Swing one out to the heavens as we add a gospel flavor for some of the most soulful tunes of all time! Join KCJO for an evening you won't soon forget. The spirits of Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and more will be filling Helzberg Hall as KCJO adds a gospel choir to bolster our ranks for the first time ever, not to mention dynamic keyboardist Aaron Mayfield! You won’t want to miss this historic evening of tunes that will liven up the whole congregation.
Featuring music from Bird’s most iconic album, Charlie Parker With Strings, as well as numerous other Parker classics such as “Yardbird Suite,” “Donna Lee,” and his favorite standards such as, “What Is This Thing Called Love” and “Night and Day,” this concert will honor the musical genius of one of Kansas City’s most influential figures.
Celebrating 100 Years of Charlie Parker
Soulful and Swinging Holiday Favorites
Tunes you know and love presented in the inimitable Kansas City style. Our city’s rich heritage of blues and jazz inspires the most toe-tapping, heart-stopping renditions of “White Christmas,” “Frosty the Snowman,” and Elvis’ classic, “Blue Christmas!” Ranging from burning Basie to the deepest gutbucket slow drags, KCJO will deliver the whole spectrum this holiday season!
The Music of Mary Lou Williams
One of the greatest figures in jazz history, Mary Lou Williams was an absolute innovator and iconoclast. Getting her start with Andy Kirk’s Clouds of Joy in 1929 Kansas City. Along with favorites such as “Walkin’ and Swingin’” and “Mary’s Idea,” KCJO will be playing a brand new arrangement of Mary Lou’s “Zodiac Suite,” a nearly lost suite based on each sign in the zodiac. Please join us in celebrating Women in Jazz Month with the music of Mary Lou!
The Roaring 20s
“If you want to see some sin, forget Paris. Go to Kansas City.” Edward R. Murrow’s quote reflecting on the wide-open reputation of our little frontier town is brought to life as the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra brings to the stage some of the great tunes of the Pendergast era. Think Benny Moten, the Coon Sanders Nighthawks, Jay McShann, Count Basie, and more. This is the period when Kansas City musicians would completely alter the way music was played, and we want to revisit it with you!