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Up To Date
5:30 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Local Listen: The Architects

The Architects have been Kansas City's sturdiest punk band for a decade.  The quartet is barnstorming the country with the California skate-punk legends Agent Orange.  Their tour stops at the Bottleneck on Friday,October 24.  This week's edition of Local Listen features "Kickswaggerboom," a song from the latest installment of the Architect's "Border Wars" song cycle that reveals the Architect's affection for vintage American pop.

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Arts & Culture
3:07 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Horace Washington, Kansas City Saxophone And Flute Player, Dies

(left to right) American Jazz Museum's Greg Carroll, jazz historian Chuck Haddix, and musicians Horace Washington and Bobby Watson participated in a recent panel about the legacy of Charlie Parker at the American Jazz Museum.
Credit courtesy: American Jazz Museum

The American Jazz Museum is reporting the death of musician Horace Washington, 62, posting this today on the museum's Facebook page: “The Board and Staff of the American Jazz Museum are saddened to pass along the news that HORACE WASHINGTON has passed away.”

Washington, a saxophonist and flute player who grew up in Kansas City, Kan., had been dealing with some health issues for the past couple of years, says Chris Burnett, marketing and communications manager for the museum.

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Central Standard
2:53 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Composer Jeffrey Ruckman Knows His Tools, His Obsessions And His City

Jeffrey Ruckman's Kansas City home is full of instruments, familiar and unfamiliar.
Credit Paul Andrews

When Central Standard thought about asking Jeffrey Ruckman to create new theme music for the show, one of the things that made him appealing was his masterfully offbeat, genre-bending tendency.

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Central Standard
12:49 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Art Spiegelman and Phillip Johnston On Comics And Jazz

Art Spiegelman is rarely 'Wordless!', even though that is the title of his traveling production with musical collaborator Phillip Johnston.
Credit AFP

Art Spiegelman has been called the father of the graphic novel, though it's a title he resists. And composer Phillip Johnston has been a fixture in the New York underground music scene since the 1980s. The friends and collaborators teamed up on a performance (coming to Kansas City October 19, 2014) that, according to Johnston, is like a high school class slideshow lecture on LSD. 

Guests:

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Royals
2:50 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Listen To The Awesome Songs These Fans Made Up In Support Of The Royals

John Long in his parody of Lorde's hit song 'Royals.'
Credit John Long / YouTube

Now that the Royals have made the playoffs for the first time in nearly 30 years, fans are celebrating in their own unique ways.

A recent spike of fan-made Royals songs have hit the Internet in support of their historical post-season journey.

Here's a short list of songs we dug up that were created by fans for the Royals:

John Long"Kansas City Royals" - parody of Lorde's hit-song "Royals"

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Up To Date
4:26 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Local Listen: OJT

Credit www.kenlovern.com

This Saturday's 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival will have national acts like the great jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove.  But the event also provides an expanded stage for many Kansas City-based musicians like OJT. This organ jazz trio, led by Ken Lovern, will be among the acts representing the area's jazz scene. This edition of Local Listen features the trio's playful new interpretation of Katy Perry's "I Kissed a Girl."

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Arts & Culture
1:53 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Musicians Mourn Death Of Lou Whitney, Sound Engineer And Father Figure

Lou Whitney with Kristie Stremel, who recorded five albums at his studio.
Credit Kristie Stremel

One branch of Kansas City’s musical family is mourning the death of Lou Whitney, a Missouri recording engineer and bass player who many of them considered a father figure.

Whitney, of Springfield, Mo., died Tuesday after a battle with cancer.

Whitney established his reputation at now-legendary gigs with his 1980s-era bands The Morells and later The Skeletons, both of which made regular appearances at the Grand Emporium in Kansas City. 

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Central Standard
4:14 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Lawrence's Rock Wizard: Paul DeGeorge Of Harry And The Potters

Paul DeGeorge wouldn't be Harry Potter without his accessories.
Credit Paul Andrews

Paul DeGeorge and his brother Joe have been writing and performing songs about the trials and triumphs of wizards-in-training since 2002. They look disorientingly similar, and both wear v-neck sweaters and neck ties. Their band, Harry and the Potters, has inspired its own genre: "wizard rock."

It was the younger brother, Joe, who first read the Harry Potter books. In his early 20s when the first books in the series came out, Paul, the older of the DeGeorge brothers, picked them up out of curiosity; he immediately related to the Harry Potter character as a punk.

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Talk Show
5:09 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Local Listen: Shades Of Jade

Shades of Jade is among Kansas City's many notable young jazz ensembles.  This band differentiates itself with an invigorating blend of bop and R&B.  This week's Local Listen features "Dynasty," an ebullient track from Shades of Jade's new album "Fingerprinted Memories.

Hear in KC: Shades of Jade performs Friday night October 3 at the Broadway Jazz Club, 3601 Broadway Blvd, Kansas City, Mo. 

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Arts & Culture
10:00 am
Thu October 2, 2014

7 Things That 'Rock' This Weekend In Kansas City

Ringo Starr and His All Starr Band will rock Kansas City this weekend.
Credit Eva Rinaldi / Flickr--CC

There’s only one way to rock, and that’s any way you want.

Long ago, the term “it rocks” went well beyond rock ’n’ roll to encompass anything deemed personally appealing or individually scintillating. What rocks for a fifth-grader probably won’t do it for grandma. Then again, maybe it will – and that’s the beauty of it – including this weekend in Kansas City.

From classic rock to zombies that rock, the town is yours to rock. So are you ready to – all together now – ROCK? I knew you were.

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Central Standard
3:18 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

How Kansas City Relates To Its Jazz Legacy

Charlie Parker, one of Kansas City's most legendary saxophonists.
Credit Gottlieb, William P./Wikimedia-Creative Commons

In the 1930s, Kansas City was a place where talent and history converged, resulting in a whole new sound that jazz aficionados continue to study today. But how does that past inform Kansas City's present day jazz scene?

Guests:

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Central Standard
1:30 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Why Jazz Fans In Denmark Feel A Connection To Kansas City

Was Kansas City-born Ben Webster "king of the tenors" as this album title suggests?
Credit mohaoffbeat.blogspot.com / Creative Commons

Ben Webster hated to fly on airplanes.

When he went to Europe to perform for his fans across the Atlantic, the trip was one-way. 

A contemporary of Charlie Parker, Webster grew up in Kansas City, Mo., right off of 24th Street. He taught himself to play the piano at a young age, and started his career performing as a pianist for silent films. It wasn't until he was about 20 years old that he took up the saxophone.

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Up To Date
4:17 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Local Listen: Grand Marquis

Credit grandmarquis.net

Big Joe Turner died in 1985, but the jump blues tradition he forged in Prohibition-era Kansas City nightclubs is kept alive by the Grand Marquis. The band has been entertaining audiences with its vintage sound since 1998. This week's edition of Local Listen features "Bed of Nails," a raucous song from the Grand Marquis' 2013 album "Blues and Trouble."

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Arts & Culture
6:54 am
Fri September 26, 2014

WATCH: Pianist Behzod Abduraimov Takes On New Role At Park University

Behzod Abduraimov, the new artist-in-residence at ICM, rehearses in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel at Park University.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

When the International Center for Music (ICM) at Park University in Parkville, Mo., a boutique conservatory for top performers, decided to add an artist-in-residence, they didn’t have to look very far.

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Central Standard
2:42 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Miguel 'Mambo' DeLeon On Afrocuban Rhythm And His Time In Kansas City

Miguel DeLeon has been a fixture and driving force in Kansas City's Latin music scene.
Credit elmamboworld.com

Miguel DeLeon is a man of many aliases. To some, he's El Mambo. To others, El Pionero. After nearly three decades leading Latin bands and teaching music in Kansas City, he moved to Phoenix, but he's back for a visit, playing gigs and teaching an Afrocuban drumming workshop. 

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Up To Date
5:12 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Local Listen: Various Blonde

Kansas City's Various Blonde has been attempting to expand the consciousness of listeners since 2008. The art-rock band has perfected its potent psychedelic sound on the new album "Summer High." This week's edition of Local Listen showcases the heavy mysticism of the album's title track.

Hear more: Various Blond performs at The Record Bar on October 15.

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Arts & Culture
1:37 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

How The Power Of A Pipe Organ Is Like Riding A Harley

The Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875, in Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
Credit courtesy: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Jan Kraybill, principal organist for the Dome and Spire Organ Foundation and organ conservator at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, plays and maintains the three largest pipe organs in the Kansas City metro area. The Kauffman Center's Casavant organ ranks third with 5,448 pipes. 

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Arts & Culture
6:45 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Finalists Selected, Design Process Starts For UMKC's Proposed Downtown Arts Campus

An artist rendering of the future home of the UMKC Downtown Campus for the Arts. The proposed site is south of the Kauffman Center of the Performing Arts.
Credit courtesy: University of Missouri-Kansas City

Five architect teams are on the short list to design the first phase of the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s proposed downtown arts campus.

The finalists include Kansas City-based firms BNIM, el dorado, Helix, Hoefer Wysocki and International Architect Atelier, each teamed with national architecture firms. 

The initial stage of the project calls for relocating the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance -- students, faculty, classes, and most performances -- to the Crossroads Arts District. 

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Arts & Culture
5:30 am
Sat September 6, 2014

Corporate Rockers Win Battle Of The Band Challenge

Sprint's Cleyson Brown Unlimited is one of eight bands to compete in this year's FORTUNE Battle of the Corporate Bands.
Credit courtesy: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Update: Sprint's Cleyson Brown Unlimited won first place. The band was also recognized for Best Horns (David Freeland), Best Bass Player (Frank Minolfo), and Best Drummer (Jason Smith). 

Original post follows: 

Companies around the country will be in heavy competition this weekend - on stage, with musical instruments.

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Arts & Culture
8:35 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Kansas City Symphony And The 'Bohemian' Life

Credit Photo courtesy of Chris Lee / Kansas City Symphony

The Kansas City Symphony’s Classics Uncorked series is a more informal concert experience — shorter and with a theme. This weekend’s program, called Bohemian Rhapsody, features works by Dvorák, Bizet ... and Queen.

Nick Hersh, assistant conductor at the Baltimore Symphony, and Aram Demirjian, associate conductor at the Kansas City Symphony, met a few years ago at the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen. They conducted and stood as partners for two summers in the cello section of the Conductors' Orchestra. 

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Up To Date
3:50 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Local Listen: The Project H

The Project H's latest album is "We Live Among the Lines."
Credit theprojecthkc.com

The instrumental band The Project H allows several of Kansas City's most exciting jazz musicians to showcase their affinity for rock and rhythm & blues.  The ensemble's album "We Live Among the Lines" will be released next week. 

This edition of Local Listen features The Project H's brash new composition "A Bear's Cave."

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Up To Date
3:08 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Local Listen: Carswell & Hope

Carswell & Hope, a soulful folk-rock band from Lawrence, Kan., will be among the performers at this weekend's Kansas City Irish Fest. A collaboration between the Irish transplant Nick Carswell, two native Kansans, and a New Yorker, Carswell & Hope released its debut album in May. This week's Local Listen is a curiously pensive track from the project, "Hunger."

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Up to Date
10:38 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Sixteen And Singing Proudly

Singer-songwriter Gracie Schram is finding her place on the stage at age 16.
Credit gracieschram.com

Gracie Schram has sung the national anthem for the Kansas City Royals and Sporting KC, and she also has her own single with an album in the works. It's a pretty ambitious start for the 16-year-old Prairie Village, Kan. songstress.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk with her about her start, her new music and her humanitarian efforts.

Guest:

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Up To Date
4:56 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Local Listen: The Phantastics

Credit The Phantastics

The Phantastics, one of this area’s most formidable party bands, send audiences into frenzies with a heated blend of funk, jazz and hip-hop.

The ensemble includes the noted rapper The Phantom and several of the region's most versatile musicians.

This week's edition of Local Listen features a dance-oriented track, "Phire," from the Phantastics 2013 EP "Closer."

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Up to Date
2:07 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Kansas City Celebrates Charlie 'Bird' Parker This Month

The American Jazz Museum in Kansas City celebrates the life of the local legend Charlie Parker.
Credit Wikipedia Commons

Kansas City is finally honoring jazz icon Charlie Parker with a two-week celebration that kicks off today. The celebration is centered on the occasion of what would have been Parker’s 94th birthday. It includes a 21-sax salute at Lincoln Cemetery where Parker is buried.

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Up To Date
9:00 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Local Listen: The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra

Credit kcjazzorchestra.org

Patrons of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra may rethink their usual wardrobe choices before attending the big band's next concert.  Instead of appearing at the its regular home at Helzberg Hall in the Kauffman Center, the orchestra will perform at Knuckleheads this Saturday.   On this edition of Local Listen, we'll hear the orchestra's rendition of Freddie Green’s classic "Corner Pocket."

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Up To Date
6:14 pm
Fri August 8, 2014

Local Listen: Nuthatch-47

Credit nuthatch47.com

Maksim Kunakhovich of Nuthatch-47 has said that "Russia is my mother and America is my wife."  His distinctive contributions make Nutchatch-47 one of the funniest and most musically unique bands in the Kansas City area.  This week's edition of Local Listen features "I Reckon" from Nuthatch-47's 2013 album "Babushka Bandita."  The song's narrator muses about his affection for unsavory aspects of American culture as his comrades riff on a familiar spaghetti western theme. 

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Up To Date
2:30 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

TEDxKC: Getting Money Out Of Politics And A DIY Musician

Lawrence Lessig and Kawehi
Credit Sage Ross / iamkawehi.com / Wikimedia Commons

Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig says we can't begin to deal with problems like climate change, financial reform or anything else until we deal with the corrupting influence of money in American politics. As part of Up to Date's  continuing look at TEDxKC 2014, Lessig explains to Steve Kraske how he believes our system became broken and what it will take to fix it.

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Up To Date
2:34 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

What Makes A Winner At The Missouri And Kansas State Fairs

Justin Schultis is the current Kansas Auctioneer Champion.
Justin Schultis

The Missouri State Fair starts in Sedalia this Thursday, and the Kansas State Fair is close behind, opening on September 5th. In addition to giant funnel cakes and whirling carnival rides, the State Fairs have a more serious side: competition. On Monday's Up to Date, host Steve Kraske speaks with past and present state fair champions to find out what brings them back year after for that blue ribbon.

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Up To Date
2:03 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Local Listen: People's Liberation Big Band

Credit http://peoplesliberationbigband.bandcamp.com

Anyone who clings to the mistaken notion that all of the jazz performed by Kansas City musicians is bound to fusty tradition has yet to hear the People's Liberation Big Band.  The maverick ensemble led by Brad Cox plays a wild and wooly form of jazz.  This week's Local Listen features "Mr. Blister's Naughty Sister," a playful track from the large ensemble's 2010 debut album.

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