“On Sept. 25, when I left Jazz Kitchen close to midnight, a standing room audience was still inside and a coterie of people was hanging out at the side door, listening to the final set of IJF 2016. Clint Breeze and The Groove was pushing a high-fever sound into the night — way, way past Wes Montgomery’s conscious effort to play mellow so as not to disturb the neighbors.
Reflecting on the impact of “Remembering Wes,” Robert Montgomery’s opening remarks on Sept. 15 resonated: “We’ve got some of the greatest talent here in Indianapolis. I’m watching for what happens next. Pass it on.”
Many moments throughout the 10 days of IJF shimmered in space and time, until, hummingbird-like, a sudden dart to elsewhere broke the spell. Throughout, it was a living overview of the 100-year-old genre that grew out of the African American experience from New Orleans, entwined with the European American experience, and transformed itself into a worldwide universal language with layerings of you-name-it-from-everywhere experiences.“