollrath Tavern

Video of The Glass Accident performing live at the Emerson Theater in Indianapolis

Nails, Another Mistake, Crippled Minds @ The Dojo
Toad the Wet Sprocket, Megan McCormick @ The Vogue

Video of Toad the Wet Sprocket performing live; Toad the Wet Sprocket will be playing in Indianapolis this weekend

Wuhnurth Music Festival @ Stable Studios

Video of Fresh Hops performing live at the 2008 Wuhnurth Festival; the Wuhnurth Festival will take place in Indianapolis this year

Indianapolis Music Venues

8 Seconds Saloon | Big Car Gallery | Birdy’s Bar & Grill | Chatterbox Jazz Club | Emerson Theater | Jazz Kitchen | Old National Centre | Radio Radio | The Vogue | More Indianapolis Music Venues

Indianapolis Bands

Amanda Overmyer | Cathy Morris | Flynnville Train | Gwen Stacy | The Elms | Haste the Day | Jennie DeVoe | Margot and the Nuclear So and So’s | Mudkids | Murder by Death | Sloppy Seconds | Straight No Chaser | More Indianapolis Bands

Indianapolis Musical Organizations

Arts Council of Indianapolis | Capital City Chorus | Ensemble Music Society | Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis | Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra | More Indianapolis Musical Organizations

Indianapolis Musicians

Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds | Freddy Hubbard | Wes Montgomery | Cole Porter | James Spaulding | More Indianapolis Musicians

Indiana Music by City

Avon Music | Brownsburg Music | Carmel Music | Danville Music | Fishers Music | Greenfield Music | Greenwood Music | Martinsville Music | Mooresville Music | Noblesville Music | Plainfield Music | Westfield Music | Zionsville Music | More Indiana Music