Kansas City’s jazz community mourns the sudden loss of performer Ronald McFadden
McFadden, was one-half of the internationally known McFadden Brothers. He died, passed unexpectedly after a performance with his brother Lonnie McFadden at the Loews Hotel in downtown Kansas City.
Kansas City lost one of its best-known jazz stars when Ronald McFadden died on Monday. As part of the Kansas City jazz duo the McFadden Brothers, he was known for his performances with his brother, Lonnie McFadden, where he sang, tap danced and played the saxophone.
McFadden's death, after a performance at the Loews Hotel with his brother Lonnie on Monday, stunned Greg Carroll, a vibraphonist, former chief executive officer of the American Jazz Museum and leader of Kansas City Jazz Alive. He said he couldn't believe the news and it gave him a numb feeling.
"I thought Ronald was fine. I even had a chance to watch him do his thing back in October and he seemed to be in great health," Carroll said. "So I just, I couldn't believe it. I had to make several phone calls to see if it was true."
Up To Date host Steve Kraske, who interviewed the McFadden Brothers last year, called the brothers consummate entertainers. Ronald and his brother Lonnie were among the few who performed tap dancing as well as singing and playing instruments.
Carrol said even though Ronald McFadden played the saxophone and sang, Ronald knew his two main instruments were his left foot and his right foot.
Carroll and David Basse, singer and host of the syndicated jazz program “Jazz with David Basse,” joined KCUR's Up To Date to discuss the passing of Ronald McFadden and his influence on Kansas City and jazz.
- David Basse, singer and host of the syndicated jazz program “Jazz with David Basse”
- Greg Carroll, vibraphonist, former chief executive officer of the American Jazz Museum and leader of Kansas City Jazz Alive