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  • Writer's pictureJoey Amato

The Cabaret’s Summer Series The Alley Sessions Returns

After doubling its attendance over the past two summers, The Alley Sessions is set to return for another summer of free outdoor concerts. Located adjacent to The Cabaret on North Pennsylvania Street, this once run-down historic alley has been transformed into a vibrant arts corridor and community gathering space that serves as a hot spot for Indy’s top performers.

The Alley was created in collaboration with the Indy Arts Council and Buckingham Companies. Designed with the community in mind, guests can experience free live music and art in a casual setting with café tables and chairs, shade umbrellas, and public art installations. The Cabaret’s summer experience will also include art vendors and dancing, creating a festival-like atmosphere. In partnership with the Jazz Kitchen, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres are available for purchase. Additionally, Indy Arts Council’s Gallery 924 will be open at all performances for guests to peruse the works of local visual artists.

“Indy, it's summertime in the city, and we’re looking forward to once again providing downtown visitors and residents with free live music and a chance to vibe with people in the community,” said Valerie Phelps, artistic associate at The Cabaret and curator of The Alley. “We expect this season to be bigger than ever and are excited to celebrate the summer with music, salsa dancing, the chance to buy from local vendors, and amazing food and cocktails by The Jazz Kitchen. As an attendee, you can expect an inviting and energizing environment that is accessible to everyone – including your pups. We hope you join us this summer!”

The Alley Sessions will feature a wide range of performances including spoken word, jazz, storytelling, blues, soul and salsa from more than 30 local artists. Performances begin on Friday, July 21, and will run every Friday through Aug. 25. Doors will open at 6 p.m., shows will begin at 7 p.m. and end by 8:15 p.m. All ages are welcome along with well-behaved, leashed dogs.

The series will be kicked off by Public Universal Friend, an Indianapolis-based art rock band fronted by queer Goth-Americana matriarch Jody Galadriel Friend. The performance will showcase the roots of post-punk and ‘90s alternative with echoes of Friend’s native folk sound and hymnary.

Other performers include Grupo Bembé on Friday, July 28, a family of musicians brought together by David Lugo to play cultural music from Puerto Rico as well as other Latin genres. Guests will also have an opportunity to participate in free Latin dance lessons beginning at 6 p.m.

Brandon Douthitt and his jazz quartet play on Friday, Aug. 4, featuring Adrienne Jackson and Jamichael Pollard for Indy Art & Soul Night. During this evening, attendees will have access to the opening night of Gallery 924 before and after the show. On Friday, Aug. 11, the series will feature Alaina Renae with a dynamic performance of soul and more. Blues in the Alley with acclaimed blues man Tad Robinson and vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Sadie Johnson is slated for Friday, Aug. 18.

The final performance of the season will be by fan favorite Bashiri Asad, scheduled for Friday, Aug. 25. As a vocalist, he has spent the last decade developing a sound he calls “Indy Soul,” inspired by notes of Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder and Otis Redding.

Guests are encouraged to make reservations for table seats. Table space with shade umbrellas is limited, and reservations fill up quickly. If a reservation isn’t secured, guests are welcome to bring a lawn chair in the general seating area.

The Cabaret will begin taking table reservations at 10 a.m. Monday, June 26. Reservations can be made online at or by phone at 317-275-1169. To learn more about The Alley, visit

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