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Up To Date

Jazz Musician David Basse

Who’s the king of KC Jazz?

The question may be up for debate, butDavid Basse stands as a strong contender. With a long list of recordings and performances to his name, the exuberant, soulful musician has both the critical praise and the chops to claim the KC crown.

On Friday's episode of Up to Date, David Basse joins us in studio to share his exploration of Kansas City jazz, as well as his new recording, “Uptown,” due for release this August.

David Basse's resonant voice is a signature of Kansas City's swingin' jazz and blues sound. Swedish critic Kaber Liden called him "The unbelievable combination of Mel Torme, Jon Hendricks, and Al Jarreau." Pitch Magazine named him Best Male Vocalist, stating "The winking gris gris of Dr. John, the ecstasy of Ray Charles, Basse adds a unique twist to his phrasing that makes him more than the sum of his influences." David is a tireless and prolific one man promotional machine for the sound of Kansas City. He performed at the 2011 opening of the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and plans to return with Bobby Watson and the Kansas City Symphony in February 2013 for an exclusively-written tribute for jazz orchestra. A new video featuring David’s voice went viral on YouTube. A member of the Kansas Arts Commission, Ingram’s Magazine named Basse one of the 50 people to know in Kansas. He produces and hosts jazz programming for KPR, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters Station of the Year. He spoke with Scott Simon on NPR & KC Studio’s cover story on 12th Street Jump radio program; of which Basse is a founding member, celebrating public radio's weekly jazz, blues, and comedy jam. Producers of A&E's City Confidential filmed David Basse; he appeared with Dr. Billy Taylor on CBS Sunday Morning, and Barbeque America on PBS. With hundreds of recordings and appearances to his credit, David has shared the spotlight with the greats of jazz including Jay McShann, Les McCann, and Phil Woods. Performances include the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Jazz Aspen-Snowmass, Wolf Trap, Harrods in London, The Playboy Jazz Festival, Palacio De Congressi in Switzerland, Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, 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. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
Stephen Steigman is director of Classical KC. You can email him at Stephen.Steigman@classicalkc.org.