Imagine a piano bar with not one, but two, pianists, often playing simultaneously and you'll have an idea of dueling pianos. On this edition of Up to Date Steve Kraske learns that "dueling" is actually the pair working with each other to entertain the patrons. Not only do they demonstrate for Steve, but they also take listeners' requests live in the studio.
Patrons of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra may rethink their usual wardrobe choices before attending the big band's next concert. Instead of appearing at the its regular home at Helzberg Hall in the Kauffman Center, the orchestra will perform at Knuckleheads this Saturday. On this edition of Local Listen, we'll hear the orchestra's rendition of Freddie Green’s classic "Corner Pocket."
Walt Disney, Johnny Carson, Carl Sandburg, Ronald Reagan, Henry Ford . . . small Midwestern towns aren't typically the stuff of sensational headlines - more sunset strolls than Sunset Boulevard. But growing up, these and other great men called such communities home.
On Tuesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with author John Miller about the enduring importance of the small town, and the role of "flyover country" in producing some of the 20th Century's most influential men.
Maksim Kunakhovich of Nuthatch-47 has said that "Russia is my mother and America is my wife." His distinctive contributions make Nutchatch-47 one of the funniest and most musically unique bands in the Kansas City area. This week's edition of Local Listen features "I Reckon" from Nuthatch-47's 2013 album "Babushka Bandita." The song's narrator muses about his affection for unsavory aspects of American culture as his comrades riff on a familiar spaghetti western theme.
Seventy miles south of Kansas City, there was a documentary filmed that critic Bob Butler says will break your heart. Rich Hill tells the story of three boys coming of age with at least one hand tied behind their back. They deal with crushing poverty, incarcerated parents, and lots of moving around. Juxtaposed with the external hardships, these adolescents must also confront ADHD and bi-polar disorder. On Friday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske visits with one of the film's directors.
Anyone who clings to the mistaken notion that all of the jazz performed by Kansas City musicians is bound to fusty tradition has yet to hear the People's Liberation Big Band. The maverick ensemble led by Brad Cox plays a wild and wooly form of jazz. This week's Local Listen features "Mr. Blister's Naughty Sister," a playful track from the large ensemble's 2010 debut album.
Kyle Hatley arrived in Kansas City to serve as Assistant Artistic Director for the Kansas City Repertory Theatre in April 2008. He drove into town in the midst of a tornado, and he hasn't stopped moving since.
After eight years of tireless immersion in both the Kansas City Repertory Theatre and the grassroots theater scene, Hatley has decided it's time to return to Chicago. There, he will join his fiance, actress Emily Peterson.
Have you ever stayed up all night talking? Try doing it for 66 hours straight. A Lawrence TV host is about to try in an attempt to shatter the world record for longest television marathon talk show. On Friday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with host of The Not So Late Show about his strategies for staying awake, and keeping a live audience engaged for over two and a half days.
Presidents have been forced to calculate whether they want to be men of the people...or men of somewhat higher understanding.
On this edition of Up to Date Steve Kraske sits down with author Tevi Troy for a look at how popular culture has shaped the presidency. From Jefferson’s grounding in philosophy to Obama’s mastery of Internet culture, they examine who was best, or worst, at navigating a president's need to connect with the average citizen through the culture of the day.
The Phoenix, one of Kansas City's most popular live music venues, hosts its fifth annual Phoenix Fest this Saturday. Jason Vivone and the Billy Bats are among the eight area-based acts performing at the event. This week's edition of Local Listen features "Eddie Ate Dynamite," the humorous title track from the band's 2013 album.
Often characterized by Americans as the blues of Portugal, fado is a melancholy music. Vocalist Rodrigo Costa Félix is one of three Portuguese fado artists that will headline a concert Saturday, July 12, at Polsky Theatre on the campus of Johnson County Community College. Kansas City's Ensemble Ibérica, a group led by event organizer Beau Bledsoe, will open the show. This week's Local Listen features Ensemble Ibérica's "Fado Pechincha."
His career includes multi-platinum recordings, 200-plus live performances per year, two Emmy and five Grammy nominations, conductor of the Pasadena Pops, nightclub owner, and that’s just the half of it. Perhaps his greatest recognition, though, is as “Ambassador of the Great American Songbook”. On Friday's Up to Date, Michael Feinstein talks with Steve Kraske about his love of classic American popular music and his efforts to preserve it for future generations.
Whether it's live music, comedy theatre, or the largest water slide on earth, Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List has got you covered for summertime entertainment!
Verruckt Water Slide Opening of the world's largest water slide Opens Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily Schlitterbahn Water Park, 9400 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan. Admission: $36.99; $28.99 for ages 3 to 11/55 and older
Have you ever driven through the Historic Northeast neighborhood in Kansas City, Mo., and seen a building with playing cards instead of windows?
That's the house of cards, an abandoned apartment building at 7th and Indiana streets, that community members used to create public art. After a couple of years of dormancy, there's now some renewed interest to continue the effort.
Here's the story of how that project began:
A couple years back, the Historic Northeast neighborhood in Kansas City, Mo., had a problem.
While armed conflicts are ongoing, media coverage brings images and sounds from the center of war zones to the world. But what happens when the guns go silent and the combatants and media go home?
J. Malcolm Garcia looks at the people left to survive in the aftermath in his book, What Wars Leave Behind: The Faceless and the Forgotten. On Wednesday's Up to Date, the author talks with Steve Kraske about "the endless messiness of war and the failings of good intentions."
Bestselling author Jeff Shaara is renowned for his gritty depiction of Civil War battles. His fictionalized accounts of the historical events have appeared in previous works and he returns with his latest offering, The Smoke at Dawn. On Tuesday's Up to DateSteve Kraske talks with the author about how he fleshes out the known facts and in doing so creates a detailed account of the War Between the States.
The summer months are reggae season in Kansas City. Known for sweet vocals and loping rhythms, Kansas City's 77 Jefferson has been one of the region's most popular purveyors of the Jamaican sound since its inception in 2006. From the band's most recent album “Rarities Vol. 2” comes the breezy track,"Call On Me".
You’d think that the popularity of digital games like Angry Birds and Minecraft spells the end for the more traditional Monopoly and Risk but not so fast says one man. In this segment of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Eric Martin of BoardGameGeek for a look at how board games are faring in this digital age.