Time for weekend calendar picks from KC Studio editor Alice Thorson. Starting tomorrow, Kansas City Jazz Alive celebrates the 4th Annual Charlie Parker Celebration with events in 18th & Vine and throughout the city. Tomorrow night at the Kemper, artist Firelei Báez (pictured above) discusses her newly commissioned atrium project. Ensemble Ibérica presents flamenco direct from Sevilla at Polsky Theatre later the same night. Saturday night, the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City presents the dance documentary Mr. Gaga at On Broadway KC event space. Sunday, an exhibition of photos by Stanley Goldberg opens at The Epsten Gallery, and New Letters celebrates the life and writing of Conger Beasley Jr. at Blue Bird Bistro. For more ideas this weekend, visit Kansas City’s most comprehensive arts calendar at kcstudio.org/events.
August 17, 2017 – August 29, 2017
Join us as we celebrate the life and legacy of Kansas City native, Charlie “Yardbird” Parker! This year, we’re adding new and exciting elements to the celebration that you won’t want to miss!
Charlie Parker Celebration 2017 is a 10-day celebration jam-packed with jazz all over Kansas City! As part of our mission to “raise the tide that lifts all jazz boats,” we will coordinate live jazz events all around the KC Metro. Events will be held at local venues with local jazz musicians along with the 2017 Artists in Residence (AIR)!
Charlie Parker Celebration Events Include:
- “Backstage Meet & Greet” – This is your chance to enjoy an exclusive dinner with KC Jazz musicians AND the 2017 AIRs! We will host 1 dinner and 1 networking event where you’ll get your chance to Meet the Musicians! We will also host an “after work” networking event with appetizers and cocktails to enjoy while getting to know our AIRs! The dinner will be held at Ironwoods Park in Leawood on August 20 at 4pm, in conjunction with David Basse’s performance at Ironwoods. The Networking event will be held at Brick House on August 24th from 5:30 – 7:30pm.
- The Jazz Experience: Rhythm Changes at The Folly Theater – Every night of the celebration is special, but the night of the Signature Concert will be one to remember! Take a trip with us through the history of jazz! Join us on Saturday, August 26th from 8-10pm at The Folly to experience the evolution of jazz. From ragtime, to swing, to bebop you’ll hear it all performed by your favorite KC musicians along with Artists in Residence, Tivon Pennicott and Sulivan Fortner!
- Educational Events – These events will educate Kansas Citians on the rich and vibrant jazz heritage of Kansas City and “Bird’s” impact on jazz in our city!
- History Tour – Join us on August 26th for a tour around the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District and travel back in time with us! Then hop aboard the tour bus and join us for a 21 Sax Salute!
- 21 Sax Salute – On August 26th, following the History Tour, get ready to remember Bird like you never have before! Join us in Lincoln Cemetery to celebrate Bird’s birthday with a 21 Sax Salute! We will have live performances surrounding Bird’s grave by UMKC Jazz Friends along with many other local jazz musicians!
- “Chicken Feed” at Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center – After we celebrate Bird’s birthday at Lincoln Cemetery, ‘cluck’ on over to BRWCHC for some fried chicken to keep the party going on august 26th!
- 12th Street Jump at Musical Theater Heritage – Bobby Watson joins 12th Street Jump to celebrate the birthday of alto sax legend Charlie Parker! August 29
August 18, 2017 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm | Free
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Dominican-born, New York–based artist Firelei Báez (pictured above) discusses her newly commissioned atrium project at the Kemper Museum and her interest in themes of anthropology, science fiction, black female subjectivity, and women’s work.
August 18, 2017 @ 8:00 pm
Polsky Theatre, JCCC
Flamenco direct from Sevilla, Spain
August 19, 2017 @ 8:30 pm | $25
On Broadway KC
Eight years in the making, Mr. Gaga captures the elusive beauty of contemporary dance and immerses the audience in the creative process of Ohad Naharin, renowned choreographer + artistic director of the Batsheva Dance Company. Using intimate rehearsal footage, extensive unseen archive materials and stunning dance sequences, acclaimed director Tomer Heymann (“Paper Dolls”, “I Shot My Love”) weaves a fascinating story of an artistic genius who redefined the language of modern dance.
Mr. Gaga will be shown at the exquisite ON Broadway event space under the stars. Appetizers and bar options available. Tickets are $25 and include movie, appetizers and drink tickets. Possible performance by a featured Kansas City dance company.
August 20, 2017 – October 8, 2017
The Epsten Gallery in Village Shalom
August 20, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
Blue Bird Bistro
Celebrate the life and writing of Conger Beasley Jr. (shown) one year after his death and the day before his birthday, with writers, family, friends. Free. Menu of food items (food also free) named for Conger’s writing, and complimentary gin and tonics. Brief readings from Beasley’s work by Steve Paul, Karla Deel, Frank Higgins, Robert Stewart. Bue Bird Bistro, 1700 Summit St., Kansas City, Mo.