Visiting drummer Kenny Aronoff kicks off 17th annual Ann Katz Festival of Books & Arts at Jewish Community Center in Indianapolis

Drummer Kenny Aronoff will be in Indy for the 17th annual Ann Katz Festival of Books & Arts. (Submitted photo)

Drummer Kenny Aronoff will be in Indy for the 17th annual Ann Katz Festival of Books & Arts. (Submitted photo)

By Mark Ambrogi

The 17th annual Ann Katz Festival of Books & Arts is loaded with events, but none bigger than its opening act.

An Evening with Kenny Aronoff will kick off the festival at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 28 at the Jewish Community Center, 6701 Hoover Rd. Indianapolis. The cost is $25 in advance and $30 at the door for show with the acclaimed drummer, who is playing with John Fogerty

“He talks about his career and all the things he’s done in his career and how he remains relevant today,” said Martha Karatz, senior vice president for communications for the JCC. “He has a health regimen he follows strictly and he’s an athlete of sorts when you see him on the drums. He talks about his roots in classical music.”

Aronoff, 62, will perform live and share keys to success from 40 years in the business. The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music graduate has previously played with John Mellencamp, Elton John and Paul McCartney, among others.  Earlier on Oct. 28, Aronoff will teach a one-hour master class from 4 p.m. for $50 per person.

The festival will run from Oct. 28 through Nov. 16 at the JCC. There is a $40 pass for all the events (excluding Aronoff’s performance).

The Choreography of Dreams, a Spirit & Place event, is set for two free shows at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 8. The performance incorporates music, video and spoken words on what it’s like to age in today’s world. It features five unique video stories, related by elder citizens and then interpreted by Dance Kaleidoscope dancers.

“They are all local organizations and they have collaborated on this wonderful event,” Karatz said.

Most of the events take place in JCC’s Laikin Auditorium.

Another highlight will be “Seussapalooza,” a tribute to Dr. Seuss with arts and crafts, book reading corners, from 2 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 1. The free event will include a special guest, likely a character from Dr. Seuss’ books.

Weston Clark, a Zionsville resident and Park Tudor High School student, will hold a free Youth Poetry Workshop students in grades 3-7 at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 5.

For tickets, visit

Festival highlights


(All events start at 7 p.m., $10 each)

Nov. 2: Tess Gerritsen, “Playing with Fire.”

Nov 3: Local Authors from “Indy Writes Books — A Book Lover’s Anthology.” (Dan Wakefield, Barb Shoup, Lou Harry and Jeff Knurek)

Nov. 4: Nicole Dweck, “The Debt of Tamar.”

Nov. 5: Michelle Goldberg, “The Godess Pose: “The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West.”

Nov. 9: Rabbi Sandy Sasso and Peninnah Schram, “Jewish Stories of Love and Marriage.”

Nov. 10: Jon Wertheim, “You Can’t Make This Up: Miracles, Memories and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television,” co-authored by Al Michaels.

Nov. 11: Katja Goldman and Lisa Rotmil, “The Community Table: Recipes & Stories from the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan and Beyond.”

Nov. 12: Mickey’s Corner with Eliz Kraft Taylor (Indianapolis business leader Mickey Maurer interviews Taylor who wrote “Three Jews Walked Into A Shopping Center.”


(Shows start at 7 p.m., $10 each)

Oct. 29: “Dough.”

Nov. 8: “The Art Dealer.”

Nov. 14: Heartland Award-Winning Short Films.

Art Exhibition

(Starts at 5:30 p.m., free)

Nov. 3: Books as Art (exhibit runs through Dec. 4)


Nov. 1, 2 to 4 p.m., free:  “Seussapalooza.”

Nov. 3, noon, free: Storytime with Bubbe & Zayde.

Nov. 5, 4:30 p.m., free: Youth Poetry Workshop with Weston Clark.

Nov. 15, 2 to 4 p.m., $12: Tracing Family Ancestry with the International Tracing Service.

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