Monday, April 23, 2012

Basic competition, jazz cabaret, Lisa Henry highlight Jazz Summit


The best vocal and instrumental jazz music both past and present Kansas City Kansas Community College has to offer will conclude the 2nd Annual Kansas City Jazz Summit April 23-27.

The finals of the Kansas City Jazz Heritage “Basically Basie” Competition will be held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday followed by the KCKCC Vocal Jazz Cabaret at 6:30 p.m. and a concert by jazz legend and former KCKCC student Lisa Henry Friday at 7 p.m.

The Summit will begin with a Big Band Extravaganza Monday night, a concert featuring KCKCC jazz combos and the Latin Band Tuesday night and a free rehearsal Wednesday night. In addition, middle and high schools jazz bands and ensembles will be performing during the day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the Performing Arts Center on the KCKCC campus at 7250 State Avenue.

The only competition will come Thursday afternoon when the winner of the “Basically Basie” competition will be selected by a vote of the audience via text on their mobile phones.  “To my knowledge, this is a first in the world of jazz,” said Jim Mair, KCKCC Director of Jazz Music and Summit organizer. 

The annual KCKCC  Jazz Cabaret will be held from 6:30-9 p.m. in the Jewell Center and feature the best of KCKCC vocal music including the Chamber and Concert choirs, jazz soloists and ensembles along with a lasagna dinner served by Grandma’s Catering. “All of the ensembles will be performing new music and the finale will be a set of Michael Jackson tunes,” said John Stafford II, Director of Choral Music. Dinner tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for children and can be reserved by contacting Stafford at 913-288-7137 or Standing room tickets will also be available for $8.

Lisa Henry will be joined by the Kansas City Jazz Quintet Friday at 7 p.m.  A former KCKCC student who was mentored by Kansas City jazz great Everette Devan, Henry has performed with numerous jazz legends including Herbie Hancock, Rosemary Clooney, Claude (Fiddler) Williams and Lou Rawls. In addition, she has performed in more than a dozen countries in Africa and South America as well as countless local and national jazz festivals.  The schedule:

MONDAY – A Big Band Extravaganza featuring the KCKCC Jazz Ensemble and the New Vintage Big Band at 7 p.m. No admission but donations will be accepted.

TUESDAY – Combo Night featuring KCKCC jazz combos directed by Mair and the Latin Band directed by Jurgen Welge. Admission is $5.

WEDNESDAY – Middle school, high school and college jazz bands and combos will be performing from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Performing Art Center. In addition,  Lisa Henry and the Kansas City Jazz Quintet will hold an open rehearsal at 7 p.m. There is no charge for either event.

THURSDAY – Count Basie Competition for middle and high school bands will start at  9 a.m. and will conclude at 5:30 p.m. with “Basically Basie” competition finale in which members of the audience will be able to text their votes for their favorite band.

Thursday evening will be highlighted by KCKCC’s annual Jazz Cabaret to be held in the lower level of the Jewell Center starting at 6:30 p.m. Featuring a host of talented vocal soloists, ensembles and jazz choirs directed by John Stafford II, a buffet dinner will also be served. The cost for dinner is $12 for adults and $5 for children. Standing room tickets are $8.

FRIDAY – Final performances by middle and high school jazz groups and community college jazz bands, choirs and combos will be held from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. There is no charge.

The Jazz Summit will wrap up with a performance by Lisa Henry and the Kansas City Jazz Quintet at 7 p.m. Directed by Mair, the quintet features Hermon Mehari on trumpet; Charles Williams, piano; James Albright, bass; Michael Warren, drums; and Mair on saxophone. The cost is $5.

The Summit is sponsored by the Kansas City Jazz Alliance, an organization formed to fund the annual KCKCC Jazz Camp, the High School All-Star program and the Jazz Summit. Other sponsors include the KCKCC Music Club, Intercultural Center and Endowment Association.