Music

This week on 12th Street Jump we celebrated the birthday of Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter, with our special guest Millage Gilbert as the Blues take center stage.

The iconic American folk and blues musician, Lead Belly was considered the "King of the 12-string guitar" but he also played the piano, accordion, mandolin, harmonica and violin in some recordings.

 

Ring in 2012 & celebrate the birthday of tenor saxman James Carter on 12th Street Jump, public radio's weekly jazz, blues and comedy jam, Saturday at midnight on KCUR.

Singer Myra Taylor was one of the last living links to Kansas City's jazz heyday of the 1930s. Taylor died Friday, December 9, 2011 at the age of 94.

According to The Kansas City Star:

Taylor had been under hospice care at the Swope Ridge Geriatric Center, 5900 Swope Parkway, for more than three months, said her manager, Dawayne Gilley. Her final performance was July 24 at Jardine’s, 4536 Main St., where she performed with the Wild Women of Kansas City, a jazz vocal quartet.

    

In the jazz world, making it big isn't what it used to be. Record sales are down, instrumentals don't make hit songs, and even Grammy-winners need day jobs. But for those with the right combination of talent, dedication and luck, it's still possible to make a living and good music.

Kansas City, MO – The day after Thanksgiving, Americans will be encouraged to sit down to record a conversation with a loved one. It's part of a project by NPR's StoryCorps called National Day of Listening. KCUR is playing stories recorded 3 years ago when StoryCorps visited Kansas City.

Longtime friends and jazz musicians Horace Washington and Garland Smith stopped by the Mutual Musicians Foundation to talk about memorable moments.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

The Top of the Bottoms Social Aide Pleasure Society's Dirty Force Brass Knuckle Street Band and Soul Revue, or simply Dirty Force, has gained a reputation for arriving unannounced.

But each year on Mardi Gras, the New Orleans-style brass band gathers on Kansas City's West Side to mark the festivities with an early morning march.

Listen here to the February 23, 2009 Walt Bodine Show about Kansas City's Mardi Gras traditions.

Saxophonist and composer Ahmad Shahid Alaadeen, talks about his new album "New Africa Suite." He spoke with KCUR's Lee Ingalls.

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