Bennett to headline at Carmel Jazz Festival


Jazz vocalist Antonia Bennett was all set to perform with the Carmel Symphony Orchestra in an April 21 concert.

Then, CSO executive director Anne Marie Chastain and Carmel Jazz Festival director Blair Clark came up with an alternative plan.

Why not have Bennett, the daughter of the late Tony Bennett, to instead perform as the Aug. 9 headliner of Aug. 9-10 festival. Bennett agreed and will perform at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts. CSO will accompany her on some numbers.

“Blair and I were talking for a while about wanting to work together, so we were trying to figure out the best way to have the CSO involved,” Chastain said. “So, we brainstormed and when I mentioned Antonia Bennett, Blair said she would be a great headliner.”

Soon, a new plan was hatched.

Clark said he wanted to collaborate with the CSO last year for the inaugural Jazz Festival, but it didn’t work out.

“The CSO is very interested in partnerships with other arts groups,” Chastain said. “We feel like it’s very exciting and very compelling when we work together. I personally love jazz.”

Clark said he loves the collaborative energy.

“Being able to have Antonia as the Friday headliner is an extra added bonus,” said Clark, who added the Aug. 10 headliner will be announced at a later date. “I think it’s going to bring a lot of attention to the Carmel Jazz Festival and the Carmel Symphony.”

Carmel resident Joel Smirnoff is serving as an artistic advisor and guest conductor for the CSO and is a personal friend of the Bennett family.

“Antonia is wonderful, she’s really charming,” Smirnoff said.

Smirnoff, a violinist and conductor who is part of The Juilliard School faculty, Smirnoff had been working on arrangements for Bennett’s previously scheduled concert, highlighting Duke Ellington.

Those tickets for the postponed April 21 concert will be honored at the Aug. 9 concert or  a refund can be requisition by calling the CSO at 317-844-9717. For more, visit