live music

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:

Local/Regional

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. 

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

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.

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.

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.

John Picacio / spectrumfantasticartlive.com

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

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: Freefreecomicbookday.com   

“School House Rock Live!” 

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."

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 

conniestevens.com

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.

Guest:

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.

Guest:

  • Chris Haghirian, co-founder of Middle of the Map Fest

middleofthemapfest.com

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

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.

Guests:

All That Canadian Jazz Comes To Kansas City

Feb 28, 2014
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. 

Guest:

Saxophonist Kenny G: Still Smooth

Jan 15, 2014
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." 

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.

Guest:

worstgig.com

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

Singing Along With Karaoke

Sep 12, 2013
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.

Guest:

www.kcvocals.com / 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. 

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.

Get Your Rag On This Summer

May 30, 2012

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.

The Middle Of The Map Fest Is Blowing Up

Apr 4, 2012

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.

The Beautiful Bodies Work It

Mar 8, 2012
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.

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

Jan 25, 2012

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.

Remembering Nate Dogg

Mar 21, 2011
Wikipedia

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.

Pages