April is Jazz Appreciation Month, You can find jazz playing almost every day in Kansas City, notably at the 18th & Vine District, home of the American Jazz Museum. KC jazz-specific calendars are maintained by Plastic Sax and Jazz Near You. Local jazzman Chris Burnett has listed six ways you can appreciate jazz. Listen to this uniquely American art form today!
NEA Jazz Master and three-time GRAMMY® Award winning pianist Ramsey Lewis has been an iconic leader in the contemporary jazz movement for more than 50 years. He brings the sound of the Chicago jazz scene to a special concert commemorating the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the Gem Theatre on Jan. 14, 2017. Perhaps best known for his career-defining Sun Goddess album released in 1974, Lewis was also the long-time disc jockey of the nationally-broadcast Legends of Jazz radio program. He has recorded nearly 80 albums and has collaborated with groups ranging from Earth, Wind, and Fire to the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets are $45 and available through the American Jazz Museum or Ticketmaster.
This year’s Folly Jazz Series will have concerts from Robert Glasper, the Cyrus Chestnut Trio featuring Warren Wolf, Eliane Elias, and the Donny McCaslin Trio.
Other events of note:
Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner has been named the Executive Director of the American Jazz Museum. Buckner is a seasoned nonprofit leader who has garnered numerous awards and recognition for her work, and accepts the position following a 25-year career with the Kansas City Public Library. The American Jazz Museum, located in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District, hosts thousands of students, scholars, musicians and fans of the arts for more than 200 performances, education programs, special exhibitions, community events and each year. In January 1996, the City Council passed an $18 million investment in Kansas City’s Jazz District, including $1.3 million for the Jazz Museum to make improvements to exhibits, the Jay McShann Pavilion on the museum’s north side, and the Blue Room.