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Jazz Fest to Honor Indianapolis Musician

The Arsenal Tech Freddie Hubbard Memorial Jazz Band

Arsenal Tech High School and the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation will host on Feb. 11 the inaugural Freddie Hubbard Memorial Jazz Fest, a non-competitive festival created to honor the jazz icon and graduate of Indianapolis Public Schools. 

Bands from nine high schools from around Indiana along with nationally renowned jazz musicians will perform in the Hanson H. Hudson Auditorium at Arsenal Tech, the school where Hubbard (1938-2008) began his legendary career by playing the mellophone and trumpet in his school band. 

Josh Goodman, the director of bands at Arsenal Tech, said the festival will showcase the impact of Hubbard, one of the most inventive artists in music history, as well as other Indianapolis jazz musicians. 

He noted that while Hubbard was influenced by established jazz musicians like Miles Davis and Clifford Brown, the Arsenal Tech grad ultimately created his own unique sound and then recorded more than 50 solo recordings as well as numerous collaborations with top jazz artists of the era. 

“It will be an honor to remember Hubbard, who was an amazing jazz trumpeter, said Goodman, who noted that the late musician continues to influence jazz artists. “As a result of his skills, Indianapolis became synonymous with jazz for many decades. Arsenal Tech students and staff are lucky to be able to play daily in an auditorium where this legend rose to fame.” 

The festival also will include performances by students from Arsenal Tech, Crispus Attucks, George Washington, and other local high schools from 3 to 8 p.m. Then the Butler University Jazz will perform.  

The evening will conclude with a performance by several jazz performers, including Indianapolis’ Rob Dixon on tenor sax and Louisville’s Kendall “Keys” Carter on keyboards.

All bands are asked to perform at least one piece by one of the following, Freddie Hubbard, JJ Johnson, Wes Montgomery, David Baker, Hoagy Carmichael, Cole Porter, Michael Jackson, or any other prominent Hoosier musician.  

The festival also will feature Monika Herzig, a jazz professor at Indiana University, at 5 p.m. in the auditorium. Students participating in the event also will be eligible for scholarships to attend area jazz camps.  

Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 on the day of the show. 

For more information or to buy tickets, go here.