Up To Date
5:13 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Local Listen: Schwervon

The duo Schwervon is featured in this week's 'Local Listen.'

This year’s Middle of the Map music festival will take place April 3-5 at many locations in and around Westport. For the next several weeks, our “Local Listen” segment will focus on musicians from the Kansas City area who will be sharing the stages with regional and national artists.

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Up to Date
12:44 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

'The Elders' Bring Celtic Flair Back To Kansas City

Brent Hoad (left) and Steve Phillips of The Elders perform during Thursday's Up to Date.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

The Kansas City-based band, The Elders, with their blend of American roots rock and Celtic folk, have performed together since 1998. This year marks their 12th annual Hoolie, a celebration of Irish culture through music and dance.

On Thursday's Up to Date, some of the band members talked about the March 15 event with host Steve Kraske.

"Mostly, it’s just the joy of playing. We all love to play. That’s why we’re still doing it in our mid-50s,” said Brent Hoad, who plays keyboards, as well as fiddle, guitar, mandolin.

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Arts & Culture
7:08 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Remembering Jazz Advocate Ginny Coleman

Ginny Coleman (left) with then business manager at KCUR, D.J. Harris.
Credit Buddy Anderson Collection, LaBudde Special Collections / Miller Nichols Library

Virginia "Ginny" Coleman, the co-host of Just Jazz on KCUR, died on Thursday, March 6. She was 91. 

Just Jazz was a staple of KCUR's lineup for 23 years, most recently on Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. The final broadcast was in October 2005.

Playing the music they loved

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Arts & Culture
5:32 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Classical Music Superstar Joshua Bell Returns To KC

Joshua Bell at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Mo.
Beth Buchanan Kansas City Symphony

Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell spends 250 days a year on the road, performing with orchestras around the world. This weekend, Bell returns to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts as a featured soloist for the Kansas City Symphony

A child prodigy who first started taking violin lessons at the age of 4, Bell debuted at Carnegie Hall at the age of 17. Since that time, he's performed with many of the world's major orchestras and conductors with his expressive and physical style.

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Up To Date
4:16 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Local Listen: Rev Gusto

The line-up has been announced for this year’s Middle of the Map music festival.  Running from April 3rd - 5th, the festival takes place at various locations in and around Westport. 

Rev Gusto is one band from the Kansas City area who will be sharing the stage with regional and national artists.  This week we hear the summery garage-band sounds of Rev Gusto in the track “Click-Click” from their self-titled EP.

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Up to Date
3:08 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

The Weekend To-Do List, March 7-9, 2014

The Monster Drawing Rally features artists drawing for an hour before selling their creations to benefit a scholarship fund.
Credit waltarrrrr / Flickr-CC

Want to get rid of the post-Mardi Gras blahs? Check out Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for March 7-9, 2014.

Golden! Girls Gone Wild!!! (Late Night Theatre returns with cross-dressing satire of TV’s “The Golden Girls”), opens at 8 p.m. Friday with performances through March 31 at Missie B’s, 805 W. 39th, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $18 (816-235-6222)

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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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Music Stories
5:00 am
Thu February 13, 2014

National Conference Shines Spotlight On KC Folkies

Musician Howard Iceberg composes in his office in his West Side home.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

For the past 20 years, the nonprofit Folk Alliance International has promoted and celebrated folk music. The organization relocated last year from Memphis, Tenn., to Kansas City, Mo. And, later this month, nearly 250 artists, from Sam Baker to Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys, are scheduled to perform in about a dozen venues in Kansas City during the group's annual conference.

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Up To Date
3:09 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Local Listen: Me Like Bees

In this week's local listen, we hear from "Me Like Bees."

The past few weeks have been pretty memorable for the Joplin band Me Like Bees: they won The Deli Magazine – Kansas City’s “Emerging Artist of 2013” readers’ poll, and they also won the Ernie Ball Battle of the Bands, ensuring them a spot on this summer’s Warped Tour.

In this week's Local Listen, we hear “Brand New Fail” from their most recent album, “The Ides."

You can get a buzz from the sounds of Me Like Bees when they visit The Riot Room in Kansas City on February 28th.

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Up To Date
1:27 pm
Sat February 1, 2014

Local Listen: Drew Black And Dirty Electric

Drew Black And Dirty Electric perform this weekend in Kansas City.

Drew Black and Dirty Electric is a Kansas City four-piece that takes glam rock to a very dark and edgy place - and yet it’s a sound that’s loaded with hooks and easy to dance to as well.

In this week’s Local Listen, we hear Curio Doll from the group's debut album “Dead Kings and Queens.”

Hear More:

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Up to Date
11:52 am
Fri January 31, 2014

Greg Brown: Midwestern Folk Staple

Singer-songwriter Greg Brown joins Steve Kraske to talk about his long career.

Critic Josh Kun once called singer-songwriter Greg Brown, "A Midwestern existentialist hobo with a quick-draw heart, a bloodied heart, and bourbon on his breath." If there's one thing Kun left out, it's Brown's growling tones, which have gotten deeper and more soulful after nearly 50 years of performing.

On Friday's Up to Date, we sit down with musician Greg Brown and discuss his long career and continued success as a Midwestern folk staple.


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Up To Date
12:42 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Local Listen: Freight Train Rabbit Killer

Freight Train Rabbit Killer is a collaboration between Christopher Brooders of Cadillac Flambe’ and Mark Smeltzer from Rural Grit.
Credit Freight Train Rabbit Killer

Freight Train Rabbit Killer is a collaboration between Christopher Brooders of Cadillac Flambe’ and Mark Smeltzer from Rural Grit. Their combined backgrounds in delta blues and Americana make for a very raw sound that has become a hot ticket in local clubs.

In this week's Local Listen, we hear the song "Day Without the Devil” from their self-titled debut

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Up To Date
3:07 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Local Listen: Phantoms Of The Opry

The band Phantoms of the Opry consider themselves “born 60 years too late,” and when you hear their musical blend of traditional country and Western swing, you’ll understand the meaning behind that statement.

In this week’s Local Listen we hear "My Cattle Call" from their self-titled release.

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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
4:52 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Local Listen: Sundiver

In December, Kansas City band Sundiver released their debut full-length effort, “The Pull.”

The group's sound combines space-rock arrangements with edgy, heavy guitar tones, and as our music coordinator Michael Byars will tell you, it sounds great in headphones.

In this week's “Local Listen,” we hear the opening track from “The Pull” titled “Lover’s Comfort.”

Learn more about the group on their Facebook page and on Bandcamp.

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11:02 am
Wed January 8, 2014

KCPT's 'The Bridge' Brings More Local Music To Kansas City Airwaves

Credit 90.9 The Bridge

A new Kansas City noncommercial radio station that features local music officially launched this week.

Kansas City's public television station, KCPT, bought KTGB "The Bridge" last May, and ownership was officially transferred last month.

After KCPT's purchase, studios for The Bridge were moved to the KCPT headquarters in Kansas City, Mo. Previously, they were housed in Warrensburg, Mo., where the station was owned and operated by the University of Central Missouri.

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7:40 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Folk Alliance Relocation Will Bring Kansas City Music, Money

Folk Alliance director Louis Meyers says the Folk Alliance brings people together through music.
Credit Lauren Kirby

Kansas City, Mo., will take on a folksy note next month when Folk Alliance International holds its annual conference at Crown Center.

A celebration of all types of folk culture, the event is perhaps a harbinger of bigger things to come. The nonprofit Folk Alliance moved its headquarters from Memphis to Kansas City last summer — and already, the folk connections are building. 

The group set up its headquarters in Kansas City's River Market and opened a boutique music shop called The Folk Shop on location.

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10:20 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Remembering Kansas Mariachi Pioneer, Teresa Cuevas

Teresa Cuevas plays her violin in a 2008 photo.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Mariachi musician and founder of a groundbreaking all-female mariachi band, Teresa Cuevas, died late last year at the age of 93.

Cuevas founded Mariachi Estrella with seven other women from her church choir in 1980. They became a regional phenomenon, trading the mariachis' traditional black pants for long maroon shirts. The band played shows all over Kansas.

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Up to Date
3:37 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

The 10 Best Songs From Kansas City Area Bands In 2013

Local band Radkey hails from St. Joesph, Mo.
Credit Courtesy / Radkey

It is that time of year. Lists. And we couldn't let it pass by without doing a best of Kansas City area music (which of course, includes Lawrence, Kan.).

The list is made up of contributions from Bill Brownlee, music critic for The Kansas City Star, Chris Haghirian with Ink Magazine and Laura Lorson, editor, host and producer for Kansas Public Radio. When possible, the link will take you to the song. They are in no particular order.

Radkey, "Start Freaking Out"

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Up to Date
11:37 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Getting Jazzy With Bobby Watson

Bobby Watson performs Friday night at Unity Temple on the Plaza.

Even if you don't know what jazz saxophonist Bobby Watson looks like or own one of his albums, you know his sound, because his music greets you each day on Up to Date.

In the first part of Thursday's Up to Date, Watson joins Steve Kraske to talk about his new album, a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.


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Up To Date
5:03 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Local Listen: Victor And Penny

Jeff Freeling and Erin McGrane make up the duo "Victor and Penny."

Jeff Freeling and Erin McGrane make up the duo Victor and Penny, who have been touring all across America with a sound that they like to call “antique pop.”

In this week's Local Listen, we hear the song "Stomp, Stomp" from the duo's album Side By Side.

Victor and Penny will be back in Kansas City to host “Eve 2013”, Dec. 31 at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

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Up To Date
9:50 am
Thu December 12, 2013

Ben Sidran: Musician, Composer And 'Space Cowboy'

Composer, musician Ben Sidran appears at the Jewish Community Center of Kansas City on Sunday December 15.

Ben Sidran is one of those guys who makes your knees buckle.

Piano player. Singer. Author. Composer. Host of the NPR jazz series “Jazz Alive.” Host of the VH-1 television’s “New Visions” series. Peabody winner. Ace winner. Friend of rock ‘n’ roller Steve Miller. Played in his band. Composer. Producer of recordings by Diana Ross, Van Morrison and Rickie Lee Jones.

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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
8:22 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Local Listen: Akkilles

Akkilles new album is titled "Something You'd Say."

With the Kansas City area getting a dose of winter weather over the past couple days, perhaps it's time for some music that has a summertime feel.  

The band Akkilles offers a sound that conjures up an afternoon on the beach, toes dug into the sand, and waves gently crashing along the shore.

In Friday's "Local Listen" we hear "Your Only One" from the group's album Something You’d Say.

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Up to Date
12:37 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Local Listen: The Latenight Callers

The Latenight Callers perform this weekend in at the Record Bar's "Saturday Brunch."

Band The Latenight Callers describe their sultry, film-noir sound as that of “the house band at a David Lynch pool party.” Their latest album is called Songs for Stolen Moments.

In Friday's Local Listen, we hear “Red Bricks, White Ghosts.”

The Latenight Callers will be paying a midday call to The Record Bar for their first-ever Saturday Brunch, November 16, from noon to 4 p.m. at 1020 Westport Road in Kansas City, Mo.

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Up to Date
11:02 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Duke Ellington: Behind The Jazz

Terry Teachout's new book is 'Duke: A Life of Duke Ellington.'

Duke Ellington's jazzy orchestrations are the stuff of music legends. However, his star power hid a very private life.

In the second part of Friday's Up to Date, Wall Street Journal drama critic and biographer Terry Teachout takes us into the world of Ellington.


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Up to Date
7:24 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Local Listen: The Silver Maggies

The music of The Silver Maggies is a unique blend of gothic country and high desert noir, resulting in a sound that’s dark and lonely... and maybe a little dangerous.   In this week’s local listen, we hear “End of Time” from their album “My Pale Horse”. The Silver Maggies appear Friday evening October 25th at The Brick, sharing the stage with Starhaven Rounders and Amy Farrand.  

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Up To Date
3:11 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Local Listen: The Jorge Arana Trio

The Jorge Arana Trio offers an energetic and eclectic fusion of jazz, rock and funk that has gotten the attention of music lovers throughout Kansas City as a result of their take-no-prisoners live shows. 

In today's Local Listen, we hear Bitter Era from their most recent album, "Mapache."

You can catch the Trio on Sunday October 20 at The Riot Room and November 1 at the Czar Bar.

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