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Art & Soul: Valerie of the Phelps Connection joins us ahead of Jazz Kitchen performance

Soulful jazz vocalist Valerie Phelps met her husband, Kenny, when she was performing at Clowes Hall; now the two perform together with Valerie on vocals and Kenny, who has toured with Dee Dee Bridgewater and played with Wynton Marsalis, on drums.

Phelps joined us today to tell us more about the group. The Phelps Connection includes original band members who performed with the late, world-renown Indy soul singer Cynthia Layne, who died of breast cancer in 2018 at the age of 51.

The couple runs the Owl Music Group and dedicate a lot of time to mentoring kids and teaching them about the music industry.

“I am blessed to have the opportunity to perform with them,” said Valerie Phelps, who will drop her first single in February.

All month long, catch a one-song performance at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday through Friday in February on WISH-TV’s Facebook page. And if you love what you saw there, you can come back and watch the full, 45-minute performances here.

Art & Soul fans will be able to watch great performances by 15 acts, from emerging musicians to legendary bands, plus hear a conversation with this year’s visual artist, Matthew Cooper. Matthew created the backdrop for this year’s performances. It’s a collage of the pieces he painted this summer on the boarded-up windows of Old City Hall as part of the Murals for Racial Justice initiative. Matthew also created two original works that viewers can see through the large exterior windows of Gallery 924 at the Arts Council.

Along with the 16 Art & Soul shows, we’ll be presenting special content including a guide to the best Black History Month arts & culture events at

We worked with Indy Jazz Fest and Asante Art Institute of Indianapolis to program this year’s festival. We shot all the performances over three days in January at the Indianapolis Artsgarden. Everyone wore masks except the singers!­­

You can see the Phelps Connection at The Jazz Kitchen on 5377 N College Ave. tonight at 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.

Please follow @indyartscouncil and #ArtSoulIndy on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to join the celebration.

To learn more, visit