15 August 2007

KC Alert: SNUFF, Bird and AJM at 10

Upcoming KC Jazz haps in to note:

Jazz and Beyond series presents SNUFF and Bells - August 25
God (or Whomever) bless those crazy Unitarians. All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church in Kansas City presents the latest in its adventurous Jazz & Beyond series and "An Evening of SNUFF JAZZ" sounds like it could be the most adventurous yet. SNUFF regulars Mark Southerland (aka Shark Motherland), Bill McKemy, Arny Young are promising two sets regular SNUFF. They'll be joined by Jeffrey Ruckma (whom I label a genius), Alonzo Conway and -- get this -- the All Souls Handbell Choir. As a former high school hand bell player, I'm mighty interested.

The show starts at 7:30. No ticket price is listed on the church's site, but previous shows have been $10.


Bird's B-Day - August 26
This nostalgic ramble by former Kansas Citian William B. Smith ran yesterday in the Wall Street Journal. It should serve to remind the greater world that Charlie Parker's birthday (8/29/20) is fast approaching and with it the annual commemorations thereof. Events are planned in New York (both in Harlem and the East Village) and, of course, at Lincoln Cemetery in Blue Summit where Bird's bod is interred. This year's graveside 21-sax salute takes place on Sunday, August 26th at 1 PM. A jam at the Mutual Musicians Foundation follows that evening at 8 PM. A handy map to the cemetery is at webjazz.net.

I just received word today that a new -- and possibly competing -- event is being added to the commemorative mix this year. At 2 PM that same day, a memorial exhibit opens at the Town House Gallery, 7th and State in Kansas City, Kansas, Parker's birthplace. It's being organized by local historian Sonny Gibson. Esteemed local jazz elders Ben Kinard, Frank Patterson and Pearl Thuston will speak. Lee Brown and the Smooth Groove will play.

YouTube bonus: Here's Parker playing with another big name around KC at one time, Coleman Hawkins:

Turning X on the Vine piles on
The American Jazz Museum is adding more events to the roster for it's upcoming 1oth anniversary shindig. The "extravaganza" now starts on September 13 with a symposium on Jazz and Baseball. That same night Bobby Watson hosts KC's first VandoJam National at the Blue Room (that's basically a jam session sponsored by reedmaker Vandoren).

September 14 is a fundraiser concert at the Gem headlined by Patti LaBelle and the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Big Band featuring Jimmy Heath and Slide Hampton. Vocalist Roberta Gambarini is also in the bill. She was recently named a rising star vocalist in Downbeat's annual critics poll. AJM will present a Lifetime Achievement Award to pianist Ellis Marsalis (the father of all those Marsalises you've heard so much bout recently). Tickets for the fundraiser are around $200, so please wave at us peons on your way in.

September 15 is a free day-long street fare with music and food and artists and craftspeople, marching bands, African drummers, two-steppers, fire eaters, jugglers and sacrificial mimes (OK, I made that last one up but a guy can hope).

More info on Turning X on the Vine can be found at the AJM website.

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