The National Endowment for the Arts on Tuesday announced its first round of "Our Town" funding - $6.5 million in grants to strengthen the arts through public-private partnerships. In Missouri, one initiative was selected: the restoration of the historic Boone Theater in the 18th and Vine Jazz District.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, Mo. – The National Endowment for the Arts will pay $200,000 towards the restoration of an old venue in Kansas City's 18th and Vine Jazz District.
The idea of the Barbershop Harmony Society hatched in Kansas City when two Tulsa, Oklahoma businessmen - and barbershop enthusiasts - had a chance meeting at the Muehlebach Hotel (now the Kansas City Marriott Downtown).
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, Mo. – Founded in 1938, the organization promotes and preserves barbershop music - and has nearly 30,000 members. This week, many of those members are in Kansas City for the Society's convention, which includes performances and an international competition.
The Missouri-based barbershop quartet, Rural Route 4, got its start in 1971. The original members were three farmers and one carpenter (who also grew up on a farm) from Cass County, Missouri.
By Laura Spencer
Kansas City, Mo, – Fifteen years later (and after two personnel changes), Rural Route 4 won the international quartet championship in 1986. Here, the quartet sings an excerpt from the 1904 song "On the Farm in Old Missouri."
The American Academy in Rome, founded in 1894, awards fellowships known as "the Rome Prize" to a select group of artists and scholars each year. The award gives America's finest talents the opportunity to spend a year in Italy pursuing their own work.
Kelly Myers is in marketing and product development at Sprint, but she's always had a penchant for songwriting. This past year, an online encounter with a musician on the other side of the world, has finally allowed her to produce the kind of music that she wanted to create.
Choreographer Jawole Willa Jo Zollar was born and raised in Kansas City. But it was in New York City that she founded Urban Bush Women, a dance company known for its exuberant and political mash-ups of everything from modern dance to African to hip hop.
It's been 120 years since the debut of German playwright Frank Wedekind's play "Spring Awakening" about the perils of adolescence, but it continues to have staying power.
By Steve Walker
Lawrence, Kan. – The rock musical adaptation won 8 Tony Awards in 2007, followed by a new translation of the original play by novelist Jonathan Franzen. The City Youth Theatre company in Lawrence is tackling that version this weekend and finds that it's inspiring a novel way to think about sex education.
Have you seen the gleaming silver "tree" that's twisting up from a rise in front of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art? The new sculpture called Ferment is almost 60 feet tall, the work of artist Roxy Paine. And it's inspired a new composition.
Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky created a suite of 10 musical portraits for piano, inspired by an 1874 exhibition of a friend's paintings and architectural projects. But most of those works were lost.
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.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Jim Nunnelly is stepping down as the coordinator of the Generation Rap radio show, which airs every Saturday morning on Hot 103 Jamz--that's the urban contemporary station KPRS.
The show started in 1987, and soon after, Nunnelly took on the role of "Granddad." And for the last 12 years, he's supervised while a changing cast of high school students have taken on more and more responsibility for the show.
A multimedia performance this weekend called "Angels & Demons at Play" takes its name from a song by Sun Ra, the avant-garde pianist and band leader - and combines live music with Balinese and masked dance, and electronic visual media.
The songs coming out of the protests in Egypt were made by musicians both new and revered.
By Elizabeth Blair/NPR Music
Musicians have not been silent in the movement that brought down Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Perhaps the most popular song of the Egyptian revolution is by Mohamed Mounir, a singer so revered, he's known as "The Voice of Egypt."
If you want your favorite musician to get the most out of your money, there's only one choice.
NPR Music –
Say your favorite band is putting out a new album and you've decided to buy it. You want to make sure that when you do, the band gets as much of your money as possible. Where do you shop? Best Buy? Your local record store? iTunes?
It used to be so simple. An album would come out, you'd pay a store some amount of money in exchange for it, and the band would get some of that money.
The saxophonist and composer tends to inspire reverence. Biographer Michelle Mercer explains.
By Patrick Jarenwattananon/NPR Music
The saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter is one of the few jazz musicians who can without a doubt be called a living legend. Many of his compositions are jazz standards; many of his records are studied endlessly. He's one of the artists who both musicians and fans obsess over ? and even at age 77, he continues to reinvent his musical personality with every performance.
(January 29, 2011) Zekri's life and art emerged from a clash of two cultures. Raised in Algeria and trained at the Paris Conservatory, the performer was able to reconcile the differences through his music.
Kansas City trumpet player and band leader Tony DiPardo passed away on Thursday. "Mr. Music" was best known as the man played "charge" and riding the Chiefs mascot Warpaint at countless football games.
By Sylvia Maria Gross
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Tony DiPardo was the Chiefs' music director for 20 years, and he played at Arrowhead for another 24 years when his daughter took over in 1989. Three years ago, Tony DiPardo told KCUR's Walt Bodine and co-host Kelley Weiss about how he started playing the trumpet.