Fine Art of Jazz Opens at Kansas City, Kansas Public Library

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 28, 2013

Contact: Kim Woolery Public Relations Specialist Kansas City, Kansas Public Library 913-279-2106 kwoolery@kckpl.org

Fine Art of Jazz Opens at Kansas City, Kansas Public Library

The Fine Art of Jazz, an exhibition showcasing the names and faces synonymous with the Kansas City tradition of American jazz, opens Sunday, November 10 at Kansas City, Kansas Public Library’s West Wyandotte Library branch. A reception will be held at 3:00 pm. Visitors can view the exhibit during library hours through January 7, 2014.

In conjunction with the exhibit, KCKPL is hosting Bop in the Dotte, a celebration of Kansas City jazz and culture. Library branches will be hosting special jazz themed programs, including book clubs, book signings, movies, food tastings, and concerts. For a complete calendar of the programs, visit www.kckpl.org.

Charlie Parker. Pete Johnson. Mary Lou Williams. Count Basie. Jay McShann. Booker Washington.

These and many more musicians and vocalists associated with Prohibition-era jazz found a welcome home in Kansas City nightclubs, bustling with crowds eager for the entertainment. The Roaring 20s saw local and out-of-town musicians forge a distinctive Kansas City style of jazz as they enjoyed the camaraderie of all-night jam sessions with boisterous, noisy clubs as the backdrop. Many of the musicians who got their start in Kansas City’s jazz hub became household names across the nation in the 1930s and 1940s as jazz exploded in popularity, but the genesis of the movement also left its mark forever on the Kansas City music scene. Today the tradition jams on, with clubs across the city featuring jazz nightly.

It is this mixture of activity, tenacity and nostalgic charm that moved Pulitzer Prize winner Dan White to spend almost 20 years photographing and interviewing renowned jazz musicians.

“I began photographing jazz musicians in 1987, hoping to create a visual record of these talented artists and to help preserve Kansas City’s tradition as a birthplace of jazz,” White says. “I’d been listening, watching and talking to those in the local jazz scene for quite some time. They were very open to passing along their knowledge and traditions with anyone who shared their love of the music; I wanted to capture some of this feeling before it slipped away. Players like Rusty Tucker, Speedy Huggins, Milt Abel and Pearl Thuston. They had a certain sound. When they were on, there was nothing like it. I’ve shot more than 50 portraits of these players and singers over the past twenty years. It’s a good feeling to have captured part of Kansas City’s history.”

The result of White’s work is a series of 50 black-and-white portraits of Kansas City jazz musicians and vocalists, complete with commentary from exhibition curator Chuck Haddix, co-author of Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to BeBop – A History.

The exhibition is organized and toured by ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance. ExhibitsUSA sends more than 20 exhibitions on tour to more than 100 small- and mid-size communities each year. Mid-America is the oldest nonprofit regional arts organization in the United States. More information is available at www.maaa.org and www.eusa.org.

#

SUMMARY

Exhibition Name: The Fine Art of Jazz

Description: This exhibition showcases the impact Kansas City Jazz musicians and vocalists had on the national jazz movement of the 1920s and 1930s through photographs of and commentary on renowned jazz musicians who got their start in Kansas City and grew from there to have great impact on American jazz as we know it today. Many of these artists are performing today and remain a powerful influence on the jazz genre.

Organized by: ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance

Curator: Chuck Haddix, director of the Marr Sound Archives at the University of Missouri-Kansas City

Artist: Dan White, Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer

Exhibition Contents: A series of 50 black-and-white photographic portraits of Kansas City jazz musicians

To our users and readers

Press Release Central has moved to a new server. What does this mean for you? Releases posted prior to March 1, 2012 have gone away, as has your old account registration info. Everyone will need to re-register for an account. We apologize for this inconvenience.




Want your event in our calendar?

Would you like your event published in The Kansas City Star? We’d be glad to consider it.

Enter your event

.

About Press Release Central

Press Release Central is Kansas City’s largest community site for press releases announcing news of all kinds: business, entertainment, sports and more. Releases stay for an extended period, so messages live a long life. And if you’re hunting for tips or information, just search to find news, names and subjects you might have missed.