Tuesday, November 12, 2013

KCK Public Library to present "Memories of Ahmad Alaadeen"

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- Kansas City, Kansas Public Library will be presenting Memories of Ahmad Alaadeen, featuring Fanny Alaadeen with a performance by The Young 21ers.

Fanny Alaadeen will be reading from her new book, The Heartbeat Next to My Heartbeat.  Copies will be available for purchase and signing.

The late Ahmad Alaadeen, a skilled musician and Kansas City native, made a major impact on the Kansas City jazz scene.

He debuted as a professional with the Leo E. Davis concert band at age 14.  He also played with Jay McShann, Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, The Count Basie Orchestra, and many, many others.  In addition to being a performer, he also taught jazz both in the school system and privately.  He has won numerous awards, including Kansas City’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

In 2000, in a United States Congressional Record he was recognized by the U.S. House of Representatives for his contributions to his community’s understanding of jazz heritage.  In 2002, he was issued a Proclamation from the Office of the Governor, State of Missouri for outstanding achievements in the art form of jazz.

Fanny Alaadeen is the widow and former manager of Alaadeen.  The two met in 1987 when she approached him at one of his concerts to ask for saxophone teacher recommendations.

He offered to teach her himself.  They worked together, became friends, and fell in love.  They were together for 24 years before his death from cancer in 2010.

The Heartbeat Next to My Heartbeat was written as her way of grieving his passing.  The book of poems and essays explores their romance and the devastation of losing the love of her life.

Following Ms. Alaadeen’s reading, there will be a performance by bass player Seth Lee and The Young 21ers.  The group members were protégés of Alaadeen and often played with him.

The reading and concert will take place at the Kansas City, Kansas Public Library’s Main Library branch on November 17 at 3:00pm.  Kansas City, Kansas Public Library is hosting Fanny Alaadeen and The Young 21ers as part of Bop in the Dotte, a celebration of Kansas City jazz and culture.

Library branches will be hosting special jazz themed programs, including book clubs, book signings, movies, food tastings, and concerts.

For a complete calendar of the programs, visit www.kckpl.org.