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Best of the Rest: Oct. 2, 2015

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Sure, we want you to visit Sky Blue Window daily, but we realize stories about incredible events, entertainment and interesting organizations that are transforming Indiana pour out of publications all over this city. So in this space, we bring you the Best of the Rest, a collection of other notable pieces spotlighting arts and entertainment around town.

Check out the list of hot topics from beyond our Sky Blue Window. When you're finished, stick around to browse some of our stories you might have missed this week. Enjoy!

Spark hasn't been a stationary transformation. The re-imagining of the city's most iconic space has included plenty of activities. - COURTESY CIRCLE SPARK
  • Courtesy Circle Spark
  • Spark hasn't been a stationary transformation. The re-imagining of the city's most iconic space has included plenty of activities.

Great big hearts: Surveying the circle and sketching new friends

By Karla D. Romero via Spark Monument Circle

If you have visited Monument Circle since early August, you'll likely notice a few unfamiliar faces shuffling around the heart of the city these days. The people in the green vests are part of Big Car's placemaking project Spark Monument Circle. This week, Spark writer in residence Karla D. Romero profiles one such Spark operative, named Melissa Heldenbrand. While many people have taken notice of the more prominent programming and artists on the Circle over the last couple of months, it's nice to see Romero shine a light on one of the everyday contributors who keep Spark running like a well-oiled machine. For more on Romero's journalistic endeavors, check out Jennifer Delgadillo's interview with the young writer and editor of Indianapolis' new, Spanish-language monthly magazine, Eñe. And pick up a copy of its latest issue, which came out yesterday (Oct. 1st).

For Kenny Childers' 40th birthday, more than two dozen local music luminaries sang his songs for a tribute album, Nine Kinds of Gone.  - PHOTO BY LISA FETT, COURTESY OF MUSICAL FAMILY TREE
  • Photo by Lisa Fett, Courtesy of Musical Family Tree
  • For Kenny Childers' 40th birthday, more than two dozen local music luminaries sang his songs for a tribute album, Nine Kinds of Gone.

Kenny Childers on making new Gentleman Caller LP, balancing songwriting projects

By Seth Johnson via NUVO

Musician and songwriter Kenny Childers has had his hand (and voice) in some of the most influential musical projects of the last three decades of independent Indiana music. It's an impressive resumé: Velo Deluxe, The Mysteries of Life, Brando, Margot & The Nuclear So and So's, Lily and Madeleine, and Childers' own Gentleman Caller -- just to name a few. Local music writer and Sky Blue Window contributor Seth Johnson caught up with Childers this week for a story in NUVO. The piece focuses on the new Gentleman Caller record Downtown in the Dark, Childers' history as a sideman in various Indiana projects, and his new life as an accomplished songwriting partner in Nashville. It's an excellent profile on one of Indiana's most prolific musical minds. For more on Childers, revisit Ben Shine's Mix Master chat from last year and a conversation ahead of his performance at White Rabbit Cabaret as part of Indy Film Fest's Rock + Reel series.

UIndy's new jazz-studies director Freddie Mendoza introduces himself as a performer in scintillating concert

By Jay Harvey via Jay Harvey Upstage

Nick Tucker is one of the many Indy jazz artists  you can read about on Sky Blue Window. - PHOTO BY MARK SHELDON

If you don't have Jay Harvey Upstage in your RSS feed, you're missing out. Rarely a week passes without a Jay Harvey piece making its way into "Best of the Rest," and most weeks he posts multiple articles worthy of inclusion. This week was no different. Here, Harvey highlights Freddie Mendoza University of Indianapolis' new director of Jazz Studies. Appropriately, Mendoza's premiere was better heard than seen. The accomplished trombonist and euphonium player took the stage at the DeHaan Fine Arts Center at the University of Indianapolis alongside a trio of heavy-hitting Hoosiers in bassist Nick Tucker, pianist Steven Jones and drummer Kenny Phelps. Visit Jay Harvey Upstage for the full account of the performance and a look ahead to a new era at UIndy. For another glimpse into Indy's jazz scene, check out Ben Shine's interview with longtime local photographer Mark Sheldon.

Remembering ISO's Kent Leslie

By Chantal Incandela via NUVO

Most of the time, arts coverage exists to celebrate an artist, a performance or highlight an upcoming event. Every once in a while, a writer is tasked with putting in perspective the career and life of a fallen artist. Such was the case this week with Chantal Incandela's profile of late, local hornist, Kent Leslie. Leslie passed away last week, and was celebrated as a vibrant contributor to Central Indiana's music community. His contribution moved beyond his powerful play on horn. As Incandela points out, he also commissioned many works, including James Beckel's horn concerto The Glass Bead Game, based on the book by Herman Hesse -- which has since become one of the most popular horn concertos of the last half century. Beyond a list of his noteworthy achievements, Incandela did well to bring humanity to a friend and mentor who many of his peers confessed they will miss dearly.

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