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JALC Hosts Kansas City Festival to Inaugurate New Season

Kicking off Jazz at Lincoln Center’s (JALC) 2005-2006 season will be a festival dedicated to everything Kansas City: jazz, blues and barbeque. The Kansas City Festival, which will take place from Sept. 22-25, will commence with a performance by the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and special guest saxophonist and flutist Frank Wess. Titled Kansas City: K.C. and the Count, the performance will take place all three days in JALC’s Rose Theater. The Sept. 24 performance will also be broadcast live on WBGO at 8 p.m. EST in the New York City area and KCUR in the Kansas City area at 7 p.m. CST. XM Satellite Radio will also broadcast the concert on select channels.

The festival will also feature Bobby Watson’s Boogie-Woogie Jump Band and the Julliard Jazz Orchestra all three nights and a Jazz 101 class titled “Kansas City is Swing Territory,” led by executive director of the Harlem Jazz Museum Loren Schoenberg from Sept. 21-Nov. 8.

Kansas City will even export its very own barbeque to New York for the festival when Jack Stack BBQ, voted the best barbeque in Kansas City by Zagat, takes over JALC’s atrium.

The complete schedule of Kansas City Festival events is as follows:

  • Kansas City: K.C. and The Count
    Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis featuring guest artist Frank Wess, Thursday-Saturday, September 22, 23 & 24, Rose Theater, 8 p.m.

    The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis performs the music of influential Kansas City jazz musicians, particularly the legendary Count Basie and his spare signature piano style. Saxophonist Frank Wess, who played in Count Basie’s big band, joins the orchestra to play some of the best of Kansas City’s boogie-woogie jazz. This special Kansas City show integrates new talent inspired by rich tradition. Tickets: $30, $50, $75, $100, $130
  • Kansas City: K.C. Boogie-Woogie
    Bobby Watson’s Boogie-Woogie Jump Band and the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra

    Thursday-Saturday, September 22, 23 & 24, The Allen Room, 7:30 p.m.

    Saxophonist and bandleader Bobby Watson and the Julliard Jazz Orchestra (celebrating its centennial) come together to perform some of the best of Kansas City’s boogie-woogie jazz. Bobby Watson’s Boogie-Woogie Jump Band brings these swingin’ sounds and this distinctive Kansas City style–famed for its percussive piano sound–to The Allen Room. Tickets: $40, $75, $130
  • Jazz 101: Kansas City: Swing Territory with Loren Schoenberg, Executive Director of the Harlem Jazz Museum and Grammy Winning Writer
    Wednesdays from September 21-November 8, Edward John Noble Foundation Studio, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

    Take a trip to Kansas City without ever leaving Frederick P. Rose Hall. This class will provide insight to the first city celebrated in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s season “Jazz from Coast to Coast” and the musicians that were responsible for the unique Kansas City sound. Registration fee: $240
  • Basie, Blues & Beyond: Karrin Allyson, Nancy King & Friends
    September 22, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola , 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

    As part of the Diet Coke Women in Jazz Festival, Kansas City native Karrin Allyson join other spectacular women onstage during this celebration of the great contributions women performers have made to jazz music. $30 cover charge.
  • Smokestack Lightning Adventures in the Heart of Barbecue Country by Lolis Eric Elie, Photographs by Frank Stewart, Book Signing by Frank Stewart
    Thursday, Sept. 22, Atrium, 6 p.m.

    Photographer Frank Stewart signs copies of this book on restaurants and barbecue joints around the country, stirred together with legends and bits and pieces of barbecue history.
  • Celebrating Bird and Kansas City Jazz with Charles McPherson
    Friday-Sunday, September 23-25, Jazz Standard at 116 E. 27th St., NY, New York, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., with an additional 11:30 p.m. set on Friday and Saturday.

    In conjunction with Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Kansas City Festival, Jazz Standard presents veteran alto saxophonist Charles McPherson in four gala evenings dedicated to one of the city’s most legendary jazz scions. Born August 29, 1920 in Kansas City, Charlie “Yardbird” Parker found his first professional gig there in 1937, when he joined pianist Jay McShann’s band on alto sax…and the rest, as they say, is jazz history. Music Charge: $30 Friday & Saturday / $25 Sunday

    Tickets can be purchased at or by calling Jazz Standard at 212-576-2232.
  • Jazz Battle faturing guest jazz musicians
    Saturday, September 24, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, 1 p.m., 2 p.m. and 3 p.m.

    Free to the public and to jazz lovers of all ages, this battle features some of today’s top jazz soloists, duking it out in the hottest jazz club in the city. Admission is free and on a first come, first served basis.
  • Valaida by Candace Allen Book Signing
    Saturday, September 24, Borders at the Time Warner Center at Columbus Circle, 2 p.m.

    Author Candace Allen will be on hand to sign her first novel, Valaida, an exploration of ’20s and ’30s trumpeter Valaida Snow, her work and the taboos associated with women playing trumpets.
  • Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop A History By Frank Driggs and Chuck Haddix Book Signing by Frank Driggs

    Frank Driggs and Chuck Haddix signs copies of their book that tell all the tales of an under-appreciated scene. The authors capture the spirit and soul of the golden age of Kansas City jazz, from ragtime to bebop and from Bennie Moten to Charlie Parker.

More information and tickets are available at

Originally Published