Arts & Culture

Jazz/Blues
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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Jazz/Blues
8:40 am
Thu May 31, 2007

Kansas City's Ida McBeth

Versatile singer Ida McBeth has been serving up jazz, blues, soul and funk to Kansas City audiences for 30 years. Note: Ida McBeth kicks off MAAA's Live in the Crossroads series on June 1, 7 - 9 pm at 2018 Baltimore.

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Performance
12:07 pm
Tue May 1, 2007

A World Premiere of Carmen at the Kansas City Ballet

The Kansas City Ballet's Kimberly Cowen as Carmen.
photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR

One of the foremost authorities in Spanish dance is in Kansas City helping stage flamenco choreography for the Kansas City Ballet's world premiere of Carmen, choreographed by artistic director William Whitener.

Kansas City, MO – SPRING PERFORMANCE 2007
May 3-6, Lyric Theatre (11th & Central)

Thursday, May 3, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, May 4, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 5, 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 6, 2:00 p.m.

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Performance
11:57 am
Thu April 26, 2007

Playwright James Still's Works in Two Kansas City Venues

Nathan Darrow (left) and Karen Errington (right) in Iron Kisses.
photo courtesy of the Unicorn Theatre

This weekend, the voice of a writer with deep Kansas roots, James Still, will be heard in two very different Kansas City theater venues.

Kansas City, MO – Olathe South High School, Secret History of the Future, April 26 - 28, 7:30 pm.

Unicorn Theatre presents Iron Kisses, April 27 - May 20 (previews April 25 and 26).

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Yo La Tengo
8:36 am
Fri April 13, 2007

WEB EXTRA: An Interview with Yo La Tengo

Yo La Tengo is an indie rock band, based in Hoboken, New Jersey. The group is famous for creating a lush mixture of pop music, punctuated by looping organs and bursts of feedback. Yo La Tengo performed this week in Lawrence.

St. Louis, MO – Over the last 20 years Yo La Tengo has released 12 studio albums; the latest is called I am not afraid of you?and I will beat your ass".

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Jazz/Blues
2:40 pm
Tue April 10, 2007

Jazz Vocalist Speaks at his Alma Mater in KC

Kevin Mahogany (center)
Alex Smith / KCUR

Jazz vocalist Kevin Mahogany spoke and sang at Lincoln College Preparatory Academy.

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Jazz/Blues
12:12 pm
Mon April 2, 2007

Spoken Word Poet Returns to KC

Kansas City native Nikki Skies was in town to perform at the Blue Room's monthly Jazz Poetry Jams in March. She plans to return to Kansas City in May; hopefully for another performance and a book signing for her latest book of short stories, Mississippi Window Cracks.

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Jazz/Blues
9:35 am
Mon February 19, 2007

Marva Whitney: It's Her Thing

KCUR's Chuck Haddix welcomed funk singer Marva Whitney to The Fish Fry, where she talked about her start in Kansas City Kansas and working with the late great James Brown.

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Jazz/Blues
3:28 pm
Wed January 10, 2007

Kansas City Jazz Musician Russ Long's Final Recording

Kansas City jazz musician Russ Long died of heart failure on New Years Eve, a few weeks after releasing a CD of original compositions covering more than 4 decades.

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Jazz/Blues
11:06 am
Mon December 11, 2006

1986 Interview with Jay McShann

Jay "Hootie" McShann tells the story of how he first came to Kansas City, and put together his first band.

Kansas City, MO – Jay McShann said he discovered the blues as a young man, listening to the radio and records by Bessie Smith and James P. Johnson. He was a self-taught pianist - he just picked out the songs he heard on the family piano.

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Jazz/Blues
9:45 am
Fri December 8, 2006

Remembering Jay McShann

Legendary jazz and blues musician Jay "Hootie" McShann died Thursday, December 7 at the age of 90. A pianist, vocalist, composer and big band leader in the 1930s and 40s, McShann was one of the last of a generation who helped create the Kansas City style.

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Jazz/Blues
12:39 pm
Wed December 6, 2006

WEB EXTRA: Ahmad Alaadeen on Jay McShann

Photo courtesy of the Marr Sound Archives, UMKC

Saxophonist Ahmad Alaadeen grew up down the street from Jay McShann. Here, Alaadeen tells a story from his childhood about walking down the street, disobeying his mother to hear McShann play.

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Jazz/Blues
10:56 am
Wed December 6, 2006

WEB EXTRA: Myra Taylor on Jay McShann

Photo courtesy of the Marr Sound Archives, UMKC

Vocalist Myra Taylor also performed in Kansas City in the 1930s and 40s. Here, Taylor tells a story about attending a ceremony at the Jazz Hall of Fame in Tulsa (where McShann received the Lifetime Achievement Award).

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Jazz/Blues
10:44 am
Wed December 6, 2006

WEB EXTRA: Chuck Haddix on Jay McShann

Historian Chuck Haddix is the co-author with Frank Driggs of Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop: A History. Here, Haddix talks about how McShann will be remembered.

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Jazz/Blues
1:01 pm
Mon November 13, 2006

A Conversation with the Interim Director of the American Jazz Museum

American Jazz Museum Interim Executive Director Carol Rhodes Dyson has been on the job since former Executive Director Juanita Moore left in September. Rhodes Dyson grew up in Kansas City, just blocks away from the museum.

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Jazz/Blues
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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Performance
1:33 pm
Mon September 11, 2006

Orpheus in Kansas City

The myth has inspired an opera, paintings and films, and most recently a new modern ballet set in Kansas City's jazz era. It's a work in progress by Pascal Rioult, artistic director of the Pascal Rioult Dance Theater. Before starting his own company, Rioult was a principal dancer with the groundbreaking Martha Graham Dance Company. Pascal Rioult joined us over the phone from his rehearsal studio in New York City.

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Jazz/Blues
8:09 am
Thu September 7, 2006

Natalie Twigg on Aurora Consort

The Kansas City-based ensemble Aurora Consort is known for its fusion of jazz, world, and classical music. This weekend, the group presents original compositions, as well as traditional music from Iraq.

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Performance
9:36 am
Tue September 5, 2006

An Interview with KCFAA Executive Director Tyrone Aiken

The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater will be performing this Wednesday through Saturday at the Carlsen Center. Tyrone Aiken is now executive director of the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey. and stopped by our studios to talk about the company's upcoming performances.

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Music
8:59 am
Tue August 29, 2006

An Interview with the Kansas City Symphony's Damon Gupton

Kansas City Symphony assistant conductor Damon Gupton
Photo: Stephen Kunken

original air date: August, 2006

This weekend, the Kansas City Symphony's new assistant conductor Damon Gupton makes his debut. A native of Detroit, Gupton has a background in both music and theatre.

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Jazz/Blues
3:42 pm
Fri August 25, 2006

Charlie Parker Tribute

Charlie Parker
UMKC Marr Sound Archives/Miller Nichols Library

Charlie "Bird" Parker was born on August 29, 1920. Considered a founding figure of bebop, the jazz saxophonist and composer was born in Kansas City, Kansas and raised in Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas City, MO – Note: Excerpts for this piece were drawn from a tribute recorded in March at City Hall, Kansas City.

A number of Charlie Parker Tributes are planned this weekend including:

Saturday, August 26, 2006:
A jazz jam in honor of Charlie Parker runs from 6 to 8 at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center

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Theater/Performance
8:59 am
Tue August 1, 2006

Lyric Opera Camp

Lyric Opera campers during a vocal warm-up.
Photo: Laura Spencer, KCUR

For the past 14 years, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City has hosted elementary to high school-aged kids for its two-week opera camp.

Kansas City, MO – For the past 14 years, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City has hosted elementary to high school-aged kids for its two-week opera camp. As KCUR's Steve Walker reports, this year's campers are working on an opera with significance to one of the camp's special guests.

Pinocchio will be presented on Friday, August 4, 2006 at 2:30 pm at the Lyric Theatre.

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Theater/Performance
11:21 am
Thu June 22, 2006

Excerpt from King Henry V

Nathan Darrow, as King Henry V
Photo: Heart of America Shakespeare Festival

Here, an excerpt from a recent rehearsal of the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival's King Henry V hours before the first preview at Southmoreland Park.

Kansas City, MO – The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival is set under the stars in Southmoreland Park, just west of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (47th & Oak St.).

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Jazz/Blues
10:54 am
Thu June 22, 2006

Bluesman DC Bellamy

Blues musician Gregory "DC" Bellamy grew up on Chicago's West Side, but he's made Kansas City his home for the past several years.

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Jazz/Blues
3:27 pm
Tue June 20, 2006

The Scamps' Rusty Tucker Dies

Orestie "Rusty" Tucker died last week at the age of 80 after a brief illness. A singer, drummer, and trumpeter, Tucker was a member of the Tim Whitmer K-C Express band, and played with a number of other groups in Kansas City. But Tucker was probably best known for his work with the Scamps, a group he joined in the late 1970s. The Scamps are considered Kansas City's version of the New Orleans Preservation Jazz Band.

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Jazz/Blues
8:02 am
Mon June 12, 2006

KC Warms up for Al Green

Headlining the list of musicians for the Rhythm and Ribs Festival (June 16-18) is Al Green, his satin sound defining a new genre for soul music. Here's our own little preview of Rhythm and Ribs and a local tribute to the great Al Green.

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Music
12:48 pm
Thu June 1, 2006

Accompagnata, a ViolinDance

This weekend, the Bach Aria Soloists present a premiere, which combines classical music with modern dance.

Kansas City, MO – The Bach Aria Soloists is dedicated to presenting the arias from Johann Sebastian Bach's cantata collection, as well as his solo and chamber music. This weekend, they'll branch out into new territory with a collaboration that combines classical music with modern dance.

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Music
1:15 pm
Thu May 18, 2006

Web Extra: Wanda Jackson talks about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

A campaign is underway to induct Rockabilly Queen Wanda Jackson into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Here, Jackson shares her thoughts about it.

Kansas City, MO – A campaign is underway to induct Rockabilly Queen Wanda Jackson into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Here, Jackson shares her thoughts about it.

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Visual Arts
8:20 am
Mon May 1, 2006

Artist Wilbur Niewald Wins Guggenheim

Wilbur Niewald works on an etching at Loose Park. He's returned to this grove of pine trees for the past three years (notice the worn spot).
photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR

Artist Wilbur Niewald, professor emeritus of painting at the Kansas City Art Institute, began his year-long Guggenheim Fellowship on May 1.

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Visual Arts
12:17 pm
Fri April 14, 2006

Arts Roundup, April 14

This week, Archie Scott Gobber: Ready or Not is the inaugural exhibit in the Review Studios exhibit space, a local children's boutique presents a rock and roll concert at the RecordBar for parents and their kids, and a show at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art combines popular music and car culture.

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