Local author Ann Ingalls' new children's book introduces young readers to the legendary pianist Mary Lou Williams.
By Alex Smith
Kansas City, MO – If she were still alive this year, jazz pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams would be 100 years old. Williams was considered by many to be the greatest female jazz instrumentalist of all times. She spent the years between 1929 and 1941 in Kansas City, and was one of the principal architects of the Kansas City swing sound.
Night Tides host Renee Blanche shares her favorite contemplative instrumental & electronic music albums released in 2009.
A Note from Renee Blanche, host of Night Tides
Night Tides had another exceptional year in music from new artists who made the cut to the already established artists who continue to compose with the "wow" effect. Speaking of the "wow" effect, CD numero uno for 2009 did just that and more. Labeled the "Pan-Cultural music for a new Eon", AO Music's CD "Twirl" brought it to the table with a mighty lion's roar! Bravo AO Music!
This marks dancer Matthew Donnell's 10th and last season with the Kansas City Ballet. And he's documenting it along the way in a blog. This includes writing about what's likely to be his last year in the fairy-tale ballet, "The Nutcracker."
Anton Krutz believes that string instruments resonate with people in a unique way. And he'll tell you that it takes more than quality wood and a good craftsman to make a great sounding instrument. It's the varnish that counts.
Most people are familiar with the popular ballet, "The Nutcracker." But few know of its darker inspiration: an 1816 story called "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King."
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – Most people are familiar with the popular ballet, "The Nutcracker." But few know of its darker inspiration: an 1816 story called "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King." This weekend, the Owen/Cox Dance Group takes a crack at a new Nutcracker.
During the month of December, the Kansas City Symphony can be found all over the city, and in various configurations - like the TubaChristmas concert and the Chamber Players' Tchaikovsky concert earlier this month.
Before turning to jazz, vocalist Shay Estes performed with a rock band, a Western-surf band, and a burlesque troupe.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – Before turning to jazz, vocalist Shay Estes performed with a rock band, a Western-surf band, and a burlesque troupe. In recent years, Estes has collaborated with Brad Cox's People's Liberation Big Band and Mark Southerland's "Urban Noise Camp."
The Deep Thinkers recently released their new album Make it Quake.
By Susan B. Wilson
Kansas City, MO – MC Brother of Moses and DJ Leonard D' Stroy have known each other since their days at Indian Woods Middle School in Shawnee Mission. That was back when they were known as Aaron Sutton and Kyle Dykes. And they've been working together ever since.
This story originally aired in March 2009. Kansas City's legendary reggae group, The Blue Riddim Band, reunited earlier this year and put out a new album.
By Alex Smith
Blue Riddim Band
Kansas City, MO – The Blue Riddim Band is back! After years away from regular performing, Kansas City's legendary reggae group has reunited. In March 2009, Alex Smith spoke with drummer Steve "Duck" McLane.
The current economic climate has hit arts organizations hard. With reduced income, and declining endowments, some organizations have closed their doors, or are struggling to survive. Despite the tough economy, Michael Kaiser says artists and arts organizations should think big and bold.
As part of the 50-state tour called "Arts in Crisis," John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts President Michael Kaiser stopped in Kansas City, Missouri.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – Here, the Kennedy Center's Michael Kaiser talks to Kansas City Symphony Music Director Michael Stern and takes questions from the audience. In this segment, Kaiser lists 10 rules that should apply to every arts organization.
Friday, November 13, 2009 marked the remodeling equivalent of a ground-breaking for a new home for the Kansas City Ballet.
By Steve Bell
Kansas City, MO – Friday, November 13, 2009 marked the remodeling equivalent of a ground-breaking for a new home for the Kansas City Ballet.
The building known as the Power House, west of Union Station will be transformed into the Todd Bolender Center for Dance and Creativity, a 60,000 square-foot facility for rehearsing, costuming and other aspects of the ballet's operation.
A visit with composer Nolan Gasser, who in addition to being a critically acclaimed composer, pianist, and musicologist is the chief architect of the Music Genome Project, the musical technology behind the famous Pandora personalized radio application.
For the past three decades, choreographer Liz Lerman has viewed dance as a way to address political and social issues. Lerman's works have explored Reaganomics, the impact of coal mining on a community, and ancient and contemporary prayer.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – This weekend, her company, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, brings a dance about the human genome called "Ferocious Beauty: Genome" to Lawrence.
When the Majestic Steakhouse in downtown Kansas City shut down in May, Bram Wijnands was forced to look for a new way to spend his Friday and Saturday nights. For the previous 16 years, the Dutch pianist had delivered authentic 1930s KC-style swing and boogie woogie in the cellar which once served as a speakeasy.
Chris Cook, executive director/curator of the Salina Art Center and former curator of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, interviews artist Keltie Ferris about her first solo museum exhibition "Keltie Ferris: Man Eaters."
By Drew Bolton
Kansas City, MO – "Keltie Ferris: Man Eaters" October 23, 2009-February 13, 2010 Kemper at the Crossroads
Kansas City, MO – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced an additional $204 million dollars in spending cuts on Wednesday due to declining state revenue. The cuts in the fiscal 2010 state budget include $4.4 million from the Missouri Arts Council and $2.2 million from its cultural partners, including public broadcasting.
Kansas City, MO – Local activist and former music store owner, Anne Winter, 45, died Thursday in her home. For over two decades, Winter's name has been linked to the music and cultural scene in Kansas City.
For 18 years, Winter and her business partner/husband Kurt Von Schlemmer owned and operated Recycled Sounds, a midtown Kansas City record store on Main Street. Recycled Sounds hosted in-store performances by local or touring bands, promoted CDs by local bands, and hired local musicians as part-time staffers. The store closed in April 2006.
Kansas City, MO – In November, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art opens its new American Indian art galleries featuring about 200 works, including loans and new acquisitions. Today, the museum announced a significant gift from longtime collectors and patrons Estelle and Morton Sosland. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.
Mark Southerland is an artist. His medium is the saxophone. He's been in bands with styles ranging from jazz to pop to freaky avant-garde stuff. But the biggest leap has been from musician who plays horns to artist who makes horns.
Each week, for the last five Sundays, ten musicians have gathered for an afternoon rehearsal session on a vacant floor of a downtown office building. It's a new year-long initiative sponsored by the Charlotte Street Foundation called the Black House Improvisors' Collective.
Contemporary choreographer Jessica Lang's works have been described as passionate with almost tangible emotions in performance. Lang's pas de deux, or dance for two, called "Splendid Isolation III" is included in the Kansas City Ballet's fall program.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – Some might argue there's a third character: a long white skirt. KCUR's Laura Spencer visited a rehearsal at the Ballet studios recently and provides this preview.
Gloria Baker Feinstein originally traveled to East Africa in 2006 to photograph children whose parents had died of AIDS. During the three week project, she says she encountered children who radiated hope, even in desperate circumstances. So when she returned home, Feinstein began a different kind of project.