Editor’s Weekend Calendar Picks, July 6 – 9 (and Beyond)

Time for weekend calendar picks from KC Studio editor Alice Thorson. This First Friday, stop by the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District. Shop local artists and a diverse array of food trucks while listening to lively entertainment. The festivities continue through the night with performances and dancing at the Blue Room and Gem Theater. Saturday, the Nelson-Atkins opens an exhibition of paintings by Abstract Expressionist legends Pollock and Motherwell, on view through October. The month-long Summerfest Chamber Music Festival begins this weekend, with performances on Saturday and Sunday. Into next week, you can see An American in Paris at Starlight Theatre starting July 11 and running through next weekend, or see the final AileyCamp performance  at Paseo Academy on July 12. For more events this weekend and beyond visit Kansas City’s most comprehensive arts calendar at kcstudio.org/events.


photo by Jim Barcus

July 7, 2017 @ 4:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District

First Fridays are a cultural experience of music, art, food, and shopping on every First Friday year round. Shop local artists and a diverse array of food trucks – all here on the Vine. All of the neighbors in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District present lively entertainment! Stop in to the American Jazz Museum and Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, check out live music at the Juke House, Blue Room, Mutual Musicians Foundation, and Vine Street Studio, and dance at Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey or our own Steppin’ on the Vine. In the Spring, Summer, and Fall, enjoy First Fridays between Vine and Woodland with outdoor jazz, blues, and neo-soul. by In January, First Friday moves into the Gem Theater and the Lincoln Building at 18th & Vine to keep First Fridays hot even if the weather is cool.

Indigo Hour: BMW

July 7, 2017 @ 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm
American Jazz Museum – The Blue Room

Indigo Hour in the Blue Room features the best Kansas City R&B and Neo-Soul acts every Friday night from 5 pm – 7:30 pm for free in our award-winning jazz club. Enjoy drink specials and an appetizer buffet!

Steppin’ on the Vine

July 7, 2017 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm | Free
American Jazz Museum – Gem Theater

Calling all those who like dancing, want to learn how, know how to dance, come join our First Friday’s with Steppin’ on the Vine. Each Steppin’ on the Vine evening begins with a one-hour dance class and ends with a dance party until 10pm.

Chicago Style Stepping Dancing Class from 7:30pm – 8:30pm
Dance Party Time from 8:30pm – 10:00pm
Dance Instructor – Daron “Dr. Step” Barker

Lady D

July 7, 2017 @ 8:30 pm | Free
American Jazz Museum – The Blue Room

Acknowledging her gift at the early age of 8, Lady D began her musical endeavours in church choirs, local gospel groups and countless talent shows. In her late teen years she recorded a gospel album and appeared on the infamous Bobby Jones Gospel show. In addition to her gospel background Lady D has always been involved with exceptional music projects. Through the years she has appeared on several recordings and opened for the likes of Roger Troutman & Zapp, Brian McKnight, Najee and Peabo Bryson to name a few.

Her musical style is an eclectic mix of jazz, R&B and blues. Her sets are sprinkled with a smooth mix of them all. Her smile is contagious; her interaction and ability to get the crowd involved is outrageous! True to herself and the music she loves, Lady D is a well-rounded, professional entertainer. She prides herself in always being surrounded by the best and most talented musicians and vocalists.

Pollock and Motherwell: Legends of Abstract Expressionism

Jackson Pollock, Mural, 1943. Oil and casein on canvas, 95 5/8 x 237 3/4 inches. Gift of Peggy Guggenheim, 1959.6. University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City. Reproduced with permission from The University of Iowa Museum of Art. Photograph courtesy the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2014.

July 8, 2017 – October 29, 2017
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Jackson Pollock and Robert Motherwell are two of the most celebrated American painters from the mid-20th century. The exhibition emphasizes the radical innovation of American abstraction in mainstream art by featuring two monumental paintings, Mural and Elegy to the Spanish Republic, No. 126. It explores legends surrounding each work and artist by unpacking fact from fiction.

Mural, Pollock’s largest-ever canvas, was commissioned in 1943 by famed art collector and dealer Peggy Guggenheim. It established a new direction of massive scale and bold freedom for the movement that came to be known as Abstract Expressionism. Techniques used in Mural foreshadow methods Pollock would later develop in his best-known “poured” paintings. In 1948 Guggenheim gifted Mural to the University of Iowa and from 2012 to 2014 the painting underwent an immense conservation effort by The Getty in Los Angeles.

One of the most elegant works in the series due to its vastness and thoughtful integration of color, Motherwell’s Elegy to the Spanish Republic, No. 126 is a unique salute to Pollock. In 1972 it was commissioned by the director of the University of Iowa Museum of Art to hang with and directly respond to Mural’s larger-than-life size.

Summerfest Chamber Music Festival

July 8, 2017 @ 7:30 pm
White Recital Hall

July 9, 2017 @ 3:00 pm
St. Mary’s Episcopal

In his first inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln faced a divided nation. Less than a month before his March 4, 1861 speech, seven states formally declared themselves the Confederate States of America, tearing asunder a young nation that was only eighty-five years old. Urging his listeners to come together, Lincoln appealed to the “mystic chords of memory” that would “swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched…by the better angels of our nature.” Today, we again find ourselves needing those better angels, needing to find reconciliation and union. As artists, we believe that nothing is as powerful as music in bringing us together, helping us find and celebrate our shared humanity. So invite a friend and join Summerfest this July as we evoke President Lincoln’s Chords of Memory through a series of concerts designed to remind us of who we were, who we are, and who we still might become.

An American in Paris

July 11, 2017 – July 16, 2017
Starlight Theatre

Winner of the most Tony Awards® of the 2015 Broadway season!

An American in Paris is the new Tony Award®-winning musical about an American soldier, a mysterious French girl and an indomitable European city, each yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. Acclaimed director/choreographer and 2015 Tony Award®-winner Christopher Wheeldon brings the magic and romance of Paris into perfect harmony with unforgettable songs from George and Ira Gershwin in the show that earned more awards than any other musical in the 2015 season!

The New York Times raves, “An American in Paris is a triumph! Pure joy!” and The Wall Street Journal declares, “Once you’ve seen it, you’ll find it hard to settle for less ever again.”


KCFAA (Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey) AileyCamp 2015 Final Performance Wednesday 8 July 2015 at Paseo Academy of the Arts. Photo, Copyright 2015 Mike Strong – kcdance.com

July 12, 2017 @ 7:45 pm
Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts

Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey (KCFAA) presents the AileyCamp Final Performance, the culmination of our 6-week summer AileyCamp program.

The performance will take place on Wednesday, July 12th at the Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts, 4747 Flora Ave, Kansas City, MO 64110.

This annual capstone event is a fantastic way to introduce your family – youth and elders, friends, coworkers and anyone else to the magic of modern dance and while supporting a program that utilizes the performing arts to educate and empower our youth. Learn more about AileyCamp here: www.kcfaa.org/aileycamp/

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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