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A Kansas City jazz guitarist releases his first album after decades of performing

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Brian Turner
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Courtesy of Ken Lovern
Rod Fleeman playing guitar at the Green Lady Lounge

Rod Fleeman, a mainstay of the Kansas City jazz scene and a longtime sideman, is out with his first album under his own name: "Saturday Afternoon Live at Green Lady Lounge."

Longtime listeners know Rod Fleeman not as a flashy guitarist, but as someone whose playing is tasteful and imaginative.

Fleeman has been a rock of the Kansas City jazz scene for more than 40 years, but always as a sort of a sideman. It wasn't until later in his career when he found more time to write and do original music.

"Well, the pandemic for sure, because I had a lot of time," Fleeman said. "They want live music and original music at the Green Lady Lounge, and John Scott always encouraged that, and now it's been a great thing for me to write more."

That led him to release his first album with the Rod Fleeman Trio, "Saturday Afternoon Live at Green Lady Lounge," in 2022. The group features bassist Gerland Spaits and drummer Todd Strait, with performances recorded live at Kansas City's iconic downtown venue.

Fleeman joined KCUR's Up To Date to discuss his new album, his long career as a jazz musician and future projects.

Fleeman will hold a "Saturday Afternoon Live at Green Lady Lounge" CD release party atGreen Lady Lounge at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 14.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
As an assistant producer on Up To Date, my goal is to amplify voices of people who serve as pioneers in their respective fields while shedding light on issues that affect underserved communities. I produce daily conversations to uplift and inspire the people of the Kansas City area to make the world a better place. You can reach me at reginalddavid@kcur.org.
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