Music | KCUR


Ben Sidran is one of those guys who makes your knees buckle.

Piano player. Singer. Author. Composer. Host of the NPR jazz series “Jazz Alive.” Host of the VH-1 television’s “New Visions” series. Peabody winner. Ace winner. Friend of rock ‘n’ roller Steve Miller. Played in his band. Composer. Producer of recordings by Diana Ross, Van Morrison and Rickie Lee Jones.

alansheaven / Flickr-CC

Kelley Hunt sings across many genres. Part of her heart may be in R&B but it's the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra she'll partner with this week for a Christmas-themed concert.

In the second part of Monday's Up to Date, she joins Steve Kraske to talk about "Christmas with Kelley Hunt" and her Kansas roots.


With the Kansas City area getting a dose of winter weather over the past couple days, perhaps it's time for some music that has a summertime feel.  

The band Akkilles offers a sound that conjures up an afternoon on the beach, toes dug into the sand, and waves gently crashing along the shore.

In Friday's "Local Listen" we hear "Your Only One" from the group's album Something You’d Say.

Band The Latenight Callers describe their sultry, film-noir sound as that of “the house band at a David Lynch pool party.” Their latest album is called Songs for Stolen Moments.

In Friday's Local Listen, we hear “Red Bricks, White Ghosts.”

The Latenight Callers will be paying a midday call to The Record Bar for their first-ever Saturday Brunch, November 16, from noon to 4 p.m. at 1020 Westport Road in Kansas City, Mo.

Duke Ellington: Behind The Jazz

Nov 8, 2013

Duke Ellington's jazzy orchestrations are the stuff of music legends. However, his star power hid a very private life.

In the second part of Friday's Up to Date, Wall Street Journal drama critic and biographer Terry Teachout takes us into the world of Ellington.


The music of The Silver Maggies is a unique blend of gothic country and high desert noir, resulting in a sound that’s dark and lonely... and maybe a little dangerous.   In this week’s local listen, we hear “End of Time” from their album “My Pale Horse”. The Silver Maggies appear Friday evening October 25th at The Brick, sharing the stage with Starhaven Rounders and Amy Farrand.  

The Jorge Arana Trio offers an energetic and eclectic fusion of jazz, rock and funk that has gotten the attention of music lovers throughout Kansas City as a result of their take-no-prisoners live shows. 

In today's Local Listen, we hear Bitter Era from their most recent album, "Mapache."

You can catch the Trio on Sunday October 20 at The Riot Room and November 1 at the Czar Bar.

Todd Zimmer

There is something that strings all these different local bands together… Mr. Marco’s V7, The Grisly Hand, Ernest James Zydeco, Dead Voices. Or rather, someone.

Musician Mike Stover plays in all of these bands and more. Normally when you hear a story about a band you hear from the lead singer or songwriter, the person at the front of the stage. Mike Stover is normally in the back or off to the side, sometimes sitting down, he doesn’t sing, just sticks to the strings.

On the night of The Crossroads Music Festival last month, musician Mike Stover was one especially busy guy.

Katy Guillen and The Girls have only been together for about a year, but it hasn’t taken them long to get noticed: next January they will be representing Kansas City in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.  They’ve just release a new EP called “… and then there were three.”  

In this week's "Local Listen" we hear a track from the album titled “The Race."

 You have a couple chances to hear them live next week: they’ll be at BB’s Lawnside Bar-B-Q on October 17th and at Knuckleheads on the 18th. 

Courtesy / The Gonzalez family

An exhibit opens this weekend at the Kansas City Museum about Lupe Gonzalez, a local musician who became an icon in the Latino community. His name may not be recognizable, and that’s likely because Gonzalez never received national recognition.

Vi Tran is a singer/songwriter who uses his experience as an actor to create music that combines melody with heartfelt expression.  His new album, “American Heroine” plays like a soundtrack to an off-Broadway musical.   

In today's "Local Listen" we hear the title track from the album. The Vi Tran Band will perform at the Kill Devil Club Friday evening, October 4 to celebrate the release "American Heroine." The CD will be in stores on Tuesday October 8.

This week on 12th Street Jump we celebrate the birthday of the great Charlie Parker with our special guest Dan Thomas. We play a game of “Who’s Got the Blues” with Chuck Haddix, and the Sax Therapist helps a Russian couple end the cold war in their bedroom.

Song List:

Yardbird Suite
Scrapple From The Apple
Donna Lee
Parker’s Mood
Billie Bounce


Charlie Parker

This week on 12th Street Jump we celebrate the birthday of Bill Evans with our special guest Michael Pagan. The gang plays “So, What’s Your Question?” to learn a bit more about Bill Evans and we pay homage to the flight attendant gone wild with the “Friggin’ Jet Blues”.

Song List:

Flip, Flop, and Fly
Turn Out the Stars
Whisper Not
We Will Meet Again
You Look Good To Me
Shadow of Your Smile


Bill Evans

On this week’s archive edition of 12th Street Jump we celebrate the birthday of Pat Metheny with our special guest Danny Embrey. Our own Dr Pearl offers up some advice for President Obama and a lesson at Serena's School for Scat has all the politicians listening.

Song List:

Snatch and Grab It
Bright Size Life
Always and Forever
Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
Giant Step
All the Things You Are
Two for the Road


Pat Metheny

 This week on 12th Street Jump we celebrate the birthday of the great Louis Armstrong with our special guest Stan Kessler. A session with Dr. Pearl gets the royal baby started down the right path and Anthony Weiner is such a joke the gang just has to make fun of him.

Song List:

Love Walked In
Hello, Dolly!
Struttin’ With Some Barbecue
Gee Baby Ain’t I Good To You
On The Sunny Side of the Street
Stompin at the Savoy
When the Saints Go Marching In


Louis Armstrong

 This week on 12th Street Jump we celebrate the birthdays of Hank Jones and Eddie Jefferson. We take a call-in from a musician in Erie, PA to find out “Who’s Got the Blues” and the heat wave gets a theme song.

Song List:

Just Squeeze Me
Ruby My Dear
Love Walked In
Now Is the Time
Soft and Furry
Over the Rainbow
You Came a Long Way from St. Louis
Dat Dere
Benny’s from Heaven


Hank Jones

 This week, 12th Street Jump celebrates the birthday of Sonny Boy Williamson with our special guests Tom “Trashmouth” Baker and Sheila Bey. We play “Who’s Got the Blues” to find out more about our audience and Nedra sings the “Golf Widow Blues”, and it has nothing to do with Tiger Woods.

Song List:

Show Me Missouri Blues
Keep It to Yourself
CC Rider
Checkin’ Up on My Baby
Hound Dog
Drivin’ Wheel
Don’t Start Me Talking


Courtesy / Radkey

The three brothers from St. Joseph, Mo. that make up the punk band Radkey are about to release their second EP and tour Europe. But recognition at home has been harder to come by.

When they came into the studio for our interview late one night I was surprised by how small the brothers were. Considering their deep vocals and charging sounds I had suspected they’d be bigger. They sat down to the mics one dressed in a flannel button down, the youngest in a Star Wars t-shirt and the other in a torn and faded denim vest.

Lennon Bone is probably best known among music lovers as the drummer for Ha Ha Tonka, but he recently released a new EP of his own material that’s got a gentle, dreamy-folk sound. It’s called “Call It A Custom.”

In today's "Local Listen," we hear the title track to the four-song EP. His band, Ha Ha Tonka releases their new album, “Lessons,” on September 24th.

Hometown Jazz With Karrin Allyson

Sep 16, 2013
Beth Lipoff/KCUR

Jazz and Kansas City go well together live and on the radio.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with singer Karrin Allyson about her headlining kick-off for the 12th Street Jump series. Her performance Monday night is part of a series being taped for the radio show.


Karrin Allyson is a Grammy-nominated singer and pianist who born in Great Bend, Kan.

University of Missouri-Kansas City Libraries, Dr. Kenneth J. LaBudde Department of Special Collections

This month, the Chicago-based Numero Group released a compilation of funk and soul songs originally put out by Kansas City record label, Forte, in the late 1960s and '70s —  Eccentric Soul: The Forte Label came out this week on vinyl and CD.

thisisbossi / Flickr-CC

Coming from dozens of countries, from Mexico and the Caribbean in the north to Brazil and Argentena in South America, Latin American identity encompasses a variety of cultures, backgrounds, stories, traditions, and, of course, music. The diversity can be heard in every measure, as each artist brings not only their own personal style, but also their Latino ancestry to the lyrics, melodies and rhythms of music.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

The work of iconic Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera is on display this summer at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. They’re part of an exhibit called Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Masterpieces of Modern Mexico.

Kahlo and Rivera are known not only for their paintings, but for their tempestuous marriage, which sometimes influenced their art.

Chris Lee / Kansas City Symphony

It’s been called a "tumultuous time" for orchestras across the United States with labor disputes leading to strikes and lockouts. But the Kansas City Symphony, the city’s largest performing arts organization, announced a new three-year contract Friday with musicians signed a year ahead of schedule.

The Symphony's executive director Frank Byrne says work started on the contract in January 2013, about 18 months before the expiration.

Kansas City Symphony

After working as an assistant conductor with Kansas City Symphony for a year now, Aram Demirjian is taking on a new role: associate conductor for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons.

This past season at the Symphony has been one of the greatest musical years of his life, Demirjian said.

"When you're a young conductor, what you desire more than anything else is just time in front of an orchestra," he said. "And it was an incredible blessing and privilege to be able to do so."

Sam Frickleton / Shore Fire Media

For the past decade, blues singer and bassist Cassie Taylor has made her home on the road. At age sixteen, she started touring with her father, bluesman Otis Taylor, and she started her own solo career a few years after that.

While Taylor has no plans to slow down, the 26-year-old veteran is settling down a bit. She was recently married and moved to the Kansas City area. Some of the true-life stories of the blues life and love lost and found are the subjects of her new CD, called Out of My Mind.

On this week’s archive edition of 12th Street Jump we celebrate the birthday of T Bone Walker with our special guest Bill Dye. A call in reminds us “Who’s Got the Blues” in Alaska and Dr. Pearl holds a session to help Wall Street.

Song List: I Want A Little Girl
Two Bones And A Pick
What A Little Moonlight Can Do
Shufflin The Blues
Good Morning Heartache
Hands Off
T Bone Shuffle

Spotify: T Bone Walker

This week on 12th Street Jump we celebrate the birthday of Fats Waller. Dr. Pearl helps Keith Richards deal with change and a parody considers what Fats Waller might say about all the present day misbehavin’.

Song List:
Jitterbug Waltz
Squeeze Me
Your Feet’s Too Big
One Note Samba
Let’s Face the Music and Dance
Come On A My House
Honeysuckle Rose
Scrapple From the Apple


On this weeks’ archive episode of 12th Street Jump we celebrate the birthday of Big Joe Turner. We play a game of questions with 12th Street Jump’s own Joe Cartwright and send the learned out into the world with the “Graduation Blues”.

Song List:
Jumpin’ the Blues
Flip, Flop, and Fly
Trouble In Mind
Roll’em Pete
One Note Samba
Shake, Rattle, and Roll

Spotify: Big Joe Turner

On this weeks’ archive episode of 12th Street Jump we celebrate the birthday of Irving Berlin. The cast plays a game of “So, What’s Your Question?” to reveal a few lesser known facts about Irving Berlin.

Song List:
What’ll I Do
Let’s Face the Music and Dance
It Ain’t Necessarily So
Dat Dere
Blue Skies
Little Joe

Irving Berlin