Time for weekend calendar picks for your first fall weekend from KC Studio editor Alice Thorson. The Black Repertory Theatre of Kansas City continues its production of A Soldier’s Play at the Arts Asylum through October 8th. This afternoon, drop by the Nerman Museum for a free presentation from visiting artists Tonia Hughes and Joey Watson. Friday and Saturday, the Carlsen Center at Johnson County Community College presents New Dance Partners, featuring four companies, four choreographers, and four premieres. Friday night, hear saxophonist and KU professor Matt Otto play at American Jazz Museum‘s Blue Room. And Saturday night, enjoy a free concert from Harriman-Jewell Series, featuring pianist Charlie Albright, making his Kansas City debut at the Folly. For more ideas this weekend, visit Kansas City’s most comprehensive arts calendar at kcstudio.org/events.
September 14, 2017 – October 8, 2017
A Soldier’s Play takes place at United States Army’s Fort Neal, Louisiana, in 1944 during the time when the military was racially segregated. Captain Richard Davenport, a rare black Army “officer”, has been sent to investigate a killing. Ultimately, Davenport discovers the killer was one of the black soldiers under Waters’ command.
Waters’ men hated him because Waters himself treated Southern black men with utter disdain and contempt. As Davenport interviews witnesses and suspects, he finds out the light-skinned Waters was highly intelligent and extremely ambitious and loathed black men who conformed to old-fashioned racist stereotypes. For that reason, Waters persecuted black soldiers like Private C.J. Memphis, whose broad grin and jive talk made Waters’ blood boil.
The play uses a murder mystery to explore the complicated feelings of anger and resentment that some African Americans have toward one another, and the ways in which many black Americans have absorbed white racist attitudes.
An evening of intrigue, and questions of race, class and soul searching is A Soldier’s Play.
September 21, 2017 @ 3:30 pm – 4:30 pm | Free
Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art at Johnson County Community College will host a visiting artists presentation on Thursday afternoon, September 21, 2017 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. in the museum’s Hudson Auditorium, with guest artists Tonia Hughes and Joey Watson and JCCC faculty moderators Kristy Howell (Sustainability Education and Engagement Coordinator, Center for Sustainability) and Laura Harris Gascogne (Professor, Fine Arts). The program is free and open to the public. No tickets or reservations are required.
September 22 & 23, 2017 @ 8:00 pm | $21 – $25
Carlsen Center – Yardley Hall
New Dance Partners returns strong in 2017! Four companies, four choreographers, four premieres.
We’re thrilled to stage this innovative festival of dance for the fourth time! New Dance Partners is a collaboration where JCCC Performing Arts Series commissions choreographers to create original works for local dance companies, which then premiere on the Yardley Hall stage.
In 2017, the collaborative partners are:
Kansas City Ballet, working with Matthew Neenan, co-founder and choreographer, BalletX
Owen/Cox Dance Group, working with Kameron Saunders, UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance and COCA-St. Louis
Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company, working with Jennifer Archibald, founder and artistic director of ARCH Dance Company
Störling Dance Company (Olathe, Kansas), working with Heather Gray, associate director, Utah Regional Ballet II
The artistic advisor for New Dance Partners is Michael Uthoff. Burke Brown is the lighting designer. New Dance Partners is sponsored in part by George H. Langworthy Sr.
September 22, 2017 @ 8:30 pm | $10
American Jazz Museum – The Blue Room
Matt Otto is currently the Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at Kansas University (KU) teaching Jazz Theory and Performance, Jazz Combo 1 and private lessons. Matt is also an Adjunct Professor at the Rutgers New Brunswick teaching online courses in jazz improvisation, theory and performance.
Matt Otto studied music performance and composition at Indiana University, Berklee School of Music, New School Jazz (BFA) and California Institute of the Arts (MFA). Having lived in Japan for 5 years, New York City for 7 years and Los Angels for 6 years, he has performed with a variety of artists including Anthony Wilson, Larry Koonse, Rashid Bakr, Ben Monder, Wadada Leo Smith, Willie Jones III, Alan Ferber, Mark Ferber, Albert “Tootie” Heath, Gregory Hutchinson, Jonathan Kreisberg, Charlie Haden , Joe La Barbera, Leroy Vinegar, Jimmy Smith, Paul Jackson, Ari Honig, Ben Street, Mike Moreno, Sara Gazarek, Josh Nelson, Danny Weiss, William Parker, Matt Wilson, Steve Cardenas, Bobby Watson, Bob Weir, Deborah Brown, Larry Goldings, Jerry Bergonzi, Eric Harland, Sheryl Bailey, Darek Oles, Erik McPherson, John Stowell, Ralph Peterson, Alan Pasqua, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Reggie Workman and many others.
While in Los Angeles, Matt co-founded of the Los Angeles Jazz Collective (lajazzcollective.org). The mission of the collective (LAJC) is to help create opportunities for creative jazz composers and performers to showcase original artistic work and to set up an ongoing Jazz outreach program for young jazz musicians in and around Los Angeles.
Matt currently performs his original compositions with his Kansas City based septet with members Gerald Dunn on alto saxophone, Jeff Harshbarger on acoustic and electric bass, Shay Estes (vocals), TJ Martley on Piano/Keys, Mike Warren and/or Brian Steever on drums and Hermon Mehari on trumpet, as well as traveling several times per year to NYC and LA to perform and record with various jazz artists.
Matt has recorded and performed with the Grammy nominated Anthony Wilson Nonet (The Power of Nine, Groove Note 1035, 2006), and performers frequently in Los Angeles with the Grammy Nominated Alan Ferber Big Band as well as having recorded on over 50 CD’s as both a leader and a side man.
September 23, 2017 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm | Free
Praised by the New York Times for his “jaw-dropping technique,” pianist Charlie Albright makes his Kansas City debut on a free Discovery Concert. The first of Albright’s three all-Schubert recordings was released in 2016 to great acclaim; Schubert will be on his Kansas City program, along with Janacek, Strauss and Chopin.
Pre-concert talk from the stage will be given by Dr. Allen Meyers at 6:30pm. An audience/artist conversation from the stage will immediately follow the concert.