Upcoming events

MainStage series

riff generation

special events

jazzworks

Third Fridays featuring
Kcjo5

Friday, August 19, 8:00 p.m.
The Black Box in the West Bottoms
(1060 Union St., KCMO)

Join the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra for the last concert of our 2022 Black Box Summer Series, featuring KCJO5! 

This all-star quintet comprised of Kansas City Jazz Orchestra Big Band members features David Chael on alto sax, Artistic Director Clint Ashlock on trumpet, Charles Williams on piano, James Albright on bass and John Kizilarmut on drums. You won't want to miss this!

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riff generation

Friday, September 9, 7:00 p.m.
Medallion Theater, Plexpod Westport Commons

Riff Generation creates new, original jazz, all while remaining deeply rooted in the Kansas City "riff" based improvisatory tradition,  from some of the best and most innovative musicians on our local scene, including John Kizilarmut, Kelley Gant, Lawrence Jackson, and more.

If you're on the hunt for fresh, innovative jazz, you don't want to miss this. Our new, ten-piece ensemble is a collaborative effort of new tunes and daring improvisations - empathetic and generative, spirited new jazz. 

Children 12 and under get in free with the purchase of an adult ticket! 

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the horn featuring Sean jones

Friday, September 30, 8:00 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

From the moments Buddy Bolden and Louis Armstrong released their golden, burnished tones into the world, jazz music has in large part developed through the clarion call of wind instruments. In modern music, there is no more essential practitioner of the brass arts than trumpeter Sean Jones, our guest for this concert. From intimate whispers to spirited shouts, Mr. Jones will evoke the previous masters of the craft through his own inimitable voice.

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riff generation

Friday, October 7, 7:00 p.m.
Medallion Theater, Plexpod Westport Commons

Riff Generation creates new, original jazz, all while remaining deeply rooted in the Kansas City "riff" based improvisatory tradition,  from some of the best and most innovative musicians on our local scene, including John Kizilarmut, Kelley Gant, Lawrence Jackson, and more.

If you're on the hunt for fresh, innovative jazz, you don't want to miss this. Our new, ten-piece ensemble is a collaborative effort of new tunes and daring improvisations - empathetic and generative, spirited new jazz. 

Children 12 and under get in free with the purchase of an adult ticket! 

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Folly jazz series: New York voices with the kansas city jazz orchestra

Friday, October 14, 8:00 p.m.
The Folly Theater

Join the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, along with the New York Voices as we kick off the 41st Folly Jazz Series! 

About New York Voices: “It’s certainly not something that occurred to us when we were thinking about starting a band in 1988,” says Darmon Meader, musical director and tenor singer of New York Voices, about the seminal vocal ensemble’s 30th anniversary. “But the band has a momentum of its own—it has a life now.” Indeed, that momentum and life force has a firm grip on Meader and his bandmates, baritone Peter Eldridge and dual sopranos Lauren Kinhan and Kim Nazarian. Each has a separate and busy career of his or her own, working as a soloist and educator in the jazz vocal world, but each makes New York Voices their top priority.

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sale soon!

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battle of the big bands
with Hanover big band (Germany)

Friday, October 21, 8:00 p.m.
Yardley Hall, Midwest Trust Center 

Celebrate the reunion of Kansas City Jazz Orchestra and Hanover Big Band with their return to Kansas City for another joyful collaboration, and join us for a thrilling display of jazz virtuosity in this battle of the big bands!

About Hanover Big Band: The Hanover Big Band incorporates all styles of big band jazz. Their joy in playing always reaches the hearts and legs of their audience. The soloistic freedom of the arrangements showcases the charisma and excellence of their musicians. Their repertoire includes original arrangements by Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman and Woody Herman, as well as contemporary compositions and arrangements.

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sale soon!

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riff generation

Friday, November 4, 7:00 p.m.
Medallion Theater, Plexpod Westport Commons

Riff Generation creates new, original jazz, all while remaining deeply rooted in the Kansas City "riff" based improvisatory tradition,  from some of the best and most innovative musicians on our local scene, including John Kizilarmut, Kelley Gant, Lawrence Jackson, and more.

If you're on the hunt for fresh, innovative jazz, you don't want to miss this. Our new, ten-piece ensemble is a collaborative effort of new tunes and daring improvisations - empathetic and generative, spirited new jazz. 

Children 12 and under get in free with the purchase of an adult ticket! 

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the voice featuring Deborah brown

Thursday, November 10, 7:00 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

One of the hallmarks of jazz through the ages has been great artists sharing their stories, emotions, and perspective through music. Of all the rhythm, harmony, and melody in jazz, it is the human voice that consistently resonates in our ears and heart. Deborah Brown is one of the treasures in the music world; a pure master of her craft, and a consummate artist and storyteller. Her voice invites all of us to share in the human experience. 

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the family
featuring Lonnie and Chloe McFadden

Tuesday, December 6, 7:00 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Jazz is often portrayed as a family tree, with branches running from folks like Bessie Smith to Charlie Parker to Herbie Hancock, intertwining here and there throughout the history of the music. Sometimes, though, we are blessed with generations of artists, talent and love for the music passed down from season to season. In Kansas City, one such legacy of royalty exists in the phenomenal McFaddens. Sharing their story are Lonnie and Chloe, inviting us all to a veritable holiday dinner where everyone is welcome. 

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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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