local music

Arts & Culture
6:01 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Local Listen: Ensemble Ibérica

Ensemble Ibérica
Credit Jeff Evrard / ensembleiberica.org

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."

Read more
Central Standard
3:55 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Kansas City Bartenders Create Cocktails Inspired By Local Bands

Credit Geishaboy500 on Flickr

Music is often connected with emotions, but what about food? Can a cocktail taste like a song? On Thursday's Central Standard, we spoke with two Kansas City bartenders who recently completed a feat of synesthesia - creating original cocktails inspired by songs from local musicians.  The event was called Mixtapes & Mixology.

Read more
Up To Date
3:32 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

The Best Music of 2014 — So Far

Sylvan Esso, pictured here, is just one of the groups that our music lovers picked as one of the best of 2014 so far.
Credit Ross Grady / Flickr-CC

We're almost halfway through 2014 and there's already been great music on the local, national and international stages.

From jazz to experimental ambient music, there's been something for pretty much everyone this year. 

On Friday's Up to Date, host Steve Kraske was joined by a panel of music lovers to find the best bands, albums, and tracks so far in 2014. 

Here are our guests' picks:


Read more
Up To Date
3:44 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Local Listen: Greg Mackender

"The Winter's Tale" at the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival.
Credit Roger Ridpath / Heart of America Shakespeare Festival

The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival begins this weekend and while the play may be the thing, there’s live music too.

During performances of The Winter's Tale, there are three musicians on stage, including resident composer Greg Mackender on percussion and mallets, Sascha Groschang, on cello and Laura Parks on violin.

"I left a lot of openings for impromptu types of things," says Mackender. "There are other spots where they can get a little livelier, we can play around a little bit."

Read more
Up To Date
12:25 pm
Sat June 14, 2014

Local Listen: David George & A Crooked Mile

David George is a rock and roll formalist. The Kansas City musician's affinity for tradition was recognized by John Fogerty and George recently toured as a member of Fogerty's band. But, he has returned to the Heartland to write his own music and this edition of Local Listen features a vibrant new composition. Here is David George & A Crooked Mile performing "Shine."

Read more
Central Standard
10:26 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Kansas City's Front Porches Are Gathering Places, And Now Music Venues, Too

PorchFests fill historic city neighborhoods with live music, in Kansas City and throughout the United States.
Credit Ari Moore / Creative Commons, Flickr

The front porch is an American institution. It's an ideal place to wind down with a cool drink on a summer night. But this familiar scene is all-too-easy to take for granted.

On the occasion of Kansas City's inaugural PorchFest, a music festival bringing 70 bands to residential porches, Central Standard takes a look at the history of the American front porch. We also visit with the festival organizer to hear about the bands bringing West Plaza porches to life this weekend.


Read more
Arts & Culture
9:27 am
Wed June 11, 2014

7 Questions For Doug Frost On Beer And The First-Ever Boulevardia

Music, food, and craft beer will jostle for center stage this weekend at Boulevardia, a three-day festival in the West Bottoms of Kansas City, Mo.

More than three dozen brewers from 11 states, from Oregon to Maine, as well as two Belgian breweries, will be on tap to provide samples. And – of course — there will be beer from local favorites in Kansas and Missouri (such as Boulevard Brewing Co., the organizer of the event).

Read more
Up To Date
10:40 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Local Listen: 77 Jefferson

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".

Read more
Up To Date
4:11 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Local Listen: My Brothers & Sisters

Performances by My Brothers & Sisters are a spectacle.  The self-described "14-piece pop orchestra" from Kansas City includes string and horn sections, and a large chorus.  The ambitious project has been documented on "Violet Music: Volume One" a recently-released album that took over a year to record.  This edition of Local Listen features a song that showcases the soulful side of this expansive ensemble.  Here is "How To Move What To Wear".

Hear More: My Brothers & Sisters headline the annual spring dance at Knuckleheads on Saturday, May 31.

Read more
Up To Date
11:23 am
Thu May 22, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: May 23-25

At 87, Tony Bennett is still performing regularly. He's part of the 'Weekend To-Do List' for May 23-25.
Credit Tom Beetz / Flickr-CC

If you're looking for good music this weekend, look no further than Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for May 23-25.

Tony Bennett (pop music legend), 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $70 to $150.

Westport Roots Festival (Billy Joe Shaver and 25 bands), Saturday, indoor music at noon, outdoor at 2 p.m. at the Westport Saloon, 4112 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $28.

Read more
Up To Date
3:21 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Local Listen: Bassist Dominique Sanders

Bassist Dominique Sanders

Although he's in his early twenties, bassist Dominique Sanders is already a fixture in Kansas City's most prestigious jazz clubs.    Tivon Pennicott, a New York-based saxophonist best known for his work with the Grammy-winning star Esperanza Spalding, will join Sanders' trio at three area venues next week.  Sanders and Pennicott will explore the intersection of jazz and R&B at Broadway Jazz Club, the Blue Room and Take Five Coffee.

Read more
Up To Date
4:14 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Local Listen: Kantorei Of Kansas City

Since 2009 Kantorei of Kansas City has been accentuating the region's reputation as a hotbed of superior classical vocal ensembles.  Kantorei of Kansas City's latest album,“Music and Sweet Poetry, Choral Music by Matthew Harris,” was released by the British record label Resonus Classics on Valentine's Day.  In this edition of Local Listen, we enjoy "Fantasy on La Bamba," a gorgeous but decidedly lighthearted arrangement of the 1958 Ritchie Valens hit "La Bamba".

Read more
10:13 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Accordion Legend Don Lipovac Remembered In Kansas City

Credit Photo courtesy of Laura Krzyzanowski.

Musician Don Lipovac, internationally recognized for his prowess on the accordion, will be buried Thursday in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Kansas City, Kan.

The 79-year-old died on April 26.

Read more
Up to Date
11:37 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Local Listen: Kristie Stremel

Kristie Stremel sings this week's Local Listen on her album, 'Songwriter.'

For this Local Listen, we turn to longtime area favorite, Kristie Stremel who has a sure-handed grasp of the dynamic potential in a pop song.  Her single, Cry It All Out, combines a tender voice with a delicate arrangement while kicking up a great big, noisy celebration.  From the album Songwriter here is Kristie and Cry It All Out.

Read more
Up to Date
5:31 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Local Listen: Scruffy And The Janitors

Scruffy and the Janitors play the Middle of the Map festival Saturday, April 5, on the back patio of the Riot Room at 6:15 p.m.
Credit Middle of the Map Fest


This year’s Middle of the Map music festival began Thursday night and will continue through Saturday at  locations in and around Westport.

Our “Local Listen” segment focuses on musicians from the Kansas City area that will be sharing the stage with regional and national artists.  

Today, we travel up I-29 a bit and give a listen to one of the newest bands to come out of St. Joseph: Scruffy and the Janitors. Here is “Shake it Off.”

Read more
Central Standard
12:58 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Middle Of The Map Fest Kickoff

Middle of the Map Fest starts tonight with the music portion in Westport. The festival will continue with forum next weekend and wrap up with film April 16-20. On today's Central Standard, a Middle of the Map Fest co-founder discusses what to expect from local and national musicians in Kansas City this weekend. Plus, KCUR's Laura Ziegler is here with Royals predictions for this week's Tell KCUR.


  • Chris Haghirian, co-founder of Middle of the Map Fest
Read more
Up To Date
2:16 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Local Listen: Middle Twin

Middle Twin performs at this year's Middle of the Map music festival running April 3-5 in Westport.
Credit www.middletwin.com

The lineup has been announced for this year’s Middle of the Map music festival.  Running from April 3 to April 5, the festival takes place at various locations in and around Westport in Kansas City.

Read more
Up To Date
2:05 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Local Listen: Monta At Odds

Monta At Odd's newest EP is titled "Android Dream."
Credit www.facebook.com/montaatodds

The line-up has been announced for this year’s Middle of the Map music festival, which takes place April 3-5 at many locations in and around Westport.

For the next several weeks, our “Local Listen” segment will focus on musicians from the Kansas City area who will be sharing the stages with regional and national artists.

Read more
Arts & Culture
5:00 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Maria The Mexican, Influenced By Mariachi Roots

Maria Cuevas (at left) and her sister, Teresa (Tess) Cuevas, started Maria the Mexican in 2011, along with guitarist Garrett Nordstrom.
Credit courtesy Maria the Mexican

The band Maria the Mexican describes its sound as Americana soul and Mexicana groove. Sisters Maria and Tess Cuevas got their start in Mariachi Estrella, an all-female mariachi band founded by their grandmother, the late Teresa Cuevas. In 2011, they branched out to form Maria the Mexican, with guitarist Garrett Nordstrom.

Read more
Up To Date
5:13 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Local Listen: Schwervon

The duo Schwervon is featured in this week's 'Local Listen.'
Credit schwervon.bandcamp.com

This year’s Middle of the Map music festival will take place April 3-5 at many locations in and around Westport. For the next several weeks, our “Local Listen” segment will focus on musicians from the Kansas City area who will be sharing the stages with regional and national artists.

Read more
Up to Date
12:44 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

'The Elders' Bring Celtic Flair Back To Kansas City

Brent Hoad (left) and Steve Phillips of The Elders perform during Thursday's Up to Date.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

The Kansas City-based band, The Elders, with their blend of American roots rock and Celtic folk, have performed together since 1998. This year marks their 12th annual Hoolie, a celebration of Irish culture through music and dance.

On Thursday's Up to Date, some of the band members talked about the March 15 event with host Steve Kraske.

"Mostly, it’s just the joy of playing. We all love to play. That’s why we’re still doing it in our mid-50s,” said Brent Hoad, who plays keyboards, as well as fiddle, guitar, mandolin.

Read more
Up To Date
4:16 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Local Listen: Rev Gusto

The line-up has been announced for this year’s Middle of the Map music festival.  Running from April 3rd - 5th, the festival takes place at various locations in and around Westport. 

Rev Gusto is one band from the Kansas City area who will be sharing the stage with regional and national artists.  This week we hear the summery garage-band sounds of Rev Gusto in the track “Click-Click” from their self-titled EP.

Read more
Central Standard
4:01 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Kansas City Reggae Scene Brings Beach Vibe To The Midwest

Credit Creative Commons

Kansas City brings to mind some obvious trademarks: jazz music, ornate fountains and delicious barbecue. A lesser known aspect of our community is the reggae music movement.

Today on Central Standard we discuss the reggae scene in Kansas City. The genre consists of many different sounds with influences from different parts of the world.


Read more
Up To Date
3:09 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Local Listen: Me Like Bees

In this week's local listen, we hear from "Me Like Bees."

The past few weeks have been pretty memorable for the Joplin band Me Like Bees: they won The Deli Magazine – Kansas City’s “Emerging Artist of 2013” readers’ poll, and they also won the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands, ensuring them a spot on this summer’s Warped Tour.

In this week's Local Listen, we hear “Brand New Fail” from their most recent album, “The Ides."

You can get a buzz from the sounds of Me Like Bees when they visit The Riot Room in Kansas City on February 28th.

Read more
Up To Date
1:27 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Local Listen: Drew Black And Dirty Electric

Drew Black And Dirty Electric perform this weekend in Kansas City.

Drew Black and Dirty Electric is a Kansas City four-piece that takes glam rock to a very dark and edgy place - and yet it’s a sound that’s loaded with hooks and easy to dance to as well.

In this week’s Local Listen, we hear Curio Doll from the group's debut album “Dead Kings and Queens.”

Hear More:

Read more
Up To Date
12:42 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Local Listen: Freight Train Rabbit Killer

Freight Train Rabbit Killer is a collaboration between Christopher Brooders of Cadillac Flambe’ and Mark Smeltzer from Rural Grit.
Credit Freight Train Rabbit Killer

Freight Train Rabbit Killer is a collaboration between Christopher Brooders of Cadillac Flambe’ and Mark Smeltzer from Rural Grit. Their combined backgrounds in delta blues and Americana make for a very raw sound that has become a hot ticket in local clubs.

In this week's Local Listen, we hear the song "Day Without the Devil” from their self-titled debut

Read more
Up To Date
3:07 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Local Listen: Phantoms Of The Opry

The band Phantoms of the Opry consider themselves “born 60 years too late,” and when you hear their musical blend of traditional country and Western swing, you’ll understand the meaning behind that statement.

In this week’s Local Listen we hear "My Cattle Call" from their self-titled release.

Read more
Up to Date
4:52 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Local Listen: Sundiver

In December, Kansas City band Sundiver released their debut full-length effort, “The Pull.”

The group's sound combines space-rock arrangements with edgy, heavy guitar tones, and as our music coordinator Michael Byars will tell you, it sounds great in headphones.

In this week's “Local Listen,” we hear the opening track from “The Pull” titled “Lover’s Comfort.”

Learn more about the group on their Facebook page and on Bandcamp.

Read more
11:02 am
Wed January 8, 2014

KCPT's 'The Bridge' Brings More Local Music To Kansas City Airwaves

Credit 90.9 The Bridge

A new Kansas City noncommercial radio station that features local music officially launched this week.

Kansas City's public television station, KCPT, bought KTGB "The Bridge" last May, and ownership was officially transferred last month.

After KCPT's purchase, studios for The Bridge were moved to the KCPT headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. Previously, they were housed in Warrensburg, Mo., where the station was owned and operated by the University of Central Missouri.

Read more
10:20 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Remembering Kansas Mariachi Pioneer, Teresa Cuevas

Teresa Cuevas plays her violin in a 2008 photo.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Mariachi musician and founder of a groundbreaking all-female mariachi band, Teresa Cuevas, died late last year at the age of 93.

Cuevas founded Mariachi Estrella with seven other women from her church choir in 1980. They became a regional phenomenon, trading the mariachis' traditional black pants for long maroon shirts. The band played shows all over Kansas.

Read more