Jazz at Helen’s

Event details


June 28, 2024


07:30 pm


Helen Haddad Hall, 315 Franklin St., Columbus, IN

Additional Info


Offering a refined mix of classic and contemporary jazz, Helen’s is a live music series featuring vibrant performances by small ensembles – for a small audience!

With only 90 seats, you can expect a cozy and intimate night with friends, drinks, and swoon-worthy music. Theater-style seating is first-come, first-served. Cash bar offers beer, wine, and spirits for our 21+ crowd.

Bleu Django is an acoustic gypsy jazz/swing combo. Its instrumentation (violin, guitars, bass) and repertoire pay tribute to a unique musical group created in Paris, France, over 80 years ago—the Quintette du Hot Club de France.

Friday • June 28, 2024
Doors Open 6:45 PM
Show Starts 7:30 PM

@ Helen’s (Helen Haddad Hall)
315 Franklin Street
Columbus, IN 47201


General Admission tickets are $45 each or purchase the entire summer series for $120.  Attendees must be age 21 and over.  Drink responsibly.


Early in the new millenium, Indianapolis guitarist Bob Foster, an ardent fan of big band swing music and the finger-picking guitar style of Chet Atkins, sat down to play some Django Reinhardt tunes with Mooresville resident Daryl Jones, one of the midwest’s finest flatpickers. Both had been intrigued for some time with the music of Reinhardt, Stephane Grappelli and their famous 1930s combo, the Quintette of the Hot Club of France. Bob had even formed a fan club, Club de Django, in hopes of finding other gypsy jazz aficionados in the Midwest.

A few years later, they received a phone call from Carolyn Dutton of Nashville, Indiana, a jazz/swing violinist who recently had returned to her native Indiana after working for 30 years as a professional musician in New York City. Carolyn, who had just finished getting a Master’s degree in jazz studies at Indiana University, had during her long career performed and/or recorded with artists ranging from Doc Cheatum to Dan Hicks to John Sebastian—but had never really had a chance to immerse herself in the Hot Club style that had been her love since she first heard Grappelli recordings in the 1970s.

Soon the trio was joined by bassist Hunt Wiley from Lafayette. Hunt, born to a musical family in New York City in 1956, had heard Hot Club recordings while attending high school in Spain and had recently renewed his interest in the genre, playing swing violin and bass with Django enthusiasts in his area.

Bleu Django made its first public appearance at a restaurant in Noblesville, Indiana, where the group was heard by the owner of the Chatterbox, an Indianapolis jazz club, who immediately booked them. Jazz author and photographer Duncan Scheidt also heard the band there and invited it to perform at his annual convention of jazz record collectors. Since then, Bleu Django has played regularly at the Chatterbox and been engaged for numerous public and private concert series and festivals as well as a number of private parties and house concerts throughout the state. In the fall of 2006 the band performed at the four-day “Jazz at Chautauqua” festival in Chautauqua, New York where it was joined by jazz guitarist Howard Alden who provided the guitar track for Woody Allen’s acclaimed movie, “Sweet and Lowdown.” Last year the group played on the main stage at the Palladium in Carmel during opening week ceremonies and was featured at the annual Folk and Roots Festival in Champagne/Urbana, Ill.

Other venues have included the Indiana Fiddlers Gathering in Battleground, both the wine and the Hops and Harvest Festival in Story, the Ethnic Expo and the Harlequin Theater in Columbus, the Royal Theater in Danville, the Uptown Jazz and Blues Festival in Lafayette, the Indiana University Art Museum’s Jazz in July series in Bloomington, the Hedgehog Music Showcase in Arcadia, the Clowes Auditorium at the Indianapolis Central Library, and Depauw University.

Bob Foster (Rhythm Guitar) is a founding member of Bleu Django. His early musical interests began as a teenager when Bob first listened to his grandmother’s vinyl recordings of Chet Atkins, Homer and Jethro, and Les Paul. At Purdue University, where he eventually received a B.S. degree in biology, Bob formed a western-style square dance band. Later he became personal friends with his guitar hero Chet Atkins and often traveled with him on the road. Recently, Bob performed on the main stage at the 22nd Annual Chet Atkins Appreciation Society in Nashville, TN.

Bob’s rhythm guitar talents have been seen on local, regional and international TV. He is the author and publisher of “The SuperChord Guitar System” with endorsements from several world-renowned musicians including five Grammy Award-winning guitarists. He was a regular performer at the Atlanta (Indiana) Music Hall for over 19 years. Currently, Bob also performs with several bands including Country Jazz Caravan and A-team Swing.

In 2006, Bob and his wife Kathy bought a 115-year-old historic brick building in downtown Arcadia, Indiana, hometown of Indiana’s first music superstars The Hoosier Hot Shots, and converted it into a beautiful and comfortable venue for acoustic music. He named it the Hedgehog Music Showcase, referencing the name to a story about Django Reinhardt, the father of gypsy jazz. His club was home to the second annual Gypsy Jazz Fest featuring hot clubs from Indy, Terre Haute, and Colfax, Indiana, and has hosted such artists as Frank Vignola, John Jorgenson, the Hot Club of Nashville, Claire Lynch, and Leon Redbone, to name a few.

Daryl Jones (lead guitar) was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, in 1960. Influenced by his father, he started playing guitar at age nine with his older brother who played the fiddle. He played lead guitar for several bluegrass bands and won many flatpicking contests throughout the Midwest. In 2003 Daryl picked up a gypsy jazz style guitar and began learning the music of Django Reinhardt. Other jazz influences include the guitar styles of Howard Roberts and Wes Montgomery. In addition to Bleu Django, Daryl also plays in two bluegrass bands, Birch Creek and the Disco Mountain Boys. Daryl has a Master’s degree in engineering.

Carolyn Dutton (violin) received a BA degree from Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio, where she majored in music and played with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. Intent on a career in publishing she moved to New York City in the 1960s. A few years later she heard recordings by Grappelli and Jean Luc Ponty and was forever transformed. Luckily she still had her fiddle with her and began playing in the evenings with performers in nearly every medium available to a violinist…classical, jazz, western swing, rock, pop, bluegrass and country.

She toured the United States, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden and Norway with various bands and appeared at such major NYC venues as Lincoln Center, the Bottom Line, and the Other End as well as a number of festivals in the Northeast and the South. Carolyn also appeared as a solo violinist for many on and off-Broadway shows including the Tony Award-winning Broadway production of “The Grapes of Wrath” and numerous projects at Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre. In the 1990s Carolyn played with legendary swing artist Dan Hicks at various East Coast venues and appeared regularly with the Western Caravan, a 9-piece western swing band that still plays most Monday evenings at the Rodeo Bar in Manhattan and has even performed north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden.

Returning to Indiana in 1999 to study jazz at Indiana University, she began searching for gypsy jazz players and eventually helped create the Hot Club of Naptown which, along with Bleu Django, has been blissfully preaching the gypsy gospel in the Hoosier state. Carolyn has performed with jazz pianists Steve Allee and Monica Herzig at the Jazz Kitchen in Indianapolis and with jazz drummer Jack Gilfoy at IUPUI. She presented a jazz violin recital at Earlham College and performed in “Hot Licks and Cool Chicks,” programs at both the Indiana Historical Society and the Jazz Kitchen. She is featured on the Hot Club’s debut album, “All Swings Considered,” and on four of Monica Herzig’s CDs. She also performs and records with numerous Hoosier folk, bluegrass and blues artists.

Fred Withrow (bass) is from Indianapolis and is one of the most sought-after jazz bassist in Indiana. Fred adds that driving bass end to the la pompe rhythm section that defines this genre of music.

Additional members may include Michael Davis on rhythm guitar and our vocalist Monflor providing vocals on select songs.

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