Kansas City just lost a jazz icon, perhaps the last musician in town who played when Charlie Parker did.
By Up to Date
The great Ahmad Alaadeen died Sunday, August 17th, 2010, at his home at age 76.
He was known as a leading jazz educator in this town and a mentor to dozens of musicians in much the same way that Art Blakey once was in New York. Earlier this year, Alaadeen was awarded the American Jazz Museum's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Kansas City, MO – Vi Tran has made a name for himself in Kansas City as an actor. But he's been a musician since his high school days in Garden City, Kansas. Tran recently released his first EP, called Goodbye, Summer. He came by KCUR to talk about the album, and gave a special performance of some new songs.
A 122-year-old opera house in McPherson, KS was saved from destruction. Recently restored, the town's opera house lives to see another curtain rise. KPR's Shelley Schlender reports.
By Shelley Schlender/KPR
McPherson, KS – Around the turn of the 20th century, opera houses were like sparkling jewels on the Kansas Prairie. One of the finest was an elegant, three-story structure in the central Kansas town of McPherson.
Kansas City Symphony executive director Frank Byrne returns with some favorite new classical music recordings. His picks include music from composers Antonio Salieri, Pablo de Sarasate, Igor Stravinsky, Richard Wagner, and Ludwig van Beethoven.
Kansas City's Experimental Instrument Orchestra is a folk band, in which the two members craft their own instruments.
Kansas City, MO – Folk music has always relied on a do-it-yourself philosophy. But Kansas City's Experimental Instrument Orchestra takes the idea to new extremes. They not only improvise music, but also create their own instruments. KCUR's Alex Smith recently spoke with EIO band members Amy Farrand and Mark Smeltzer.
The central character in Mozart's "Don Giovanni" is the Don himself, a young nobleman with a list of more than two thousand female conquests. As the opera begins, this ladies' man has assaulted a young noblewoman and killed her father, and he's also trailed by jilted lovers. Don Giovanni's schemes and their consequences will be on display at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.
Kansas City guitarist Will Matthews has toured and recorded with the Count Basie Orchestra for nearly 15 years, but he's also found time to develop a solo career.
By Alex Smith
Kansas City, MO – In the 1930's, Kansas City may have served as the jazz capital of the world, but today, you rarely hear the swing music of groups like the Count Basie Orchestra. Count Basie died in 1984, but his band continues to play around the world to audiences craving the classic Basie sound.
Local musician Russ Wever has been playing the pedal steel guitar for more than forty years. He's performed at the Grand Ole Opry and on Broadway, and has had a big influence in the pedal steel guitar world.
By Tim Bridgham
Kansas City, MO – When you see a pedal steel guitar it doesn't look much like a guitar. Laid out horizontally, the pedal steel has two necks and a lot of foot pedals and knee levers. Though its roots come from the guitar, this version of the instrument has the ability to do much more.
The thousand-year-old Chinese folk tale, "Madame White Snake," is the story of a white snake demon who longs for love. And there are tragic consequences. It's the subject of the first opera for composer and UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance professor Zhou Long. In the production, elements of traditional Chinese opera meet the style of the West.