As Indigo’s vocalist Dale Graham recently asked, “Beautiful melody or well-crafted lyric... which comes first? Our favourite songs are meaningful and memorable thanks to the perfect marriage of words with melody.”

Indigo Jazz Quintet invites you to celebrate some of the grand lyricists of yesterday and today, on Thursday, March 12 at Avalanche Bar and Grill. Dale Graham, Rick Husband (guitar), John Hyde (bass), Aaron Amar (drums) and Jay Havelaar (trumpet) will present a wide-ranging repertoire.

Graham continued, “Dorothy Fields wrote over 400 songs in her fifty-year career. She teamed up with Jimmy McHugh and Jerome Kern in her youth and was working to mount her final Broadway show on the day she died in 1974. Her lyrics are superbly conversational, yet they also incorporate oddball, endearing rhymes like “for heaven rest us, I’m not asbestos”. And they have endured: In 2009, Barack Obama lifted her words for his inaugural speech, ‘Starting today we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off…’  Indigo Jazz will perform some of Fields’ most iconic songs, On the Sunny Side of the Street, and The Way You Look Tonight among them.

The lyrics of My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean convey the very essence of longing. The band will present a jazzy twist on this traditional folk song. I Remember Clifford is Benny Golson’s exquisite melody, written in response to the tragic death of his friend and bandmate Clifford Brown. Who but Jon Hendricks, the poet laureate of jazz, could pen a lyric to match that melody?

Sammy Cahn was nominated for more than thirty Oscars, winning four times. Legions of singers have performed his material, foremost among them Frank Sinatra who recorded 89 of his songs. Cahn felt that Sinatra’s magic lay in his ability to give words their full meaning – he sang “lovely” in a way that sounded lovely.  Indigo Jazz will cover Cahn’s big hits Time After Time and Only Trust Your Heart, along with his lesser known Walkin’ Happy, recorded in 1966 by Peggy Lee.

Bob Dorough is a thoroughly quirky writer and lyricist, and one of the few vocalists ever to appear on a Miles Davis recording. The band will perform his song I’ve Got Just About Everything I Need, which belongs to the tradition of tongue-twisting “list songs”, a la Cole Porter.  Matchless writing teams Lennon and McCartney and the Gershwin brothers will also get an airing for this concert.

Join Indigo Jazz Quintet to celebrate the timeless words and music of jazz, and beyond, at the Avalanche Bar and Grill on Thursday, March 12. Admission is $10 for members, $12 for non-members. You can also visit to see what other exciting performances are coming to Thursday Night Jazz in 2020.