Bobby Watson Winterlude at Midwest Trust Center
Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors Blog
by JAM
1M ago
January 15th, 2023, 7:00 pm We are fortunate to have a jazz talent like Bobby Watson in our midst. Bobby helped shape the world of jazz. He is an internationally known star of his chosen instrument, the alto saxophone, which was also Charlie Parker’s chosen instrument. Bobby played Bird’s beloved saxophone on the concert stage with a symphony orchestra. He made that old plastic horn, on display at the American Jazz Museum, with all its faults sound wonderful in front of a packed house. Backstage, a white-gloved Pinkerton guard carefully strolled around with the precious horn as if it was a cr ..read more
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Adam Larson: Driven, With Love
Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors Blog
by JAM
1M ago
It is admirable to meet a musician as focused and hard-working as saxophonist Adam Larson. His vision of releasing 3 major label albums for Outside In Music in only a year’s time is practically unheard of these days. “Adam Larson is one of the most hard-working and incisive tenor saxophonists of his generation. Adam's dedication to the craft and the music is unparalleled. His most recent trio of releases highlights his expansive improvisational acumen bringing to light his many influences from his roots in Chicago, development in New York, and current base of Kansas City.” —Nick Finzer, Found ..read more
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Brant Jester: Kid From Ozark Growing up in Kansas City
Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors Blog
by JAM
1M ago
How did you survive the 2 year COVID Period: During COVID I was still in Springfield, MO. I grew up near Ozark, MO. During that time, I was teaching piano lessons online. Most of my teaching went online. In any given week I was seeing between 15-25 students a week. That was keeping me afloat. Gigs in Springfield were not happening. What are you doing these days on the KC Scene: I moved here in June 2021. I moved up here to try to get on the scene and play gigs. Low and behold and one thing led to another. I found that Carl Allen was heading up the jazz studies at UMKC, so I decided to enroll ..read more
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Hermon Mehari: Asmara
Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors Blog
by JAM
1M ago
Review November 2022 Hermon Mehari’s new album is full of a kind of uncommon grace. It feels like a love letter to his home country, birth country, Eritrea. It probably is. (Asmara is Eritrea’s capital city.) The album opens with a catchy, worldly rhythm on drum. It’s one of grace and restraint, but also lift, as if what was once played with only the hands is now played with sticks. (Gautier Garrigue is on drumset.) “Asmara” is an album of originals, and this seems to be some of Mehari’s finest work to date. His songs seem intimate: wishes, dreams. But they also seem peopled with memory, like ..read more
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A Way Forward Comes From Our Past
Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors Blog
by JAM
1M ago
Practically everything is cyclical. Like the Bobby Watson composition, ‘A Wheel Within A Wheel” everything comes back around. It’s how we renew. It’s how humans move forward. What’s old is new again, and there are beloved events in Kansas City Jazz History that many of us would love to repeat. Let’s do it! As we create a new generation of Kansas City Jazz. After 3 years as Editor of Kansas City’s JAM Magazine, I am honored to have served and ready to step down. To see the beauty that others can create in this space. New ways to do an interactive online issue, or the possibility of a new print ..read more
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Najee Jammin' at the Gem
Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors Blog
by JAM
1M ago
Jammin’ At The Gem 2022-2023 Najee – December 17, 2022 When a beloved concert series disappears in a town the size of Kansas City a major hole is left in the fabric of jazz listening. That is why it is so exciting to hear that the American Jazz Museum has announced the return of their signature series, Jammin’ at the Gem. Opening the 4 concert series on December 17th is a surprising jazz artist. Najee is well aware of our city’s music, he was close to KC icon Ahmad Alaadeen, and Najee was incredibly supportive of Alaadeen’s family and close associates following the saxophonist’s passing on Au ..read more
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Folly Jazz Series: Miguel Zenón
Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors Blog
by JAM
1M ago
Friday January 20th, 2023 “This young musician and composer is at once reestablishing the artistic, cultural, and social tradition of jazz while creating an entirely new jazz language for the 21st century.” — MacArthur Foundation, 2008. The Folly Jazz Series continues on January 20th, 2023, with one on the longest running bands in jazz. This concer t is not to be missed for those who really love the art of group improvisation. Multiple Grammy Nominee and Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón represents a select group of musicians who have masterfully balanced and blended the often cont ..read more
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This Month's Future of Jazz Showcases UMKC Ensemble JAM Award Winners
Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors Blog
by JAM
1M ago
On Wednesday, December 14, the KC Jazz Ambassadors present the UMKC Jazz Ensemble from 7 to 9pm at Johnnie’s Jazz Club, 14th and Main in Downtown Kansas City. During the band’s break, the 2022 JAM Musician Awards will be announced. There’s no cover charge for the concert and awards ceremony; Johnnie’s has a full bar and dining options. “We’ve had a great voter turnout for this year’s favorite KC jazz musicians, clubs and concert hall,” explained KC Jazz Ambassador board member Lynn Abrams. “More than six hundred jazz fans wrote in with their favorite vocalist, sax, guitar, trumpet, keyboard a ..read more
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Brian Baggett Trio—Groovin’ and Swingin’ At Green Lady Lounge CD Review & Interview
Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors Blog
by JAM
3M ago
By Dr. Wayne Goins “When I put the group together, I used the atmosphere of the club to dictate the vibe of the group, letting the room ‘play the band,’ so to speak.” These are the words of guitarist Brian Baggett, whose debut solo album, Groovin’ and Swingin’ At Green Lady Lounge, was recorded in September of 2021 in front of a live audience at the venue. Brian is no stranger to the Lady—he’s there five or six nights a week, playing in his own trio, as well as in OJT with organist Ken Lovern, (he’s played with Ken for more than twenty years) and also as a member of Guitar Elation, with Ken a ..read more
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November Future of Jazz performance Features JCCC Ensemble November 9
Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors Blog
by JAM
3M ago
Wednesday, November 9 brings more fresh new jazz faces to the KC Jazz Ambassador’s monthly concert series at Johnnie’s Jazz Club, 14th and Main Streets in downtown Kansas City. The shows are free, open to the public and feature some of the area’s finest young musical talent from 7-9pm, on the second Wednesday of each month during the school year. Johnson County Community College’s Jazz Ensemble joins the scholarship program at Johnnie’s Jazz Club this month, with Ryan Heinlein, chairman of the music program at JCCC and a popular jazz trombonist and recording artist leading the group. “We’re t ..read more
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