Discover A Universe of Stories through song with weekly performances by local bands, singer-songwriters, and thespians in our Summer Songteller Series. We'll kick off with returning Indy jazz favorites, "The Phelps Connection." Enjoy the passionate sounds of Kenny and Valerie Phelps as they bring together a line-up of Indy's finest in jazz, soul, and inspiration.
The duo has made regular appearances at The Jazz Kitchen, Indy Jazz Fest, countless clubs, bars, and studios, and has hosted events at the Indiana Landmarks Center with their Owl Music Group.
One of the most in-demand jazz drummers in the Indianapolis area, Kenny Phelps has backed the likes of Dee Dee Bridgewater, Melvin Rhyne, Roy Meriwether, and Cynthia Layne.
Jazz vocal titan Valerie Phelps leads the group with a style that is versatile and dynamic. She has shared the stage with countless Indy jazz ensembles and has been a featured singer with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, at the Indiana Black Expo, for the Indiana Fever and as a Super Bowl Half-Time Show vocalist.
Two more Indianapolis jazz all-stars round out the ensemble on sax and keys. The "Musical Mayor of Indianapolis" himself, Rob Dixon, steps up the groove and brings the funk on sax. Truly the top of his class, Dixon has worked with such legendary and popular artists as the Count Basie Band, Tony Bennett, The Ellington Band, members of A Tribe Called Quest, The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks, and seven-string guitar virtuoso Charlie Hunter. Rob Dixon is an adjunct professor at IUPUI and Earlham College and is the artistic director for Indy Jazz Fest.
Steven Jones glues the group together with accompaniment on keys. Jones is a staple on the Indy jazz scene and is often featured in groups around the area, including Triology, Premium Blend, and countless combos at jazz clubs in Indianapolis. His work with Premium Blend was heavily featured in the award-winning Heartland Film Festival documentary, "Go Get Your Horn."
The Summer Songteller Series is co-sponsored by the Friends of Hancock County Public Library in conjunction with the "Universe of Stories" summer reading club. Adults can join the club and earn entries in prize drawings for books read and events attended throughout June and July.