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INside Story: Indiana’s Music Scene, Part 5: The Next Chapter

That Hoosier sound. No matter what form it takes, it has become a staple in the world of music.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)– Indiana has always made its mark in the music industry, but every artist that’s been a part of the Indy’s Music Scene series agrees that there’s something special about what’s been happening lately.

“I think it’s starting to be appreciated more,” Jared Thompson, a jazz musician, said. “I think we are starting to do better at elevating our voices.”

Like many, Thompson believes the talent was always here.

“There is a very distinct flavor about Indianapolis musicians there always has been,” Thompson said. “We go back to the 1940s and 50s of Indiana Avenue. That Indianapolis sound was a distinct sound that Wes Montgomery introduced to the world.”

However, he thinks the musicians of today are moving with a new sense of urgency, partly because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think a lot of us are just taking this even more seriously than before because we realize it can be taken away from us,” Thompson said.

Since childhood, he’s always gravitated to jazz.

“All my friends were listening to Biggie and 2Pac and Green Day and I was listening to Coleman Hawkins and (John) Coltrane and Sunny Rollins,” Thompson remembered. “At the core of my being, that’s the kind of music that has always reached me; it’s always spoken to me.”

Thompson and his group, Premium Blend, have been a part of the scene for several years and have become one of the most sought-after live bands in the city. The only thing he might enjoy as much as being out on stage is watching someone else doing the same.

Someone like Lorea Turner, another Indianapolis-based artist.

Her love for R&B first caught everyone’s ears on social media, where she sang some of her favorite classics.

After fine-tuning her craft and getting the opportunity to perform at a music festival with popular artist H.E.R, Turner says she is ready to ascend to her next level.

“In this season of my life, I feel like I’m doing it, I’ve arrived,” she said. “I know myself. I feel like I can give my all on stage now. I kind of learned the confidence. You know I’ve always sung, but now I feel like I can really tap in.”

It’s led her to make a pivotal career decision: This fall, she’ll be leaving home to sharpen her skills in Los Angeles.

“I want to do it all, honestly,” Turner said. “I hope to accomplish everything that I always wanted to do and more. I don’t even want to limit myself.”

When News 8’s Randall Newsome asked Turner why she wanted to be a part of the series and perform her songs at The Cabaret, she had a unique reason. She says has never performed there and it’s one of the places she wants to perform when she returns to her home state.

As Turner steps into her next chapter on her journey to becoming the best artist she can be, she gave her thoughts and feelings on where she feels Indiana’s music scene is today.

“We’re out here,” she said. “We’re doing it. We’re making it happen. I’m just proud that we’re all starting to come together.”