KANSAS CITY, MO – For decades, African American musicians have looked to Latin America for inspiration, and vice versa. Now, in Kansas City, some local musicians have a new take on that sort of collaboration.
Donald McKayle describes dance as "movement that lights the soul." In a career that's spanned 60 years, the five-time Tony Award nominated choreographer has crafted the steps for modern dance, Broadway musicals, film and television.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – Donald McKayle has also been recognized as a Master of African American Choreography at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC and named one of America's Irreplaceable Dance Treasures by the Dance Heritage Coalition.
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.
Artist Christopher Ruckh?berle grew up in West Germany in the 1970s and 80s and then moved to the United States to study animation. He returned to Germany to study painting at the Academy of Art in Leipzig. Beth Harris, Curator of Education at the Kemper Museum, recently interviewed Ruckh?berle, whose paintings are included in the Life After Death exhibition. (image credit: Christoph Ruckh?berle, Theater, 2003; oil on canvas, 190 x 280 cm; Rubell Family Collection, Miami, Florida)
The artists from the "New Leipzig School" have been described as the 21st century's first artistic phenomenon. Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art Curator Christopher Cook and exhibition co-curator Mark Coetzee, curator of the Rubell Family Collection, located in Miami, Florida explore what drew the Rubells to the works.
In the second half of their conversation, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art Curator Christopher Cook and exhibition co-curator Mark Coetzee, curator of the Rubell Family Collection, talk in more detail about the city of Leipzig and the teaching style of its Academy of Visual Arts.
Kemper Museum Docent Winfried Wiegraebe was born and raised in West Germany, but after reunification, he lived in East Germany near Leipzig. Here, Wiegraebe describes the day the Berlin Wall came down on November 9, 1989, and some of the reactions to a united Germany. He also talks about his love for contemporary art.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Kemper Museum presents a film series called Behind the Wall Film Classics. Dr. Larson Powell, assistant professor of German and film studies at UMKC, highlights the challenges of Eastern Bloc filmmaking.
Through an audio collaborative, KCUR and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art will provide listeners with the voices and insights of living artists. Since its opening in 1994, the Kemper Museum has brought more than 100 artists to Kansas City. The collaborative project will present these artists' voices as well as community and curatorial voices to a broad range of listeners.
Charles Gatschet released his second album Step Lightly earlier this year. About half the album is made up of what Kansas City Star jazz critic Joe Klopus called "thought-provoking originals," including a bebop tune dedicated to Charlie Parker and a bossa nova for anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan.
For three years, singer Toni Gates has organized a show at Unity Temple on the Plaza, called the One by One Concert Series, which brings together a number of musicians who originally met as teachers at Paseo Academy of the Arts, like sound engineer Tom Ransom and percussionist Clarence Smith.
The Kansas City Ballet marks its 50th anniversary with a season full of choreography new to the company. This weekend's fall performance includes the Kansas City premiere of three works. It also provides an opportunity to examine the company's past and its future.
In almost six decades as a professional musician, Kansas City saxophonist Ahmad Alaadeen has performed with jazz greats like Billie Holiday and Miles Davis and Motown stars like Gladys Knight and Smokey Robinson. In his most recent album -- And the Beauty of It All -- Alaadeen is working with a group of musicians most of whom are less than half his age.
By Lee Ingalls
Kansas City, MO – KCUR's Lee Ingalls spoke with Ahmad Alaadeen about the new album and its somewhat deceptive subtitle: Ballads.
Note: This is an extended version. When more than 200 guests gathered in September for a party celebrating Richard Harriman's 75th birthday, conversation at the event focused as much on the performing arts series Harriman founded in 1965, now called the Harriman-Jewell Series.
Up to Date host Steve Kraske welcomes KCUR morning news anchor and Up to Date jazz critic Lee Ingalls for their regular discussion of the latest jazz. This time around, jazz with Kansas City connections and Louis Armstrong, captured in concert at the 1958 Monterey Jazz Festival.
By Lee Ingalls
Kansas City, MO – New releases featured in this month's jazz update:
"Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival" - Louis Armstrong and The All-Stars (Monterey Jazz Fest)
The American Jazz Museum kicks off three days of events to mark its first decade.
By Lee Ingalls
The American Jazz Museum kicks off a three-day celebration of it 10th anniversary today. The museum first opened to public in 1997. Events include a symposium tonight on the history of the 18th and Vine historic district and series of performances by local and national acts. on Friday the museum holds its annual gala fundraiser at the Gem Theater.
The sold-out concert is headlined by singer Patti LaBelle and the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band.
Soon after choreographer Mary Pat Henry moved to Kansas City to teach at UMKC's Conservatory, she suggested a friend move here too. Leni Wylliams was in his early 30s and already an accomplished veteran of the modern dance world. Together they founded a company to perform not only their own work, but pieces by some of the country's premier choreographers. Their collaboration was cut short in 1996, when Wylliams was brutally murdered.
The Civic Opera Theater of Kansas City presented two new works recently, including a world premiere called Everlasting Universe exploring the relationship between the early Romantic poets Byron and Shelley.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – The Civic Opera Theater of Kansas City presented two new works recently, including a world premiere called Everlasting Universe exploring the relationship between the early Romantic poets Byron and Shelley.