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.
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.
This weekend, the Bach Aria Soloists present a premiere, which combines classical music with modern dance.
By Laura Spencer
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.
Kansas City based musician Shane Borth plays a number of instruments, but his primary ones are violin and viola (he's a violist for the Des Moines Symphony). This weekend, Borth will collaborate with the ensemble of artists called Quixotic Performance Fusion in an improvisational piece, and here, gives a sample.
Dan White has documented the jazz scene in Kansas City for more than two decades. A new exhibit in the Changing Gallery at the American Jazz Museum displays 50 of White's black and white photographs, along with anecdotes from interviews.
Vocalist Myra Taylor is a veteran of the original Kansas City swing sound and started out singing and dancing in the early 1930s on 18th and Vine. Throughout her long career, she's shared the stage with Jay McShann, Sarah Vaughan, Nat "King" Cole, and many others. Taylor continues to perform in her hometown often as part of the quartet known as the Wild Women of Kansas City. Myra Taylor turns 89 on Friday, February 24.
By Chuck Haddix (host of KCUR's The Fish Fry), edited by Laura Spencer
Jazz bassist and vocalist Milt Abel - part of Kansas City's jazz scene for five decades - died on February 3, 2006 after a long illness. Abel grew up in Philadelphia, where he learned to play the stand-up bass, baritone horn, and trombone as a teenager.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – KCUR?s Laura Spencer talked to some of the musicans he played with over the years in Kansas City and others who say his musicial talent will not be forgotten.
Kansas City, MO – Coretta Scott King, who died last Monday, was known as the strong, solid woman who stood behind Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., in life and after his assassination. Reverend Jesse Jackson described her as the glue that kept Dr. King's home and movement intact. To find out about being the wife of a preacher and activist, we turned to Dianne Cleaver, known by most people as the wife of 5th district Congressman Emanuel Cleaver. He was the first African American mayor of Kansas City and a long time civil rights activist.
Painter Anthony Ramos has shows at the American Jazz Museum and the Bruce R Watkins Cultural Center. He was in Kansas City recently for a series of talks around the city and spoke to KC Currents host Delores Jones.
Kansas City, MO – It's been two years since Kansas City Kansas native Janet Murguia was named president and CEO of the National Council of La Raza, a leading Latino civil rights organization. She was in town on Friday to address young people at a leadership conference at UMKC. Sylvia Maria Gross asked her about some current challenges in educating Latino youth, both locally and nationally.
Musician and artist Loren Pickford is a veteran of jazz scenes in Los Angeles, Boston, and Paris. Pickford lived in New Orleans from 1990 to 2005, and here shares the story of his first day in the Big Easy.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, MO – Pickford and his wife, Sheila, relocated from New Orleans to Kansas City, Missouri after Hurricane Katrina.
Earlier this year, the Kansas City Ballet School offered a weekly ballet class to twenty Latina girls at Gladstone and Primitivo Garcia elementary schools. And five of those girls were cast in this year's production of The Nutcracker, including 5th grader Christina Sayed who's a lead angel.
Kansas City, MO – In order to unravel the mystery of the Steptoe neighborhood in Westport, you'd have to go back about one-hundred-forty years to the times of the Civil War when Missouri's fate as a free versus a slave state hung in the balance.
Joe Louis Mattox, a historian at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, has looked into the neighborhood's history. He sat down with Sylvia Maria Gross to tell us how he first became interested in Steptoe.
Kansas City, MO – El Dia de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) is a Mexican celebration to celebrate, remember and prepare special foods in honor of those who have departed. The holiday reflects the Mexicans tradition of reacting to death with mourning along with happiness and joy.
Kansas City, MO – Muslims began fasting from dawn to dusk earlier this month when a new crescent moon signaled the start of Ramadan, Islam's holiest month. The month-long holiday commemorates the time 1500 years ago that Muslims believe the first verses of the Koran were revealed to the Prophet Mohammed. The faithful try to be especially pious this month and refrain from food, drink, smoking and sex - all the sensual pleasures - during daylight.
The face of jazz music on KCUR will change after this weekend. The long running program Just Jazz will end.
By Laura Ziegler
Kansas City, MO – The face of jazz music on KCUR will change after this weekend. The long running program Just Jazz will end. Laura Ziegler has this look back at the show and the hosts who made it unique.
Years before the first of her 76 appearances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson - years before there was a Tonight Show with Johnny Carson - vocalist Marilyn Maye was learning the art of putting across a song from someone she heard mostly on the radio: Frank Sinatra.
Kansas City, MO – In recent years, the 18th and Vine area has been redeveloped, but 12th and Vine has really been the jazz center of Kansas City. Ollie Gates of Gates Barbeque is now coordinating the redevelopment of the 18th and Vine plaza and tours the area.
Kansas City, MO – UMKC professor Louis Imperiale talks about the Argentine film Wild Horses. Imperiale will be presenting the 1995 film at the Latin American Cinema Festival of Kansas City, which begins this month at the Rio Theater in Overland Park. Films from Argentina, Mexico, Colombia and Peru will be presented every Saturday until October 1.