Animals and All That Jazz at Indianapolis Zoo

One of the Indianapolis Zoo’s coolest and longest-running traditions will return June 17 as Animals and All That Jazz begins an extended 34th concert season.

From smooth soul to contemporary to blues and beyond, this concert series will showcase a diverse lineup of Midwest jazz musicians playing from 5:30-8:30 p.m. every Thursday through July 29 under the Bicentennial Pavilion. This an open-air venue provides a perfect place for concertgoers to relax for an evening of fun and music. Located near the front of the Zoo, with plenty of animal exhibits nearby, guests can enjoy a full day at the Zoo along with evening performances that are free for Zoo members and included with general admission.

Animals and rides will be available until 7 p.m. Plus, each concert will feature a rotating menu of special food options along regular Zoo fare. A full bar will be open to adult guests, highlighting craft cocktails from Hotel Tango. Additionally, adults can sample craft beer provided by Zink Distributing, and local wines provided by Daniels Vineyard.

Featuring several returning favorites along with a few newcomers, the 2021 Animals and All That Jazz lineup will feature:

June 17: Cowbell Jazz
With musical influences from the jazz, funk and pop genres, Cowbell Jazz will offer something for everyone in the audience.
• Menu: Grilled chicken with quinoa, red rice, roasted corn, avocado, edamame beans, fire-roasted beets, hard-boiled egg, lime chipotle vinaigrette.

June 24: Janiece Jaffe with DaVida
One of the area’s most talented jazz vocalists, Janiece Jaffe brings her rich and soulful sound back to the Zoo’s stage with special guests DaVida.
• Menu: Traditional pulled pork sandwich served with yellow onion. Served with coleslaw and watermelon wedge.

July 1: Bashiri Asad
A newcomer to Animals and All That Jazz, this Indianapolis original singer/songwriter evokes beautiful emotions with his uplifting lyrics and smooth, soulful sound.
• Menu: Grill beef asado tacos, served with cucumbers, cilantro, lime wedges, cotija cheese, pico de gallo and fresh tortilla chips.

July 8: Amanda Gardier
Another new artist on the Zoo’s stage, Amanda Gardier is a talented saxophonist who mixes a variety of jazz styles into her eclectic collection of original music.
• Menu: Traditional beef cheesesteak on a hoagie bun with peppers, onions and cheese sauce. Served with fresh kettle chips.

July 15: Monika Herzig Acoustic Project
A favorite among Animals and All That Jazz attendees, Monika Herzig is a multi-talented and high-energy performer who puts a unique twist on new hits.
• Menu: Kung Pao chicken or fried tofu with secret brown sauce, steamed brown rice, bell peppers and green onions.

July 22: Yvonne Allu
This emerging singer/songwriter is no stranger to the Zoo’s stage. She blends various musical influences into her signature sound and vocal style.
• Menu: Spanish-style Paella with chicken, sausage and rice.

July 15: Cathy Morris and Friends
The series will end on a high note! Zoo audiences will certainly remember Cathy’s unique electric violin and vocal performances, backed by talented musicians performing innovative jazz and pop arrangements.
• Menu: Classic Cuban sandwich with pickles, ham, roast pork and melted swiss. Served with crinkle cut chips

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Nicole Sipe
Nicole Sipe
Nicole Sipe is the editor of Indy's Child and Southwest Ohio Parent magazines. She has a BA in Journalism from California State University Northridge, and has been involved in the print and digital publishing world for most of her life. Born and raised in Southern California, Nicole traded the city and sun for corn and creeks, and now lives in central Indiana with her husband, two sons and Collie. Her latest book for children, “All About Me! Art Journal” was published in 2022 by Walter Foster Jr. In her spare time, she likes traveling with her family, enjoying good food and drink, volunteering at her children’s schools and around her community, and practicing yoga.

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