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.
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.
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.
What the critics are praising is something midwest fans have known for decades: that Marilyn Maye is a master of the lost art of connecting with audiences. She recently stopped by our studios and told KCUR's Alex Smith about her philosophy of performing.
The Blue Note record label started 70 years ago when German immigrant Alfred Lion was inspired to record some of the boogie-woogie piano music he heard at Carnegie Hall. Today, the label is recognized as one of the finest in jazz. It's classic records, especially those from the 50's and 60's, have a cult following. The American Jazz Museum at 18th and Vine is celebrating Blue Note's anniversary with a series of events.
TubaChristmas is an annual event that brings together hundreds of tuba and euphonium players of all ages and music levels, shapes and sizes. And they all perform arrangements of traditional Christmas tunes.