Friday, October 02, 2015

a night at the kcjo cotton club

space ~ Helzberg Hall of Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, MO 64108, USA
The Cotton Club was at the epicenter of jazz creativity and fame during the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and ‘30s.  It produced some of the greatest names in music and show business, legends such as Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson, Cab Calloway, Fletcher Henderson and scores of others.

The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra opened their season with a tribute to this era, and a sold-out house in Helzberg Hall of Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The 17-piece orchestra presented “A Night at the Cotton Club,” with classic swing arrangements and a few variations of tunes like “Rockin In Rhythm,” “Stormy Weather,” “Echoes Of Harlem,” “Stardust.” “Minnie The Moocher,” “Creole Love Call,” and many others.

A backdrop displayed various images from the era, and a few different guests shared the stage.  Local educator Herman Mehari sat in as a guest trumpet, blasting out some good solo runs on a song or two.    Showing off dance moves of days past, the 627 Dancers had an incredible amount of energy, twirling around the stage.  They were a lot of fun to watch, and it is too bad that the show was not in a real dance hall.  I suspect there would have been a lot of folks up moving and grooving.

All in all, it was great way to kick off the opening season for The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, and we look forward to their upcoming events.  There is really only the one photograph of the night, and of course the little collage of video snippets on the YouTube.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

fire spinning submission

Since last we spoke, I have managed to restore October 2002.  I did not have a chance to say much about August and September when those were posted back to back last month.  They were no less interesting than the previous months.

August kicked off with a new monthly at Balanca's Pyro Room featuring local talent from the Techno Justice League.  There was another House Party, a BBQ and a trip to the Empire Room for a peek in on DJ Mike Scott's night.  A couple of big events went off in Lawrence, courtesy of Project Groove and then a little backstreet boogie to send DJ Booth & DJ Nitro on their way to St Louis. The event of the month was Prodo-1 put on at a dirty little spot on Guinotte by Cosmic Space Entertainment and XL KlubKnights; aside from the DJ talent, the feature of the night being a Live Firedancer performance by Wildfire Entertainment Chicago.

September started with an awesome little Labor Day party at The Empire Room.  A few folks celebrated their birthdays along the way; DJ Sydeburnz of Syde-Sho fame and bPostive, columnist for this site and for a physical street publication of her own that ran before all the interweb business became all the rage.  I dropped in on Wednesday Perk for a little midweek chill session, and there was a Monday back at Club Evos for an event re-titled to "Universal Love Underground."  The highlight of the month was a little gig out at a new spot, the Jackson County Conference Center. DownPlay International and Project Groove brought Shiva to Endless Summer:02.

The month ended with the introduction of a new element to the photographic lineup, Submission.  The series is a portrait of a completely different sort of underground lifestyle and performance art within Kansas City over the next two years.  It was a good lead in for October and a month of costumed affairs in honor of Halloween.

A little birthday event in Lawrence got October off to a bangin start, I dropped in on Davey's Uptown for a couple of different Industrial Area band events, their Monday night Evolution and met up with the Dark Diva at her Halloween Party down at Bender's. We dropped in on a Grand Opening event at the Red Room on the Plaza, and later in the week, Jilly's on Broadway for some House music.  Grab Recordings hosted a record release party featuring Tim Harper out of Chicago and Daddy aka Jazmin from Chicago.

Halloween exploded at Phreakz!, which featured Josh "The Funky 1" and Ugly Bill aka Peacemaker.  It was a full on costume rave, back out at the Conference Center.  It was a night to remember, all night long.  Fortunately, it was early enough in the month, since I spent Halloween in New Orleans.  I lucky enough to catch a rare performance by the Creatures of Habit before the city descended too much farther into the chaos of Halloween.  It is not quite so much so as Mardi Gras, but a close third.  While wandering the streets of the French Quarter photographing does not really qualify as an "event."  Halloween in New Orleans is an even unto itself.  The evening included a stop in at an event at the State Palace Theater entitled The Dark Coalition:  The Grand Gala of the Nocturnal By Nature.  I dropped in early to check out Myself, whom I had heard previously and talked to a bit online.  They put on quite a good performance of mixing and live brass.

November 2002 is coming soon.  Search or visit the Story Archive to access photos and/or video of events through October 2002 and 2013 through current.  Stay tuned for future updates.  You can always check the site tag for the latest information on changes to the site, or the backstory tag for previous commentary.

Did you photograph prior to December 2001?  Are you interesting in sharing your photos and thoughts about those times.  Get in touch.  Leave a Reply.  We want your stories...

Sunday, September 13, 2015

kc chalk and walk festival 2015

space ~ Crown Center Fountain, Kansas City, MO, USA
We took a walk down to KC Chalk and Walk Festival at Crown Center, hoping to see the promised focus on 3-D images. Sixteen blocks later Saturday, we discovered they were incomplete; that is, for the featured work.  A few of the other displays were complete; most of them were still in progress. The central theme appeared to be video games.

Houston-based muralist and chalk artist Anat Ronen was among the featured guests, along with 100 other artists showcased in the area around the Crown Square Fountain. Hundreds of kids and adults also left their mark on the event in a massive free-draw area.  A couple of food trucks kept everyone fed, and both days were perfect for those participating and viewing.

Returning Sunday near the end of the day, the featured works were complete.  I even found one that kind of looked like local House Music legend DJ Pat Nice.  I asked the artist about the similarity, but she pointed me to another guy that was the model for the painting.  He didn't look much like Pat.

Access Photos from This Event

Saturday, September 12, 2015

sounds of summer tour 2015 kc

space ~ Sandstone Amphitheater, 633 N 130th St, Bonner Springs, KS 66012, USA
The Sounds of Summer Tour, featuring platinum selling country music singer and songwriter Dierks Bentley, stopped in on Kansas City in support of his latest full-length album.  The North American tour opened in North Carolina in January with a supporting cast of up-and-coming talent Kip Moore, Maddie & Tae, and Canaan Smith.  Bentley said that these three acts "are three of the hottest rising artists out there right now" and he feels "fortunate to be spending the summer with them."

The Kansas City show was a near sell-out, with most folks having purchased tickets to the event in January as part of the Live Nation's Country Megaticket.  A few expressed disappointment in this particular event, citing a generally drunken and rowdy sort of crowd, with beer showers for the unsuspecting.

Access Photos from This Event and/or the YouTube montage below...


Saturday, September 05, 2015

imagine that band

space ~ Spring Park Amphitheater, Heber Springs, AR, USA
While on a fishing expedition in Arkansas, a friend and I wandered across this random event.  Actually, to be perfectly honest, it was somewhat planned.  We had been at Mack's Fish House the night before, and a few of the members of the band were putting on a little show.  The guitarist was on point, and the vocalist had a very fine voice indeed.  There were a couple of other vocalists that sat in too, and they were good, almost the same quality.   After one of their sets, they indicated that they were playing down at the park amphitheater the next night.  We knew of it and planned to drop by anyway, but this little show convinced us to stop in for a moment.

That was about as long as we stayed though.  We had been out kayaking and fishing all day and exhaustion got the better of us.  We dropped in for about three or four tunes, which were mostly covers of 80s pop rock tunes.  It likely turned into a good crowd.  Another girl out of Nashville was going on at 830 pm, and folks were continuing to show up as we were leaving.

The Spring Park Amphitheater is a nice little spot too.  Right in the middle of town, it seats a few hundred, and the surrounding hillside terraced three or four times over.  Folks can sit little bit of everywhere.  You could probably squeeze a couple of thousand around the area easily. Inside the amphitheater seemed louder, with the rock wall at the back reflecting a lot of the sound.  It is very likely that the more folks packed inside, the better the sound.

Photos below are from the show that night, video found on the YouTube...