Sixth season of Seymour CityJam opens Thursday night

The start of the sixth season of the Seymour CityJam summer concert series will have a familiar sound.

Jayne Bond and the Pink Martinis will bring their high-energy show back to the city.

When the group opened the series in 2015, the show had to be moved indoors.

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“We still had a great turnout with an always enthusiastic Seymour audience,” said lead singer Chris Stone, also known as Jayne Bond.

She’s hoping for another great turnout for Thursday’s show, which goes from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on a stage on Second Street between Indianapolis Avenue and Ewing Street in downtown Seymour.

“We hope the audience feels what we feel during our performance,” she said. “We are always having fun while delivering good music and an energetic performance, and that’s what we want Seymour to feel.”

The show is free, but food and drinks served by The Pines Restaurant and snow cones from Chillicen will be available for purchase beginning at 6 p.m.

The sixth year of CityJam comes with a new sponsor, Seymour Main Street. That nonprofit organization sponsored one show last year, and this will be the first full year it has taken over the event in its entirety.

Executive Director Becky Schepman said officials with the previous organizer, Southern Indiana Center for the Arts, reached out to her about taking over because the center was undergoing some reorganization with its director and board.

“They were looking at focusing more on art and gallery openings in the center and knew that the downtown was moving toward branding the downtown with music,” Schepman said. “They asked if we would be interested in taking over the event, and our board voted unanimously to do so.”

Other sponsors are Seymour Crossing, The Tribune and JCB, and the associate sponsor is Schneck Medical Center.

When the arts center organized CityJam, it collected donations toward the end of the show. Schepman said Seymour Main Street is taking a different approach.

“We will have a box on our Seymour Main Street table where we will accept donations to cover the costs of the bands if community members would like to contribute,” she said.

Schepman said Jayne Bond and the Pink Martinis will be a great way to kick off the sixth season because of their high energy, audience interaction and set list that spans all age groups.

The band also has played at Oktoberfest and SICA events in the past.

Joining Stone in the band is her husband, Jeff, also known as Armond Flint, on bass, guitar and vocals; Seymour native John Whitcomb (Parker O’Dowd) on guitar and vocals; Larry Sauer (Whiskey Sauer) on drums; Darren Vincent (Bobby Stardust) on keyboards and vocals; and Tom Clark (Cuba Jones III) on saxophone, bass and percussion.

Providing singing and dancing entertainment are Anna Shepard and Sho Riley as the Martini Sisters, Vodka and Gin Martini.

“We try to get the audience involved in our show,” Stone said. “The Martini Sisters will go out and try and get audience members involved singing and dancing with the band.”

The Stones and Sauer are the original members of the group, which started in 1997 as a six-piece jazz band.

It later changed into a dance party band, and the Martini Sisters were added. The band plays at festivals, corporate parties, conventions, wedding receptions and other special events.

Whitcomb now lives in Nashville, and Clark lives in Bloomington, but most of the other members are from the Indianapolis area.

“We are all friends in this band. No divas or attitudes,” Stone said. “The musicianship and professionalism are what I appreciate the most from this band.”

All of the members except Shepard, Riley and Whitcomb also play together in a group called The Band Etc.

Stone said the band is excited to return to Seymour.

“We are looking forward to seeing friends, family of the band, reconnecting with folks we met at past performances and making new friends,” she said.

Schepman said the other three CityJam shows will be at the new Crossroads Community Park in the downtown.

The other acts are Jake Dodds, a country music recording artist, July 19; Those Darn Torpedoes, a Tom Petty tribute band, Aug. 16; and The Louisville Crashers, which plays music from all generations and gets the audience engaged, Sept. 20. The latter group also closed the fifth season.

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What: Seymour CityJam featuring Jayne Bond and the Pink Martinis

When: 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday

Where: East Second Street between Indianapolis Avenue and North Ewing Street in downtown Seymour (rain site is Knights of Columbus, 118 E. Second St.)

Cost: The show is free, but food and drinks from The Pines Restaurant and snow cones from Chillicen will be available for purchase starting at 6 p.m.