Up To Date
1:34 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Jazz Singer Karrin Allyson Is Back In Kansas City

Credit www.karrin.com

A gypsy life isn't unusual among musicians and Karrin Allyson certainly leads one.  Her official biography includes a childhood in the Midwest, schooling in the Bay area, a stint in Minneapolis, a home base now in New York City and tours that take her around the world.

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Arts & Culture
6:45 am
Tue December 16, 2014

KCK Community College Jazzers Give A 'Kansas City Shout' To Havana

Jim Mair is director of instrumental studies at Kansas City Kansas Community College.
Credit Courtesy Jim Mair

This week, the musicians in the Kansas City Kansas Community College Jazz Ensemble travel to Cuba, where they’ve been invited to perform at the Havana International Jazz Festival. It’s a point of pride for a little-known, but stellar music program.

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Arts & Culture
3:07 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Horace Washington, Kansas City Saxophone And Flute Player, Dies

(left to right) American Jazz Museum's Greg Carroll, jazz historian Chuck Haddix, and musicians Horace Washington and Bobby Watson participated in a recent panel about the legacy of Charlie Parker at the American Jazz Museum.
Credit courtesy: American Jazz Museum

The American Jazz Museum is reporting the death of musician Horace Washington, 62, posting this today on the museum's Facebook page: “The Board and Staff of the American Jazz Museum are saddened to pass along the news that HORACE WASHINGTON has passed away.”

Washington, a saxophonist and flute player who grew up in Kansas City, Kan., had been dealing with some health issues for the past couple of years, says Chris Burnett, marketing and communications manager for the museum.

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Central Standard
12:49 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Art Spiegelman and Phillip Johnston On Comics And Jazz

Art Spiegelman is rarely 'Wordless!', even though that is the title of his traveling production with musical collaborator Phillip Johnston.
Credit AFP

Art Spiegelman has been called the father of the graphic novel, though it's a title he resists. And composer Phillip Johnston has been a fixture in the New York underground music scene since the 1980s. The friends and collaborators teamed up on a performance (coming to Kansas City October 19, 2014) that, according to Johnston, is like a high school class slideshow lecture on LSD. 


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Central Standard
3:18 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

How Kansas City Relates To Its Jazz Legacy

Charlie Parker, one of Kansas City's most legendary saxophonists.
Credit Gottlieb, William P./Wikimedia-Creative Commons

In the 1930s, Kansas City was a place where talent and history converged, resulting in a whole new sound that jazz aficionados continue to study today. But how does that past inform Kansas City's present day jazz scene?


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Central Standard
1:30 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Why Jazz Fans In Denmark Feel A Connection To Kansas City

Was Kansas City-born Ben Webster "king of the tenors" as this album title suggests?
Credit mohaoffbeat.blogspot.com / Creative Commons

Ben Webster hated to fly on airplanes.

When he went to Europe to perform for his fans across the Atlantic, the trip was one-way. 

A contemporary of Charlie Parker, Webster grew up in Kansas City, Mo., right off of 24th Street. He taught himself to play the piano at a young age, and started his career performing as a pianist for silent films. It wasn't until he was about 20 years old that he took up the saxophone.

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Up to Date
2:07 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Kansas City Celebrates Charlie 'Bird' Parker This Month

The American Jazz Museum in Kansas City celebrates the life of the local legend Charlie Parker.
Credit Wikipedia Commons

Kansas City is finally honoring jazz icon Charlie Parker with a two-week celebration that kicks off today. The celebration is centered on the occasion of what would have been Parker’s 94th birthday. It includes a 21-sax salute at Lincoln Cemetery where Parker is buried.

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Central Standard
2:09 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Kansas City Duo Victor & Penny Make Music On The Road

Erin McGrane and Jeff Freiling perform as Victor & Penny in KCUR's talk show studio.
Credit Alyson Raletz, KCUR

With a ukelele and jazz guitar in tow, the traveling Kansas City-based musical duo known as Victor & Penny stopped by Central Standard on Wednesday to talk with Gina Kaufmann — and to perform a few of their signature "antique pop" songs live for our listeners.

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Up To Date
3:21 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

Local Listen: Bassist Dominique Sanders

Bassist Dominique Sanders

Although he's in his early twenties, bassist Dominique Sanders is already a fixture in Kansas City's most prestigious jazz clubs.    Tivon Pennicott, a New York-based saxophonist best known for his work with the Grammy-winning star Esperanza Spalding, will join Sanders' trio at three area venues next week.  Sanders and Pennicott will explore the intersection of jazz and R&B at Broadway Jazz Club, the Blue Room and Take Five Coffee.

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Central Standard
2:45 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Glenn North: Fostering Raw Self-Expression At 18th And Vine

Poet Glenn North has held court at the American Jazz Museum's Blue Room for the past decade.
Credit Terance Williams / Facebook

When Glenn North read a poem at the grand opening for the American Jazz Museum in 1997, something clicked.

From that moment on, the poet and the museum grew in tandem.  In 2004, North officially joined the museum's staff, establishing a nationally recognized spoken word scene at the museum's Blue Room.

North recently left his post as education manager and poet-in-residence. He plans to finish his master's degree and focus on his poetry.

Upon his departure, Central Standard invited him to sit down for a talk. Among the highlights:

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Thu May 1, 2014

A New Kind Of Jazz Combo

Hermon Mehari (far right) is a trumpeter with the band Diverse. Other members include (from left) Ryan J. Lee, Tony Tixier and Ben Leifer.
Credit diversejazz.com

  Kansas City-based jazz band Diverse is mixing it up to combine their smooth sounds with other musical genres.

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk with their trumpeter about those innovations and where they hope to take this new sound mix.


  • Hermon Mehari, trumpeter in Diverse and 2014 Charlotte Street Generative Performing Artist Award recipient
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Up to Date
2:03 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List, March 21-23, 2014

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike plays this weekend at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre.
Credit kcrep.org

Get that spring into your step with Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for March 21-23, 2014.

Lyric Opera of Kansas City: “La Boheme” (Classic opera by Giacomo Puccini), 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $90 to $160 

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Arts & Culture
7:08 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Remembering Jazz Advocate Ginny Coleman

Ginny Coleman (left) with then business manager at KCUR, D.J. Harris.
Credit Buddy Anderson Collection, LaBudde Special Collections / Miller Nichols Library

Virginia "Ginny" Coleman, the co-host of Just Jazz on KCUR, died on Thursday, March 6. She was 91. 

Just Jazz was a staple of KCUR's lineup for 23 years, most recently on Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. The final broadcast was in October 2005.

Playing the music they loved

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Up to Date
3:08 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List, March 7-9, 2014

The Monster Drawing Rally features artists drawing for an hour before selling their creations to benefit a scholarship fund.
Credit waltarrrrr / Flickr-CC

Want to get rid of the post-Mardi Gras blahs? Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for March 7-9, 2014.

Golden! Girls Gone Wild!!! (Late Night Theatre returns with cross-dressing satire of TV’s “The Golden Girls”), opens at 8 p.m. Friday with performances through March 31 at Missie B’s, 805 W. 39th, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $18 (816-235-6222)

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Up to Date
11:41 am
Fri February 28, 2014

All That Canadian Jazz Comes To Kansas City

Laila Biali talks with Steve Kraske about her performance at the Blue Room March 1.
Credit lailabiali.com

Not that long ago, Laila Biali was struggling to make a name for herself in the world of American jazz. She was on the verge of giving up when she got an invitation to audition for Sting. She made the cut, and wound up at Sting’s estate in Tuscany for rehearsal.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk with Biali about her music as she prepares to open the American Jazz Museum’s Women in Jazz Month. 


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Up to Date
11:08 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Saxophonist Kenny G: Still Smooth

Kenny G performs in Kansas City Jan. 17-19.
Credit kennyg.com

His big, curly hair and smooth jazz are iconic. Some play him for laughs, but many enjoy the mellow tones of Kenny G. 

Others have been critical: jazz superstar Pat Metheny is known to be critical of Kenny G., saying among other things that G is "not really an advanced player."  Kenny's response?  Metheny was "obviously on drugs." 

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Up to Date
11:37 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Getting Jazzy With Bobby Watson

Bobby Watson performs Friday night at Unity Temple on the Plaza.

Even if you don't know what jazz saxophonist Bobby Watson looks like or own one of his albums, you know his sound, because his music greets you each day on Up to Date.

In the first part of Thursday's Up to Date, Watson joins Steve Kraske to talk about his new album, a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.


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Up To Date
9:50 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Ben Sidran: Musician, Composer And 'Space Cowboy'

Composer, musician Ben Sidran appears at the Jewish Community Center of Kansas City on Sunday December 15.
Credit 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.

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Up to Date
11:29 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Kelley Hunt Brings Her Sound To Kansas City

Singer-songwriter Kelley Hunt is partnering with the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra for a holiday concert this year.
Credit alansheaven / Flickr-CC

Kelley Hunt sings across many genres. Part of her heart may be in R&B but it's the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra she'll partner with this week for a Christmas-themed concert.

In the second part of Monday's Up to Date, she joins Steve Kraske to talk about "Christmas with Kelley Hunt" and her Kansas roots.


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Up to Date
11:02 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Duke Ellington: Behind The Jazz

Terry Teachout's new book is 'Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington.'

Duke Ellington's jazzy orchestrations are the stuff of music legends. However, his star power hid a very private life.

In the second part of Friday's Up to Date, Wall Street Journal drama critic and biographer Terry Teachout takes us into the world of Ellington.


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12th Street Jump
10:07 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Celebrating The Birthday Of Charlie Parker

Credit http://kidsmusiccorner.co.uk/composers/jazz/charlie-parker/

This week on 12th Street Jump we celebrate the birthday of the great Charlie Parker with our special guest Dan Thomas. We play a game of “Who’s Got the Blues” with Chuck Haddix, and the Sax Therapist helps a Russian couple end the cold war in their bedroom.

Song List:

Yardbird Suite
Scrapple From The Apple
Donna Lee
Parker’s Mood
Billie Bounce


Charlie Parker

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12th Street Jump
10:04 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Celebrating The Birthday Of Bill Evans

Credit http://www.pianohelp.net/piano-sheets/Bill-Evans-Peace-Piece-904.html

This week on 12th Street Jump we celebrate the birthday of Bill Evans with our special guest Michael Pagan. The gang plays “So, What’s Your Question?” to learn a bit more about Bill Evans and we pay homage to the flight attendant gone wild with the “Friggin’ Jet Blues”.

Song List:

Flip, Flop, and Fly
Turn Out the Stars
Whisper Not
We Will Meet Again
You Look Good To Me
Shadow of Your Smile


Bill Evans

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12th Street Jump
10:00 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Celebrating The Birthday Of Pat Metheny

Credit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Metheny

On this week’s archive edition of 12th Street Jump we celebrate the birthday of Pat Metheny with our special guest Danny Embrey. Our own Dr Pearl offers up some advice for President Obama and a lesson at Serena's School for Scat has all the politicians listening.

Song List:

Snatch and Grab It
Bright Size Life
Always and Forever
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
Giant Step
All the Things You Are
Two for the Road


Pat Metheny

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12th Street Jump
9:58 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Celebrating The Birthday Of Louis Armstrong

Credit http://www.nndb.com/people/665/000030575/

 This week on 12th Street Jump we celebrate the birthday of the great Louis Armstrong with our special guest Stan Kessler. A session with Dr. Pearl gets the royal baby started down the right path and Anthony Weiner is such a joke the gang just has to make fun of him.

Song List:

Love Walked In
Hello, Dolly!
Struttin’ With Some Barbecue
Gee Baby Ain’t I Good To You
On The Sunny Side of the Street
Stompin at the Savoy
When the Saints Go Marching In


Louis Armstrong

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12th Street Jump
9:55 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Celebrating The Birthday Of Hank Jones

Credit http://foglobe.com/hank-jones.html

 This week on 12th Street Jump we celebrate the birthdays of Hank Jones and Eddie Jefferson. We take a call-in from a musician in Erie, PA to find out “Who’s Got the Blues” and the heat wave gets a theme song.

Song List:

Just Squeeze Me
Ruby My Dear
Love Walked In
Now Is the Time
Soft and Furry
Over the Rainbow
You Came a Long Way from St. Louis
Dat Dere
Benny’s from Heaven


Hank Jones

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12th Street Jump
9:50 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Celebrating The Birthday Of Sonny Boy Williamson

 This week, 12th Street Jump celebrates the birthday of Sonny Boy Williamson with our special guests Tom “Trashmouth” Baker and Sheila Bey. We play “Who’s Got the Blues” to find out more about our audience and Nedra sings the “Golf Widow Blues”, and it has nothing to do with Tiger Woods.

Song List:

Show Me Missouri Blues
Keep It to Yourself
CC Rider
Checkin’ Up on My Baby
Hound Dog
Drivin’ Wheel
Don’t Start Me Talking


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Up to Date
4:00 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Hometown Jazz With Karrin Allyson

Karrin Allyson chats with Steve Kraske on Up to Date.
Credit Beth Lipoff/KCUR

Jazz and Kansas City go well together live and on the radio.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with singer Karrin Allyson about her headlining kick-off for the 12th Street Jump series. Her performance Monday night is part of a series being taped for the radio show.


Karrin Allyson is a Grammy-nominated singer and pianist who born in Great Bend, Kan.

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Central Standard
5:17 pm
Wed August 28, 2013

The Impact Of Latin American Music

Performer sports a traditional Zoot suit.
Credit thisisbossi / Flickr-CC

Coming from dozens of countries, from Mexico and the Caribbean in the north to Brazil and Argentena in South America, Latin American identity encompasses a variety of cultures, backgrounds, stories, traditions, and, of course, music. The diversity can be heard in every measure, as each artist brings not only their own personal style, but also their Latino ancestry to the lyrics, melodies and rhythms of music.

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9:00 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Kansas City Creative Couples: Watson & Baskin-Watson

Saxophonist Bobby Watson and Pamela Baskin-Watson spend time together on the back porch of their Shawnee, Kan. home.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The work of iconic Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera is on display this summer at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. They’re part of an exhibit called Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Masterpieces of Modern Mexico.

Kahlo and Rivera are known not only for their paintings, but for their tempestuous marriage, which sometimes influenced their art.

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12th Street Jump
2:59 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Celebrating The Birthday Of T Bone Walker

On this week’s archive edition of 12th Street Jump we celebrate the birthday of T Bone Walker with our special guest Bill Dye. A call in reminds us “Who’s Got the Blues” in Alaska and Dr. Pearl holds a session to help Wall Street.

Song List: I Want A Little Girl
Two Bones And A Pick
What A Little Moonlight Can Do
Shufflin The Blues
Good Morning Heartache
Hands Off
T Bone Shuffle

Spotify: T Bone Walker

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