The 41st Batesville Music and Arts Festival, slated for June 18-20, is re-inventing itself with a fresh headliner, the Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra. Starting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 18, at Liberty Park, 16 musicians – 14 instrumentalists and two singers – will perform a two-hour concert of big band, patriotic and Broadway melodies.
“A Summer Evening in the Park” is the show’s theme. There could also be tunes from the Great American Songbook and others made famous by Frank Sinatra or composed by Hoosiers Cole Porter and Hoagy Carmichael.
Musical director and lead trumpet player Jeff Anderson doesn’t announce the program prior to a performance as they vary at each venue “and we want folks to be surprised. Suffice it to say we will perform several ‘wow’ numbers.”
He points out, “We’ve been recognized by the state Legislature as ‘Indiana’s official ambassadors of big band jazz.’ We have recorded five albums that have been nationally recognized. The IJO is as good as any nationally-touring band out there – better than most.”
He promises, “Our performances are very general-audience friendly. If you love live music of the highest caliber, you will enjoy our performance. We guarantee it.”
Some seating is available; attendees may want to bring chairs or blankets. (The show will be in the Batesville High School auditorium if weather is poor.)
The 16th annual Rural Alliance for the Arts Community Art Show “is a great way for artists to be recognized for their efforts by the community. In the past, we’ve had a great response of excellent art that normally would not be seen,” notes coordinator Connie Rozman.
An art show reception and cash prizes awards ceremony for the artists and public will be held on the fest’s second evening, Thursday, June 19, from 5-8 p.m. at Community Church of Batesville, 103 E. George St., where the art will be displayed in windows from now through June 28.