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Drumming up happiness: an Indianapolis musician



Indianapolis, Indiana – Markeys Jones is playing his drum set on the median at the intersection of Allisonville Road and 86th Street while surrounded by a wave of oncoming vehicles.

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

Since he was a young child, he has played on the same drum set.

His father, a Chicago street musician, serves as his inspiration. For a number of years, Markeys provided entertainment for spectators at events such as Pacers and Colts games. He made the decision to tour his show after the pandemic.

“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 performed in both hot and cold areas around the nation. He is not bothered by the weather.

“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.

The majority of drivers’ reactions are favorable. However, some people have taken issue with his music.

“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.

Markeys doesn’t solicit tips, but he will accept them. His intention is to make someone smile while they wait for the light to turn green with this free outdoor concert.

“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.

Every Sunday, Markeys performs on the drums at his Indianapolis church, South Calvary Baptist.