Alex Smith

Reporter, Heartland Health Monitor

Alex Smith reports for the Heartland Health Monitor team, a reporting collaboration among KCUR Public Media, KCPT Public Television, Kansas Public Radio and KHI News Service. He is based at KCUR in Kansas City.

Alex Smith began working in radio as an intern at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters. A few years and a couple of radio jobs later, he became the assistant producer of KCUR's magazine show, KC Currents. He became health reporter at KCUR in January 2014.


10:40 am
Tue January 20, 2009

Blue Springs Golden Regiment Marches In Inaugural Parade

Blue Springs, MO – There's alot of Kansas Citians among the millions of people flooding Washington, DC for the Presidential Inauguration. And the marching band from Blue Springs High School is among them. They'll represent this area in Tuesday's Inaugural Parade. The Blue Springs Golden Regiment is on their way to DC right now. But before they left, KCUR's Alex Smith paid a visit to an afternoon practice.

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9:03 am
Fri November 28, 2008

Jazz Artist Bobby Watson Presents The Gates Bar-B-Q Suite

Nine years ago, when Kansas native son Bobby Watson returned to the area from New York to head the UMKC jazz department, jazz fans had cause to celebrate.

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3:43 pm
Mon November 10, 2008

South America in Kansas City - Sons of Brasil

Sons of Brasil's new album "While You Were Out"

The bossa nova craze hit the US in the late 50's, and ever since then, that mellow Brazilian groove has been a standard part of many jazz musicians' repertoire. But when Kansas City musicians Stan Kessler, Doug Auwater, Danny Embrey and Greg Whitfield formed the Sons of Brasil in 1991, they were determined to dig deeper into the rhythmic soul of the country.

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1:30 am
Wed November 5, 2008

Latest Light Rail Plan Rejected

Former city councilman Bob Lewellen celebrates the defeat of the light rail proposal.
Photo by Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR.

Kansas City, MO – Kansas City voters weighed in against the most recent proposal for a light rail system yesterday. 56 percent turned the starter route, running from Vivion Road to east 63rd.

The verdict was consistent with seven previous elections in the past 11 year - the majority of Kansas Citians have not been interested in light rail. Two years ago, voters approved a plan for a starter route of 27 miles. But the city council repealed the measure, and crafted a 14-mile proposal for voters.

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11:30 pm
Sun November 2, 2008

KC Currents Election Dreamin'

What would Truman say?
Photo by Dan Verbeck / KCUR.

Kansas City, MO – It's been an intense political season, enough to blow away some seasoned political reporters, like Up to Date's Steve Kraske, who last week declared, "I think this whole thing has been a dream." So the KC Currents team imagined what that dream might sound like . . .


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2:57 pm
Mon October 27, 2008

People's Liberation Big Band of Greater Kansas City

The People's Liberation Big Band of Greater Kansas City got its start two years ago. That's when an all-star group of local jazz composers decided to do their own radical take on Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker." The mix of folk, popular and avant garde styles turned out to be so much fun that the musicians decided to stick together.

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1:21 pm
Sun July 13, 2008

Jazz Singer Megan Birdsall

Singer Megan Birdsall grew up in Kansas City, but in this last year, she has really come to understand what being a part of the local jazz community is all about.

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11:25 am
Tue May 27, 2008

Jazz Trombonist Moves To NYC

Up and coming jazz trombonist Kevin Cerovich talks about his new album and why he's leaving KC.

Kansas City, MO – Every May, many college students are graduating, and struggling to decide what direction to take next. For trombonist Kevin Cerovich, who recently graduated from the UMKC Conservatory , the next step is a big one. Soon, he'll be moving to New York City in hopes of breaking into the jazz world. But, as Alex Smith found out, the 23-year-old musician is already off to a strong start.

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3:33 pm
Sun May 4, 2008

Kansas City Youth Jazz Welcomes Clark Terry

Kansas City Youth Jazz and conductor Leon Brady prepare for this Sunday's performance with legendary trumpeter Clark Terry at Unity Temple on the Plaza.

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12:51 pm
Mon March 10, 2008

Tango Looks for a Place in Kansas City

Mila Vigdorova and Korey Ireland met at a tango marathon in Holland. The couple now teaches tango in Kansas City.

KANSAS CITY, MO – While growing up in Moscow, Mila Vigdorova studied classical dance. It wasn't until a trip to the United States that she fell in love with tango. Meanwhile, in Kansas City, composer Korey Ireland discovered tango at a performance by the local band Tango Lorca.

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12:04 pm
Tue February 26, 2008

Jazz Drummer Brandon Draper

Jazz drummer Brandon Draper
photo courtesy of

Since moving to Kansas City from New Mexico, jazz drummer Brandon Draper has kept a busy schedule, playing and recording with artists like Ahmad Alaadeen, Harold O'Neal and Bobby Watson.

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12:28 pm
Mon December 17, 2007

Trumpet Player and Hip Hop Producer Miles Bonny

Miles Bonny first took up the trumpet because of his father. Francis Bonny, who now plays in Broadway musicals, instilled in his son a love of jazz and classical music that now influences Miles' work as a hip hop producer and performer.

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9:02 am
Tue June 26, 2007

Indian Classical Record Label in Overland Park

Banani Ghosh is a singer featured on Rhyme Records.

Rhyme Records records Bengali and North Indian artists who perform around the world. When Pro Ghosh moved to Kansas City from upstate New York to work for Sprint, he brought the idea for creating an Indian music record label with him.

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11:09 am
Sun June 10, 2007

Immigrant Smokers Compete at Rhythm and Ribs

KCUR's Alex Smith visited the home of Llewellyn Thompson, who's a member of a team called the Immigrant Smokers. They're competing in this week's Rhythm and Ribs Festival.

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11:08 pm
Sun March 11, 2007

TET: Vietnamese New Year

9:09 am
Mon September 18, 2006

KC Pianist Harold O'Neal Competes in Monk Competition

This weekend, Kansas City jazz musician Harold O'Neal traveled to Washington D.C. to play in the 2006 Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Piano Competition. O'Neal is one of twelve young pianists selected from around the world to play for the judges, who include jazz greats Herbie Hancock, Kenny Barron and Randy Weston. The top prize is a twenty thousand dollar scholarship.

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