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Upcoming events

MainStage series

the future
featuring lee Langston and eboni fondren

Friday, February 24, 2023, 8:00 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Jazz is a conversation best shared warmly: from those who have spent a lifetime working and developing their craft shared with those who hunger for the knowledge to take the music forward. Since Mary Lou Williams sat down at the piano with a young Dizzy Gillespie, jazz education has endured and matured to one of the most enriching opportunities for young people, whether they play or just want to listen. The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra embraces the future of the music through performance and education, and this concert is wholly built upon that tenet as we fill the Kauffman Center with learners of all ages. 

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the root

Saturday, April 29, 2023, 8:00 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

The root of jazz lies in another great Black American art form: the blues. But the relationship that Kansas City jazz has with the blues is unique, maintaining a strong association throughout the past century. From Mary Lou Williams (who brought the sound of Memphis along with her) to Charlie Parker (who developed his own bebop variation of the standard twelve-bar blues) to Bobby Watson and beyond, Kansas City jazz musicians have embodied this tradition in a hollistic, yet continually contemporary style. For this concert, we will be exploring these deep ties to celebrate and honor the root of the genre.     

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