Stephen Steigman

Chief of Broadcast Operations

After working in the arts for ten years, including positions with the UMKC Conservatory of Music & Dance, the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, the Jerusalem Symphony in Israel, the Albany Symphony in New York, and the Aspen Music Festival, Stephen Steigman joined the staff of KCUR public radio in 2000 as the station's host of classical music.

Stephen's love of public radio started at a young age when "shushed" by his father who wanted to listen to top-of-the-hour NPR news without interruption. Most of all - Steigman's love for public radio and KCUR stems from the idea that public radio enriches our minds through news, commentary, and artistic programming - all important parts of our daily lives. Oh, and KCUR's "all you can drink coffee" policy is a nice bonus, too.

Steigman served as KCUR's afternoon drive host from 2001-2002 and began producing Up to Date with host Steve Kraske in August 2002. The show has earned awards from the Kansas City Press Club, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated (PRNDI), the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists, and others. In March 2014, Stephen became the station's chief of broadcast operations. Stephen enjoys hanging out on the front porch of his Brookside home with wife Tamara Falicov, a professor of film studies at the University of Kansas and their son, Ilan, and daughters Avital and Noa.

Ways to Connect

Of all sporting events, perhaps none is more tangled up in dreams of glory and miracles and fellowship than the Olympic Games. For two weeks, the peoples of the planet come together in celebration of the Olympic spirit and all is well with the world!

Yeah, right.

The Olympics are a human endeavor. All those idealistic “principles” in the Olympic Charter—social responsibility, mutual understanding, universal respect—are written down because they’re so often forgotten. Just search “Olympic Scandals and Controversies” on Wikipedia; you’ll find nearly a hundred offenses.

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.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited Kansas City Monday morning, drumming up interest in Obamacare.

In the first segment of Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with the head of Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City about insurance available through the Affordable Care Act and ongoing efforts to connect people to it.

Guest:

  • Dr. Bridget McCandless, president and CEO, Healthcare Foundation of Greater 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:

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

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.

This year's Academy Award nominations are out, and to no one's surprise, independent, foreign, and documentary films are on the list.

Here are Up to Date's critics' favorite indie, doc and foreign films showing on Kansas City-area screens the weekend of Jan. 17-19.

Click the highlighted links for Steve Walker's reviews of the films.

Cynthia Haines:

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.

Saturday is the beginning of college football’s bowl season. Yep, season. Where there used to be just a handful of games—with names like Rose and Orange, Sugar and Cotton, mostly huddled on or around New Year’s Day—there are now 35, spread out over weeks. If ESPN’s ads are to be believed, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Courtesy / Radkey

It is that time of year. Lists. And we couldn't let it pass by without doing a best of Kansas City area music (which of course, includes Lawrence, Kan.).

The list is made up of contributions from Bill Brownlee, music critic for The Kansas City Star, Chris Haghirian with Ink Magazine and Laura Lorson, editor, host and producer for Kansas Public Radio. When possible, the link will take you to the song. They are in no particular order.

Radkey, "Start Freaking Out"

Photoguyinmo / Flickr-CC

We all know that Kansas City likes to be, well, up to date, and several new businesses are helping make that happen. 

In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, reporter Kevin Collison joins us to take a look at the top ten developments in Kansas City businesses this year. We'll examine Cerner's announcement for a new campus on Bannister Road, the GSA's move downtown, the sale of Boulevard Brewery to a Belgian company, and more.

Guest:

VictorAndPenny.com

Jeff Freeling and Erin McGrane make up the duo Victor and Penny, who have been touring all across America with a sound that they like to call “antique pop.”

In this week's Local Listen, we hear the song "Stomp, Stomp" from the duo's album Side By Side.

Victor and Penny will be back in Kansas City to host “Eve 2013”, Dec. 31 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

bensidran.com

Ben Sidran is one of those guys who makes your knees buckle.

Piano player. Singer. Author. Composer. Host of the NPR jazz series “Jazz Alive.” Host of the VH-1 television’s “New Visions” series. Peabody winner. Ace winner. Friend of rock ‘n’ roller Steve Miller. Played in his band. Composer. Producer of recordings by Diana Ross, Van Morrison and Rickie Lee Jones.

With winter weather stinging the metro area, now is the perfect time to curl up on the couch and read a good book.

Tuesday on Up to Date, the Book Doctors return with their picks for the best books of 2013. We dive into tales about extreme weather - and we don’t mean what is outside your house right now.

Jeffrey Ann Goudie:

  • Book of Ages by Jill Lepore
  • The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
  • Mary Coin by Marisa Silver

Kaite Stover:

From a manufactured media circus, to a desperate game of cat-and-mouse with a serial killer, Hollywood sure knows how to romanticize journalism.

On Friday's Up to Date, DVD Gurus Mitch Brian and Jason Heck join us to talk about some of their favorite films that feature reporters. We'll dive into some thrilling vampire conspiracies, reports gone wrong, and others that are sure to set off the investigator in everyone.

akkilles.bandcamp.com/

With the Kansas City area getting a dose of winter weather over the past couple days, perhaps it's time for some music that has a summertime feel.  

The band Akkilles offers a sound that conjures up an afternoon on the beach, toes dug into the sand, and waves gently crashing along the shore.

In Friday's "Local Listen" we hear "Your Only One" from the group's album Something You’d Say.

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Thanksgiving means turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie… and all the carbs you could want. Although we’ve all got our tried and true favorites, you won’t ruffle too many feathers if you try a couple of new dishes this year.

City of Kansas City, Missouri

Construction has already begun on the first leg of Kansas City’s streetcar system. The two mile line will run between the River Market area and Crown Center.

Now officials are looking at potential routes for a second leg and beyond. Where should the second leg go? Is it inevitable that route No. 2 will extend to the Plaza and maybe UMKC?

There are a ton of things to do in Kansas City this weekend, and Brian McTavish picked out some highlights as part of our Weekend To-Do List for November 15-17.

Selena Gomez: Pop hit sensation: 7 p.m. Sunday at the Sprint Center, 1409 Grand Tickets: $28.50-$99.50  

Jake ShimabukuroUkulele wizard. 8 p.m. Friday in Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Tickets: $21-$59

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of November 8-10? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

Cynthia Haines:

  • Muscle Shoals
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Blue is the Warmest Color

Steve Walker

Band The Latenight Callers describe their sultry, film-noir sound as that of “the house band at a David Lynch pool party.” Their latest album is called Songs for Stolen Moments.

In Friday's Local Listen, we hear “Red Bricks, White Ghosts.”

The Latenight Callers will be paying a midday call to The Record Bar for their first-ever Saturday Brunch, November 16, from noon to 4 p.m. at 1020 Westport Road in Kansas City, Mo.

PaulSteinJC/Flickr-CC

When John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, the Zapruder film provided investigators with key evidence of the shooting. Fifty years later, crime scene investigation has evolved into a complex science, and now, with smartphones, and other mobile devices, video footage of events is readily available to assist investigators in solving crimes.

Curtis Gregory Perry/Flickr-CC

To transfer or not to transfer? That’s the question for Kansas City public school students who are in limbo as they wait for the outcome of a lawsuit to find out what their options are.

Clean air, you’d think it would be a no brainer, but it took an act of Congress to make it a law. There are 20 coal power plants in Missouri, and they expose over 4.7 million people within a 30 mile radius, to their exhaust. In Kansas there are eight coal power plants.

It’s been almost 50 years since the Clean Air Act was made into law, and the way the public views clean air has radically changed from then to now. Stephen Steigman hosts this discussion on the changing culture of environmental protection.

Guests:

The idea of small-town living has long been thought of as the idyllic American Dream. It's a place in our imaginations where everyone waves and smiles at you. A place where everyone knows your name. But what are the realities of small-town life? Is it really all it's cracked up to be?

Host Stephen Steigman looks into Overbrook, Kan., a town 40 minutes southwest of Lawrence. Their motto? "Don't Overlook Overbrook."

Guest: Rick Montgomery, reporter for the Kansas City Star

Greg Heisler

Photographer Gregory Heisler admits that the process of making a portrait is fraught with unease.

The sitter, Heisler says, doesn't want to face reality. For the photographer, that's all there is.

Greg Heisler has spent a quarter century photographing covers for Time, Life and Sports Illustrated.

KNAU

Why do governments rely on the sales tax for big projects, like the medical research proposal in Jackson County?

And how fat can the sales tax get before shoppers stop buying? 

In the second half of Tuesday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with two experts about sales taxes, what makes up the total sales tax you see on a receipt, and why governments have turned to sales taxes for raising funds when revenue is down.

Guests:

Using Music As Therapy

Oct 30, 2013
Children's Hospital Colorado / Google Images -- CC

Music therapy has been a growing form of complementary medicine for the past 50 years. Studies have shown music therapy can help with everything from Alzheimer’s to depression to developmental disorders and even cancer treatment. 

We invited three local music therapists to speak about local and national research being conducted, as well as their own experience in using vocal and instrumental music in a patient's treatment and recovery process. 

Guests:

The Jorge Arana Trio offers an energetic and eclectic fusion of jazz, rock and funk that has gotten the attention of music lovers throughout Kansas City as a result of their take-no-prisoners live shows. 

In today's Local Listen, we hear Bitter Era from their most recent album, "Mapache."

You can catch the Trio on Sunday October 20 at The Riot Room and November 1 at the Czar Bar.

Flickr

On Sunday, the still-undefeated Kansas City Chiefs will take the field to face their mortal enemy: the Oakland Raiders. In this month’s “A Fan’s Notes,” commentator Victor Wishna tells us why it feels so good... to be a Raider-Hater. 

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