KC Music

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR

Growing up, Amanda Fish used to lock herself in her room to sing. So, her younger sister Samantha Fish would lock herself in her room and play guitar.

"We were independent experiencers," Amanda says.

"She calls it a loner thing, I call it a leader thing," Samantha adds.

Fast-forward through the days of wailing with Tom Waits and rocking out to Nine-Inch Nails, and these two musicians are, sure enough, leading their own blues bands around Kansas City and across the country.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR

Bram Wijnands has made a name for himself as a jazz musician in Kansas City.

After a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1998, he received recognition as Kansas City's Ambassador of Swing from then mayor Emanuel Cleaver, who also designated April 6 "Bram Wijnands Day."

Today, he performs regularly for The Majestic, and has performed at various restaurants and venues around the city, including Kansas City Bier Company and the American Restaurant.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

If music comes as much from an instrument as from a musician, the people who build and repair instruments are invisible collaborators. The poetics of piano-tuning, the heroics of a horn-doctor and the serenade of a violin-maker.

Pianos on Parade In Kansas City

May 28, 2015

This summer, painted pianos will be parading all around Kansas City.  On this edition of Up to Date, we look at the Pianos on Parade event and the organizations behind it.


Paul Andrews

The first time Danny Cox visited Kansas City, it was not a pleasant experience.

It was 1963, a year before the Civil Rights Act banned racial discrimination in public places, and Cox was a nationally touring musician arriving for a show. When he walked in the door at the Muehelbach Hotel, the clerk told him that black people couldn't stay at the Muehelbach.

Though the word he used for "black people" was not quite so polite.

Most of Cox's fellow musicians and road crew were white, but they refused to stay in a place where their vocalist wasn't welcome.


The incessant upbeat of canned Christmas music can leave even those who love the holidays with a feeling of cheer fatigue.

Kansas City-area singer Lauren Krum of The Grisly Hand, whose DJ alter-ego Lorna Kay spins classic country tunes all year long, shares some grittier winter songs to fill out the emotional spectrum this December.

Lauren's Picks:

courtesy: Pat Conway

Agustín Romero-Diaz, a native of Cuba and Kansas City resident, died last week at the age of 67. A drummer and singer, he wasn't known for his performances in a band, or on stage. In his three decades in Kansas City, he shared his passion for Afro-Cuban music each week during afternoon drum sessions in Loose Park. 


Gracie Schram has sung the national anthem for the Kansas City Royals and Sporting KC, and she also has her own single with an album in the works. It's a pretty ambitious start for the 16-year-old Prairie Village, Kan. songstress.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk with her about her start, her new music and her humanitarian efforts.


Geishaboy500 on Flickr

Music is often connected with emotions, but what about food? Can a cocktail taste like a song? On Thursday's Central Standard, we spoke with two Kansas City bartenders who recently completed a feat of synesthesia - creating original cocktails inspired by songs from local musicians.  The event was called Mixtapes & Mixology.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

On Tuesday's Central Standard, we invited a variety of artists to discuss how their practice has evolved as they have moved from one stage of life to another.

As a ballet dancer embarked on retirement from the stage and into a teaching and choreographing role at the age of 32, he sat down with a visual artist who has more than forty years of studio experience and a legendary jazz saxophonist. The three compared notes across genres. 


Photo courtesy of Laura Krzyzanowski.

Musician Don Lipovac, internationally recognized for his prowess on the accordion, will be buried Thursday in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Kansas City, Kan.

The 79-year-old died on April 26.

Thegreenj / wiki commons

As the national media look back at grunge and Nirvana is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Central Standard revisits Kansas City's hole-in-the-wall venues of the 1990s and asks: Was there a Kansas City sound? And are the musicians and fans active at that time still making, promoting and listening to music today?

Creative Commons

Kansas City brings to mind some obvious trademarks: jazz music, ornate fountains and delicious barbecue. A lesser known aspect of our community is the reggae music movement.

Today on Central Standard we discuss the reggae scene in Kansas City. The genre consists of many different sounds with influences from different parts of the world.


Courtesy / The Gonzalez family

An exhibit opens this weekend at the Kansas City Museum about Lupe Gonzalez, a local musician who became an icon in the Latino community. His name may not be recognizable, and that’s likely because Gonzalez never received national recognition.