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The 'last waltz' of a Kansas City blues festival

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Kansas City has long held a reputation as a center of blues music and culture. But as elder musicians pass away, one Kansas blues festival appears to have reached its conclusion. Plus, Kansas City's first bicycle collective has transformed junk into reliable rides for 15 years.

The Kansas City, Kansas, Street Blues Festival was created as a place for a small group of influential blues artists from northeast Kansas City, Kansas, to share their music with their community. Now, however, so many of these artists have died that the event organizer doesn’t believe he’ll be able to continue the festival. KCUR's Zach Perez visited with blues enthusiasts ahead of this year's festival — which could be the last.

A few steps away from Martini Corner and historic Union Hill, the 816 Bike Collective is building a community one refurbished bike at a time. As KCUR’s Lawrence Brooks IV reports, Kansas City’s first community-based bicycle shop is celebrating their 15 year anniversary.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love and KCUR Studios and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.

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As culture editor, I oversee KCUR’s coverage of race, culture, the arts, food and sports. I work with reporters to make sure our stories reflect the fullest view of the place we call home, so listeners and readers feel primed to explore the places, projects and people who make up a vibrant Kansas City. Email me at luke@kcur.org.
As an on-demand producer, I am focused on using my skills and experiences across multiple digital applications, platforms and media fields to create community focused audio, video and on-demand products for KCUR Studios. The media that I produce aims to inform, entertain and connect with the Kansas City metro area as we continue to learn from each other. Email me at byronlove@kcur.org.
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