Charlie Ballantine – Vonnegut



Premiere Date - Friday, November 20 - 8p
Where to watch -, Facebook & YouTube @indyjazzfest

A special thanks to the Kurt Vonnegut Museum & Library

Guitarist/composer Charlie Ballantine conveys a sense of drama, distinct narrative threads and emotional depth, as he crafts an often disquieting, consistently resonant and thoughtful artistic tribute to seminal author Kurt Vonnegut. Song titles such as ‘Sympathy For Malachi Constant’, ‘Kilgore in Timequake,’ ‘Eloise Metzger’ and ‘Mind Of Dwayne Hoover’ let the listener know they’re in for a richly eclectic ride, as jazz/rock/folk artist Ballantine channels characters and themes from Vonnegut’s novels into his compositions. Finding the balance between the soulful and the literate, Ballantine and his sextet create a vibe that speaks volumes, without vocals.

“I really wanted to do my best to capture the voice of Kurt Vonnegut in a musical sense and just as each novel had a different overall feel, the music had to change composition to composition”

Charlie Ballantine - guitar
Amanda Gardier - alto sax, bass clarinet
Rob Dixon - tenor and soprano sax
Cassius Goens III - drums
Jesse Wittman - bass
Mina Keohane - keys
Charlie Ballantine - guitar
Rob Funkhouser - music box
Chris Lafave - reading / narration
Kara Spurlock - violin
Sarah Page - violin
Leilah Smith - cello
Kathy Hershberger - viola

About the Indy Jazz Fest Commission Series

This presentation represents one of three projects that make up the Indy Jazz Fest 2020 Commission Series. These works will provide an emotional look at the way these artists’ mentors and society have affected their artistry. Ultimately, we view these concerts and commissions as the perfect way to continue the crucial support of our artists right here in Indianapolis as we continue to navigate through the challenges brought forth by the pandemic, racial tensions, and a year of introspection.”

"Though we are not able to operate as normal in this COVID-19 environment, the Indianapolis Jazz Foundation remains unwavering in its commitment to keep our Indianapolis jazz musicians creating. We have commissioned three accomplished Indy-based musicians to write, perform, and video (for virtual viewing) original music that reflects the subject matter of these uncertain and difficult times. We are confident that we will enable these musicians and their bands to create and express through the medium of jazz, profound artistic statements, that will have a lasting and impactful effect on Indianapolis and the world." - Rob Dixon, IJF Artistic & Education Director