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Indianapolis musician drumming up joy

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Amidst a sea of traffic, you can hear Markeys Jones play his drum set on the median at the intersection of Allisonville Road and 86th Street.

“I love playing the drums, I’m happy, I’ve never been this happy,” Jones said.

He’s been using the same drum set since he was a child.

He’s inspired by his father, a street musician in Chicago. Markeys entertained fans at Pacers and Colts games, along with other events, for several years. After the pandemic, he decided to take his show on the road.

“If you are going to struggle, you might as well do what you love to do, right, and even if you are making a good paycheck that still don’t mean you’re happy,” Jones said.

Markeys have played all over the country in warm climates and cold climates. The weather doesn’t bother him.

“When you are playing the drums you’re moving and I’m kind of dancing with my own rhythm and when I am in my own head, I forget about everything anyway,” he said.

For the most part, the responses from drivers are positive. However, his music has struck a sour note for some.

“I got called so many racial slurs in Greenwood, Indiana, it’s not funny. I can’t get away from it, even around here, but I don’t choose to focus on negative things when there are positives going on,” he said.

Although Markeys will accept tips, he doesn’t ask for them. For him, this is a free outdoor concert with the goal of putting a smile on someone’s face as they wait for that light to turn green.

“I hope they take away joy, maybe they were angry about something and I made them forget about that stress a little bit,” he said.

Markeys also plays the drums at his church South Calvary Baptist in Indianapolis, every Sunday.