live music

http://americanjazzmuseum.org/

After decades on the scene, Ida McBeth's dusky voice and emotional delivery have reached legendary status in Kansas City. It's not just her soulful combination of blues, jazz and gospel styles that delights audiences, either; she's made a habit of surrounding herself with a band that knows how to really dig into a groove. Go on, we dare you to find someone who has seen McBeth perform and doesn't love her music.

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

Krystle Warren's "To the Middle" is a song that sounds a little like a carnival ride, but it's actually her love song to Kansas City. Written when she lived in New York, the lyrics express a deep longing for the mainstays of her hometown: toothy smiles, tree-lined avenues and Gates barbecue. In the chorus, the chanteuse demands to know, over and over, Why you wanna go away, Why you wanna go away, again?

"I missed my hometown and it felt like Kansas City was kind of scolding me for leaving."

As Sue Sylvester on Glee, actress Jane Lynch delivered some of the best zingers ever written for television. Lynch has built a portfolio portraying what one media outlet called, "full-throttle, sexed-up, hyper-confident female wack jobs.” We catch up with Lynch as her musical tour gears up to come to Overland Park, Kansas. 

Aleksi Ollila / Wikimedia Commons

Keeping it real has its limitations.

Pretend your way out of them this weekend by encountering the ardent make-believe of ambitious air guitarists, the living legacy of a legendary animator and the unquenchable pursuit of assorted paraphernalia associated with the most famous fizzy water in the world.

Need more? Wow, you do need a break. Ready… set …pretend!

1. U.S. Air Guitar Contest

She was touring Europe in her teens, plays fluently in genres from jazz to Baroque, and her music was launched with space shuttle Atlantis. We speak with multiple Grammy Award-winning guitarist Sharon Isbin, and sample some of her music.

Sharon Isbin will be performing with mezzo-soprano Isabel Leonard at the Folly Theater on April 15 as part of the Harriman-Jewell performing arts series. For more information, go to hjseries.org.

mariathemexican.com

Maria Elena Cuevas calls her sound "roots music." In her case, roots have special significance. Her grandmother founded one of the first all-female mariachi bands in the country. That's where Cuevas and her sister/bandmate, Tess, got an early start. Hear songs from Maria the Mexican's new album, including a live in-studio performance.

  • Maria Elena Cuevas, frontwoman, Maria the Mexican, out with a new album called South of the Border Moonlight

Takahiro Kyono / Flickr-CC

Sometimes you’ve got to take a stand.

This weekend may or may not be one of those times – really, how should I know? But, perhaps, you can be prepared to take charge with the following bold suggestions for decisive weekend action.

Did I say perhaps? To be honest, a little wiggle room never hurts. Even when you’re not messing around!

1. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: ‘The River Tour’

Michel Martin is the host of NPR’s Weekend All Things Considered. Next week, she’ll come to the Gem Theater at 18th and Vine for a conversation about food and how we eat. 

Michelle Martin will host an evening of conversation on Tuesday, April 5 at the Gem Theater. For tickets and information visit nprpresents.org.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James gave his fifth State of the City address Thursday, with particular focus on the city's earnings tax, education and violence.

The Fish Fry, KCUR's blues, jazz, soul, R &B and zydeco program which airs every Friday and Saturday night, turns 30 this year. We talk with host Chuck Haddix about how he got his start and what it takes to party, public radio style, week in and week out.

Blue Springs-based David Cook became a hometown hero when he won the 2008 season of “American Idol.” His latest album features sincere, melodic rock with a familiar feel. This week's Local Listen features "Better Than Me," from Cook's 2015 album, Digital Vein.

David Cook performs Friday, March 18, at the VooDoo at Harrah’s Casino.

The Kansas City Symphony is bringing Matthew Morrison to town for a one-night-only performance in March. Best known for his role as the optimistic high school glee club director Will Shuster on the TV show “Glee,” the star also has a long career on Broadway to his credit and a recently released album, Where It All Began

Little Class Records

It’s impossible not to hear the life experience in Billy Beale’s time-worn voice.

As the Kansas City blues-staple sings the lyrics, “the only time I’ve been successful’s when I fell,” local record producer Jody Hendrix is reminded of why he felt compelled to document that singular sound.

“Billy is a legend in the bar rooms, the juke joints, and the courtrooms,” Hendrix told Steve Kraske on KCUR’s Up To Date.

From the singular twang of a flat-picked guitar to the tight harmonies of a bluegrass band, folk music is more than a sound — it’s an essence. Local labels Mud Stomp Records and Little Class Records work not only to preserve that essence, but to show the rest of the world what Heartland artists have to offer. 

Guests:

Local Listen: Organized Crimes

Feb 3, 2016
highdivekc.com

The band name selected by the members of Organized Crimes may recall the nefarious activities that transpired in Kansas City in the first half of the last century, but the group’s music is based on the dreamy alternative rock sound associated with London in the 1980s. Local Listen features “Bel Ray Flats,” the A-side of Organized Crimes’ new seven-inch single.

Local Listen: Your Friend

Jan 27, 2016
yourfriendtaryn.com

Indie-rock fans around the world will soon be able to purchase a piece of Lawrence, Kansas. “Gumption,” the debut full-length album by the Lawrence-based indie rock act, Your Friend, will be released internationally on Friday, January 29.

Local Listen features the cascading melodies of Your Friend’s “Come Back From It.”

Kansas City music legend Jay McShann was born 100 years ago this week, and the city is celebrating his birth. On this edition of Up to Date, we examine the life of this international jazz star.

Guests:

Kansas City’s music scene has long been associated with earthy jazz, down-home blues and abrasive guitar-based rock. Yes You Are intends to alter that perception. Local Listen features “Echo,” a glimmering slice of polished pop by the Kansas City quintet.

Yes You Are performs at the Riot Room on Sunday, Jan. 10.

Wikipedia -- CC

In this encore edition of Central Standard, we hear about the infamous 1974 Ozark Music Festival.

It drew as many as 350,000 people to the small, family-oriented town of Sedalia.

Traffic ground to a halt. Temperatures were in the triple-digits. Nudity ran rampant and the cost of ice skyrocketed.

Residents came home to festival-goers camped out on their lawns, using garden hoses for "baths." People sent their children out of town for safety. Hungry, drug-addled music fans stole a cow. And it only gets crazier from there.

Guest:

Scott Hrabko

In his review of Scott Hrabko’s “Biscuits & Gravity,” KCUR music writer David Cantwell praised the Kansas City singer-songwriter's "sly and warm vocals" and the "slinky rhythms and brooding arrangements" documented on the new album. This week's Local Listen features Hrabko’s wistful reverie “I Dreamed I Quit My Job.”

Scott Hrabko & the Rabbits perform at the Westport Saloon on Saturday, Dec. 19.

Beth Lipoff / KCUR 89.3

He’s played with the likes of Kansas City-great Count Basie, though he’s best known for leading The Tonight Show band when Johnny Carson was hosting. 

Doc Severinsen is back in Kansas City for a holiday performance with the Kansas City Symphony and chorus this weekend.

He spoke with Steve Kraske on Up To Date earlier this week, where they talked about his early career and his time with The Tonight Show

But Severinsen wasn’t quite finished at the end of the interview. 

After his appearance on Up To Date, Severinsen wanted to stick around to talk about one of our favorite subjects — Kansas City. 

Doc Severinsen is best known for leading The Tonight Show band when Johnny Carson was host. In this conversation with Steve Kraske, Severinsen recalls starting under the tutelage of his father then moving on to the likes of Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman before landing the gig he would play for thirty years.

After his appearance on Up To Date, former Tonight Show band leader Doc Severinsen wanted to stick around to talk about one of our favorite subjects — Kansas City. Hear him rave about our music scene, our sports teams and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 

The Breakthrough Moment

Nov 12, 2015

Enrique Chi of the band Making Movies stopped by the studio to tell the story of his band's breakthrough moment. Which included a broken van, a crowded bus and a car engulfed in flames. This story kicks off a Generation Listen KC storytelling event at Knuckleheads with the theme Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Sam Baker calls himself “the worst guitarist who ever stood on a public stage.” Yet, the combination of the singer-songwriter's raspy voice and simple guitar melodies "just works," according to Up to Date host Steve Kraske. Baker reflects on his personal journey and performs live at KCUR studios.

 Howard Iceberg leads an unusual double life. He’s an immigration attorney by day …. and one of Kansas City’s most respected troubadours by night. Local Listen features “You and Your Hazel Eyes,” a song from the singer-songwriter’s new album…. “Smooth Sailing.”

Iceberg and his band the Titanics perform an early show at the RecordBar on Saturday.

A founding member of the Grammy-winning, old-time string band The Carolina Chocolate Drops, Rhiannon Giddens is out with her first solo album, "Tomorrow Is My Turn." She discusses her resistance to being called a "star" and how she's handled her sudden rise in fame. 

Cyprus Avenue Live at The Folly presents Rhiannon Giddens at 7 p.m Sunday, October 11 at the Folly Theater. For more information go to www.follytheater.org.

School Of Rock

Oct 5, 2015
Hannah Copeland / KCUR

Bassist Johnny Hamil started out playing what he calls "sleaze-rock." Now, he performs and teaches in many musical languages, and he's trying to teach classically trained young musicians to shred with all-string arrangements of songs by AC/DC and the Ramones. 

Guest:

Mark Lowrey is best known as a jazz pianist but he frequently performs in rock, folk and hip-hop settings.

This week's Local Listen features “Milonga For YJ’s,” an Argentinian-inspired track from his album “Tangos For 18th Street.”

Lowrey appears at The Majestic on Thursday, October 1, and at Broadway Kansas City on Friday, October 2.

For hundreds of classic movies in danger of being forgotten, the Film Noir Foundation is here to save the day. The organization is dedicated to preserving and restoring 35 millimeter films for future generations, as well as maintaining noir culture. 

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