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The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra is honoring the organization's 20 year history with the release of a commemorative book, States of Swing, to celebrate the past and embrace the future of the organization and Kansas City jazz. States of Swing, written by local arts contributor Libby Hanssen, will be released in conjunction with the official album release party for In the Key of KC on Saturday, September 23 at the Kauffman Center, kicking off the 2023-24 Signature Series.


Since 2003, the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra has served as KC’s premiere big band. The organization not only preserves the Kansas City swing style of the 1930s and ‘40s, but defines what the Kansas City sound is in the 21st century. Through performance, education, and outreach, KCJO shares the legacy of KC jazz with the community and the next generations. The Orchestra has performed regionally and internationally, collaborated with world-class talent, and produced critically-acclaimed albums, all while staying true to its hometown roots.  


This volume explores that history, gathered from personal interviews and thousands of documents, giving readers a backstage look at favorite concerts, insight into run-outs and recordings, and sharing the challenges and triumphs of a non-profit performing arts organization dedicated to a unique Kansas City art form. 


About Libby Hanssen:  

Libby Hanssen has been involved in the Kansas City arts scene since 2004. She has written for The Kansas City Star, KCUR 89.3, 91.9 Classical KC, KC Studio, The Pitch, and others. Along with degrees in trombone performance from Ball State School of Music and the UMKC Conservatory, in 2010 she was a Fellow for the National Endowment for the Arts Arts Journalism Institute at Columbia University’s Journalism School. 


Limited edition: ensure your copy by pre-ordering today.

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