live music

Up To Date
5:26 pm
Fri July 11, 2014

Michael Feinstein: Ambassador Of The Great American Songbook

Michael Feinstein in studio at KCUR.
Credit Beth Lipoff / Up to Date

His career includes multi-platinum recordings, 200-plus live performances per year, two Emmy and five Grammy nominations, conductor of the Pasadena Pops, nightclub owner, and that’s just the half of it. Perhaps his greatest recognition, though, is as “Ambassador of the Great American Songbook”. On Friday's Up to Date, Michael Feinstein talks with Steve Kraske about his love of classic American popular music and his efforts to preserve it for future generations.

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Up to Date
1:08 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Weekend To-Do List: July 4-6

Thousands enjoy the KC Riverfest fireworks show at Berkley Riverfront Park.
Credit KC Riverfest

Have a star-spangled weekend with this sizzling list of area entertainment from Brian McTavish!

Big Bang: Jackson County’s Fourth of July Celebration
5:30 p.m. (gates open) Friday; free admission
Longview Lake, Shelter #13

KC Riverfest: Music and Fireworks
4 p.m. (gates open) Friday; $5 admission after 5 p.m.
Berkley Riverfront Park

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Up To Date
3:32 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

The Best Music of 2014 — So Far

Sylvan Esso, pictured here, is just one of the groups that our music lovers picked as one of the best of 2014 so far.
Credit Ross Grady / Flickr-CC

We're almost halfway through 2014 and there's already been great music on the local, national and international stages.

From jazz to experimental ambient music, there's been something for pretty much everyone this year. 

On Friday's Up to Date, host Steve Kraske was joined by a panel of music lovers to find the best bands, albums, and tracks so far in 2014. 

Here are our guests' picks:


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12:18 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

'American Idol' Bus Tour To Come To Kansas City

Hundreds of potential American Idol contestants wait for their chance to compete in Washington D.C.
Credit dbking / Flickr-CC

Popular singing competition show American Idol is coming to Kansas City this summer. On July 21, the Idol tour bus will pull into the University of Missouri-Kansas City's Volker campus to hold open auditions for the show's 14th season. 

In a press release, UMKC's Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Mel Tyler says Kansas City will be a natural fit for the show. 

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Up to Date
6:28 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: May 30-June 1

Credit Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company

If you're looking for a variety of entertainment this weekend, look no further than Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for May 30-June 1.

Cher (pop diva), D2K Tour 2014, 8:00 p.m. Saturday at the Sprint Center, 1407 Grand, Kansas City, MO

Tickets: $45.50 to $105.50

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Up To Date
5:37 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Northland Symphony Orchestra's Got Game ... And Film Scores

Video game sound has evolved from the simple electronic theme music of Super Mario Bros. to the lush orchestral arrangements that accompany gamers' top choices today.  Recognizing the popularity of these games has inspired the musical selections for an upcoming concert by the Northland Symphony Orchestra.

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Up To Date
11:23 am
Thu May 22, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: May 23-25

At 87, Tony Bennett is still performing regularly. He's part of the 'Weekend To-Do List' for May 23-25.
Credit Tom Beetz / Flickr-CC

If you're looking for good music this weekend, look no further than Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for May 23-25.

Tony Bennett (pop music legend), 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $70 to $150.

Westport Roots Festival (Billy Joe Shaver and 25 bands), Saturday, indoor music at noon, outdoor at 2 p.m. at the Westport Saloon, 4112 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $28.

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Arts & Culture
5:30 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Want To Play The Carillon? Choices Are Slim, But KU Is One

Assistant professor of music, Elizabeth Berghout, plays the carillon — the instrument that controls the campanile on the KU campus.
Credit Dawn Fallik

It was a beautiful Wednesday morning at the University of Kansas and the chimes inside the school's Campanile rang out "Ode to Joy" across the lush campus.

And then they started clanking, an odd off-beat, minor clank. Students passing by looked at each other, a little worried.

"It is broken?" one asked.

No, just student Amanda Schultz, trying to make 53 bells do a blues slide on the carillon.

There are only handful of schools in the country to learn the carillon, a tall organ-like instrument that controls the bells in a bell tower, or campanile.

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Up to Date
11:45 am
Thu May 8, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: May 9-11

Art like this work by John Picacio will be on display at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3.
Credit John Picacio /

Want to shake up your weekend? Brian McTavish knows what to do. Check out his Weekend To-Do List for May 9-11.

The Blasters (Rock), 9 p.m. Friday at Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $20

Lisa Lampanelli: The Leaner Meaner Tour (Stand-up comedy from the “female Don Rickles”), 8 p.m. Friday at The Midland, 1228 Main, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $51.50, $61.50

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Up To Date
2:22 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: May 2-4, 2014

Credit Guadalupe Centers Inc.

Looking for something to do this weekend? Brian McTavish has just the thing to spice up your weekend at get you out of that funk with his Weekend To-Do List for May 2-4.

Free Comic Book Day Free comics and superhero-related activitiesSaturdayKansas City area comic book shopsAdmission:   

“School House Rock Live!” 

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Central Standard
10:50 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Americana Songstress Holly Golightly, En Route To Kansas City

On her way to Kansas City to play a springtime gig, retro rocker Holly Golightly chatted with Gina Kaufmann about her danceable songs inspired by pre-rock Americana. We listened to a few good songs and heard why Holly likens her distinctive sound to a "bourbon-soaked front porch."

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Up to Date
11:44 am
Thu April 24, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: April 25-27, 2014

Iambic pentameter and alcohol go together at ShakesBEER this weekend.
Credit jaeschol / Flickr-CC

Got a case of the blahs? Brian McTavish has just the thing to spice up your weekend at get you out of that funk with his Weekend To-Do List for April 25-27.

Diana Ross (Pop), 7 p.m. Sunday at the Midland Theater, 1228 Main, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $58 to $178 

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Connie Stevens: Hollywood, Elvis & The New Theatre

Connie Stevens joins Steve Kraske on Up to Date.

Need to take your mind off of the IRS today? 

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we do our best to distract you from your taxes with a visit from actress Connie Stevens. Join us as we talk with her about 1960s Hollywood, what it was like to date Elvis and how she likes acting with her daughter at The New Theatre Restaurant.


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Central Standard
12:58 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Middle Of The Map Fest Kickoff

Middle of the Map Fest starts tonight with the music portion in Westport. The festival will continue with forum next weekend and wrap up with film April 16-20. On today's Central Standard, a Middle of the Map Fest co-founder discusses what to expect from local and national musicians in Kansas City this weekend. Plus, KCUR's Laura Ziegler is here with Royals predictions for this week's Tell KCUR.


  • Chris Haghirian, co-founder of Middle of the Map Fest
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Up To Date
12:37 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List: April 4-6, 2014

More than 120 bands will be playing this weekend for Ink's Middle of the Map Fest.

Wash away the recent rainy weather with Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for April 4-6.

Ink's Middle of the Map Fest Music festival with more that 120 bands at six venues.  Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Gary Numan performs at 11 p.m. Thursday at Ernie Biggs Piano Bar. Country Club Plaza and Westport area. Tickets: $55 three-day-pass

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Central Standard
4:01 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Kansas City Reggae Scene Brings Beach Vibe To The Midwest

Credit 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.


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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.

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.

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
11:29 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
3:00 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

The Worst Gigs In Rock 'N' Roll


It's hard to imagine Def Leppard, John Mayer, or any other rock musician having a bad day, but Jon Niccum​ begs to differ. 

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Up to Date
4:00 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Singing Along With Karaoke

Tenor Nathan Granner sings 'We Are The Champions' on Up to Date's karaoke show.
Credit Beth Lipoff/KCUR

Is your song confident, like Queen’s “We Are The Champions?” Or do you let out your inner Whitney Houston as you belt out “I Will Always Love You?”

On Friday's Up to Date, we look at karaoke and what it means to those who grab a mic and sing for the crowd at their favorite bar. We also talk about the emotional release some participants find in the activity.


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KC Currents
3:47 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Local Father-Daughter Duo Shines On A National Stage

Kansas City based father daughter duo Maurice and Shanice Hayes. Shanice and Maurice Hayes

Kansas City’s own father-daughter singing duo, Maurice and Shanice Hayes, are competing in NBC’s national talent competition, America’s Got Talent, for a $1 million prize. 

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KC Currents
10:51 am
Mon June 18, 2012

Cumbia Is Alive And Well—And Shakin'—In Kansas City

Kontrolando Show performing in 2011.
Marta Rincon

Kontrolando Show is one of 30 local bands, dance groups, and djs, in addition to some national acts, that will be playing at Fiesta KC in Crown Center June 22 - 24, 2012.

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Central Standard
2:25 pm
Wed May 30, 2012

Get Your Rag On This Summer

Scott Joplin

On this Thursday's Central Standard, ragtime music and one of its earliest composers, Scott Joplin. A man of mystery, Joplin moved from place to place but left his heart in Sedalia, Missouri. This is where he wrote his famous Maple Leaf Rag, which was the first piece of sheet music to sell over one million copies.

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Central Standard
12:25 pm
Wed April 4, 2012

The Middle Of The Map Fest Is Blowing Up


On this Wednesday's Central Standard, learn about a SXSW-style festival in our own backyard. Hear why the Middle of the Map Festival is drawing exponentially more bands, more people & more attention in its second year.

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Central Standard
9:00 am
Thu March 8, 2012

The Beautiful Bodies Work It

Thomas Becker

On the second half of this Thursday's Central Standard, meet energetic lead-singer Alicia Solo. Her hip-thrusts and dance moves have sent her home with cuts, bruises and chipped teeth.

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Central Standard
9:32 am
Wed January 25, 2012

George Takei on Sci-Fi, Equal Rights & Social Media

We have good news and bad news. First the good: George Takei, your favorite Star-Trek-Helmsmen-Turned-Gay-Rights-Activist, is coming to town to narrate a Sci-Fi Spectacular with the KC Symphony, complete with a laser light show. Now the bad: If you don't already have tickets or a really amazing friend, the show looks very sold out.

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Central Standard
12:00 pm
Mon March 21, 2011

Remembering Nate Dogg


From Homer to Shakespeare, bards have always used verse tell to tell the story of their times. One of hip hop artists best known for this is Nate Dogg – though, instead of stories about Trojan horses, vats of wine, and family feuds, his verses talk about fathers in prison, enjoying malt liquor, and drive by shootings.

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