Music

Roger Ridpath / Heart of America Shakespeare Festival

The Heart of America Shakespeare Festival begins this weekend and while the play may be the thing, there’s live music too.

During performances of The Winter's Tale, there are three musicians on stage, including resident composer Greg Mackender on percussion and mallets, Sascha Groschang on cello and Laura Parks on violin.

"I left a lot of openings for impromptu types of things," says Mackender. "There are other spots where they can get a little livelier, we can play around a little bit."

Local Listen: David George & A Crooked Mile

Jun 14, 2014

David George is a rock and roll formalist. The Kansas City musician's affinity for tradition was recognized by John Fogerty and George recently toured as a member of Fogerty's band. But, he has returned to the Heartland to write his own music and this edition of Local Listen features a vibrant new composition. Here is David George & A Crooked Mile performing "Shine."

Beth Buchanan / Kansas City Symphony

Singer-songwriter Ben Folds had a strongly worded message for an audience at a sold-out Kansas City Symphony concert at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts this week: "Cities without symphony orchestras are crap."

Ari Moore / Creative Commons, Flickr

The front porch is an American institution. It's an ideal place to wind down with a cool drink on a summer night. But this familiar scene is all-too-easy to take for granted.

On the occasion of Kansas City's inaugural PorchFest, a music festival bringing 70 bands to residential porches, Central Standard takes a look at the history of the American front porch. We also visit with the festival organizer to hear about the bands bringing West Plaza porches to life this weekend.

Guests:

Music, food, and craft beer will jostle for center stage this weekend at Boulevardia, a three-day festival in the West Bottoms of Kansas City, Mo.

More than three dozen brewers from 11 states, from Oregon to Maine, as well as two Belgian breweries, will be on tap to provide samples. And – of course — there will be beer from local favorites in Kansas and Missouri (such as Boulevard Brewing Co., the organizer of the event).

Local Listen: 77 Jefferson

Jun 6, 2014

The summer months are reggae season in Kansas City.  Known for sweet vocals and loping rhythms, Kansas City's 77 Jefferson has been one of the region's most popular purveyors of the Jamaican sound since its inception in 2006.  From the band's most recent album “Rarities Vol. 2” comes the breezy track,"Call On Me".

Courtesy: Analekta

Canadian violinist Angèle Dubeau was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2013. Her latest CD, Blanc, traces the range of emotions during her illness - from anxiety to sadness to hope - with songs by composers such as Dave Brubeck, Mark O'Connor and Cat Stevens.

Local Listen: My Brothers & Sisters

May 23, 2014

Performances by My Brothers & Sisters are a spectacle.  The self-described "14-piece pop orchestra" from Kansas City includes string and horn sections, and a large chorus.  The ambitious project has been documented on "Violet Music: Volume One" a recently-released album that took over a year to record.  This edition of Local Listen features a song that showcases the soulful side of this expansive ensemble.  Here is "How To Move What To Wear".

Hear More: My Brothers & Sisters headline the annual spring dance at Knuckleheads on Saturday, May 31.

Tom Beetz / Flickr-CC

If you're looking for good music this weekend, look no further than Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for May 23-25.

Tony Bennett (pop music legend), 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $70 to $150.

Westport Roots Festival (Billy Joe Shaver and 25 bands), Saturday, indoor music at noon, outdoor at 2 p.m. at the Westport Saloon, 4112 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $28.

Although he's in his early twenties, bassist Dominique Sanders is already a fixture in Kansas City's most prestigious jazz clubs.    Tivon Pennicott, a New York-based saxophonist best known for his work with the Grammy-winning star Esperanza Spalding, will join Sanders' trio at three area venues next week.  Sanders and Pennicott will explore the intersection of jazz and R&B at Broadway Jazz Club, the Blue Room and Take Five Coffee.

Terance Williams / Facebook

When Glenn North read a poem at the grand opening for the American Jazz Museum in 1997, something clicked.

From that moment on, the poet and the museum grew in tandem.  In 2004, North officially joined the museum's staff, establishing a nationally recognized spoken word scene at the museum's Blue Room.

North recently left his post as education manager and poet-in-residence. He plans to finish his master's degree and focus on his poetry.

Upon his departure, Central Standard invited him to sit down for a talk. Among the highlights:

Local Listen: Kantorei Of Kansas City

May 9, 2014

Since 2009 Kantorei of Kansas City has been accentuating the region's reputation as a hotbed of superior classical vocal ensembles.  Kantorei of Kansas City's latest album,“Music and Sweet Poetry, Choral Music by Matthew Harris,” was released by the British record label Resonus Classics on Valentine's Day.  In this edition of Local Listen, we enjoy "Fantasy on La Bamba," a gorgeous but decidedly lighthearted arrangement of the 1958 Ritchie Valens hit "La Bamba".

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The contemporary chamber ensemble, newEar, brings its 21st season to a close with three pieces from the 1970s, 80s and 90s. This including songbirdsongs, written between 1974 and 1980, by Alaskan composer John Luther Adams. Adams recently won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

Photo courtesy of Laura Krzyzanowski.

Musician Don Lipovac, internationally recognized for his prowess on the accordion, will be buried Thursday in Mount Calvary Cemetery in Kansas City, Kan.

The 79-year-old died on April 26.

diversejazz.com

  Kansas City-based jazz band Diverse is mixing it up to combine their smooth sounds with other musical genres.

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk with their trumpeter about those innovations and where they hope to take this new sound mix.

Guest:

  • Hermon Mehari, trumpeter in Diverse and 2014 Charlotte Street Generative Performing Artist Award recipient

Local Listen: Kristie Stremel

Apr 18, 2014

For this Local Listen, we turn to longtime area favorite, Kristie Stremel who has a sure-handed grasp of the dynamic potential in a pop song.  Her single, Cry It All Out, combines a tender voice with a delicate arrangement while kicking up a great big, noisy celebration.  From the album Songwriter here is Kristie and Cry It All Out.

Middle of the Map Fest

 

This year’s Middle of the Map music festival began Thursday night and will continue through Saturday at  locations in and around Westport.

Our “Local Listen” segment focuses on musicians from the Kansas City area that will be sharing the stage with regional and national artists.  

Today, we travel up I-29 a bit and give a listen to one of the newest bands to come out of St. Joseph: Scruffy and the Janitors. Here is “Shake it Off.”

Middle of the Map Fest starts tonight with the music portion in Westport. The festival will continue with forum next weekend and wrap up with film April 16-20. On today's Central Standard, a Middle of the Map Fest co-founder discusses what to expect from local and national musicians in Kansas City this weekend. Plus, KCUR's Laura Ziegler is here with Royals predictions for this week's Tell KCUR.

Guest:

  • Chris Haghirian, co-founder of Middle of the Map Fest
www.middletwin.com

The lineup has been announced for this year’s Middle of the Map music festival.  Running from April 3 to April 5, the festival takes place at various locations in and around Westport in Kansas City.

www.facebook.com/montaatodds

The line-up has been announced for this year’s Middle of the Map music festival, which takes 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.

kcrep.org

Get that spring into your step with Brian McTavish's Weekend To-Do List for March 21-23, 2014.

Lyric Opera of Kansas City: “La Boheme” (Classic opera by Giacomo Puccini), 7:30 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo. Tickets: $90 to $160 

courtesy Maria the Mexican

The band Maria the Mexican describes its sound as Americana soul and Mexicana groove. Sisters Maria and Tess Cuevas got their start in Mariachi Estrella, an all-female mariachi band founded by their grandmother, the late Teresa Cuevas. In 2011, they branched out to form Maria the Mexican, with guitarist Garrett Nordstrom.

schwervon.bandcamp.com

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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)

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.

Guests:

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