Editor’s Weekend Calendar Picks, December 14 – 17

Time for a batch of pre-Christmas weekend picks from KC Studio editor Alice Thorson! Friday night, stop by EthnicArt Gallery’s new home in The 18th & Vine District for the opening reception of an exhibition of art by nationally and internationally renowned watercolor artist Jonathan Knight. Saturday night: Central Standard, Men’s A Cappella Ensemble performs their holiday concert at the Folly; Ensemble Ibérica  performs the Cantigas de Santa Maria at St. Paul’s Episcopal; and the American Jazz Museum presents a night of jazzy hip-hop for the holidays at the Blue Room. Sunday night, Carlsen Center at Johnson County Community College presents the Hermon Mehari Quintet as part of their Winterlude Series. For more ideas this weekend and throughout the holidays, visit Kansas City’s most comprehensive arts calendar at kcstudio.org/events.

Artist Jonathan Knight at EthnicArt Gallery – Opening

December 15, 2017 @ 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm | Free
EthnicArt Gallery KC

Please join EthnicArt Gallery and artist Jonathan Knight in a soft opening into the Historic 18th and Vine District.

Central Standard presents Holiday Harmonies

December 16, 2017 @ 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm | $20 – $45
Folly Theater

Central Standard is a Kansas City men’s a cappella group with 50+ men who are here for a few reasons — to have fun and make music. Having just been around for just over 10 years, CS has grown from 8 to about 55 men, each with a passion for music and a desire to have a great time making it. CS just returned from the Barbershop Harmony Society’s annual convention, and is proud to claim the title of 3rd place in the world! Holiday Harmonies is the CS way to ring in the holiday season, featuring CS’ sister group, Vocal Standard. Please join us for a memorable night filled with fun and, of course, Holiday Harmonies!

Cantigas de Santa Maria

December 16, 2017 @ 8:00 pm | $25
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

The Cantigas de Santa Maria, composed at the Court of King Alfonso X of Castile in the second half of the 13th century, are a vast repertory of beautiful songs/poems written about the Virgin Mary in medieval Galician-Portuguese language. This program will also include Islamic and Sephardic music performed on a mix of folkloric and period instruments from the same era.

A Jazzy Hip-Hop Christmas

December 16, 2017 @ 8:30 pm | $10
American Jazz Museum – The Blue Room

“Brass and Boujee” featuring Kemet the Phantom, Kadesh Flow, and Marcus Lewis Big Band:

Kemet Coleman otherwise known as Kemet the Phantom is one of Kansas City most elusive yet heralded musicians. Maintaining his integrity as a rapper, the Substruct Music artist formlessly combines elements of Jazz and electronic music in his production style with Rap aesthetics to create what many have coined to be “Dapper Rap”. Coleman’s broad spectrum of sensibilities can be seen in his group affiliations. He is a member of the Hip-Hop duo COA (Center of Attention) and the lead singer of the 8-member Funk/Rap/Soul band The Phantastics. Kemet, shines as a complete showman embracing a James Brown-esque persona via syncopated vocals, rhythmic dance moves and dapper costume style.

As a rapper, trombonist, and producer, Kadesh has been wowing both suspecting and unsuspecting listeners with his musical versatility since his early teens. At age 11, ‘Desh, as many of his listeners call him, began rapping and playing trombone within two weeks of one another. Now, the young emcee actively blends his jazz and hip hop backgrounds into body bouncing and head bobbing tracks that range from crunk to sultry, from melodic to face-melting. Kadesh’s wide reaching content hops from socioeconomic musings to life bars that are laced with anime and video game references, some of which have led to placement opportunities with Toonami Asia and various documentaries and web series. He has also shared the stage with numerous Billboard charting and prolific artists such as B.o.B., Tech N9ne, Caroline Shines, the Revivalists and numerous other performing acts.

Marcus Lewis was born in Augusta Georgia in 1978. He began playing trombone at the age of 12 and shortly after decided that music was his calling. In 2001, Marcus graduated from Valdosta State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Performance and continued on to receive a Master’s Degree in Trombone Performance from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Marcus currently lives in Atlanta, GA where he leads his own quintet and continues to tour with The Marcus Lewis Band and the Grammy Nominated vocalist, Janelle Monáe.


Bobby Watson:

A saxophonist, composer, arranger and educator, Bobby Watson grew up in Kansas City, Kan. He trained formally at the University of Miami, a school with a distinguished and well-respected jazz program. After graduating, he proceeded to earn his “doctorate” – on the bandstand – as musical director of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. The group, created in 1955 by late legendary drummer who died in 1990, showcased a rotating cast of players, many who, like Watson, would go on to have substantial careers as bandleaders in their own right. The Jazz Messengers – frequently referred to as the “University of Blakey” – served as the ultimate “postgraduate school” for ambitious young players.

Hermon Mehari Quintet Winterlude Series

December 17, 2017 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm | $17 – $20
Polsky Theatre, JCCC

Hermon Mehari had the concept of recording jazz in a variety of ways and knew from an aesthetic point of view what he wanted it to sound like. He didn’t want any one song to sound like the next.

Hermon Mehari’s anticipated debut album as a leader, Bleu, marks a new era in his career. The music covers both the ground of his contemporaries and his own original music in such a way as to illustrate his current musical path. Mehari was the winner of the Carmine Caruso International Trumpet Competition and was featured on world-renowned saxophonist and fellow Kansas Citian Bobby Watson’s release Check Cashing Day.

KC Studio

KC Studio covers the performing, visual, cinematic and literary arts, and the artists, organizations and patrons that make Kansas City a vibrant center for arts and culture.

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