Friday, May 13, 2016

What we saw and heard in KC

“Kansas City, I would say, did more for jazz music, black music, than any other influence at all. Almost all their joints that they had there, they used black bands. Most musicians who amounted to anything, they would flock to Kansas City because that's the place where jobs were plentiful.” — Jesse Stone, American rhythm and blues musician and songwriter 

IN ADDITION to our visit to The Nelson-Atkins Museum, we crammed a lot of art and music into the short time we were in Kansas City.


I have an admired Facebook FriendPaul Quintanilla, whose father Luis Quintanilla, was a renown cubist and modernist Spanish painter (1893 - 1978) imprisoned during the Spanish Civil War. Later, while he was in exile from war-torn SpainLuis spent 1940-41 at what was then the University of Kansas City, now the University of Missouri Kansas City, as an artist in residence, and during that time he painted murals in Haag Hall on the UMKC campus. (Read more about the murals in HLSS's previous post An Epic Story of Art and War.)

Ever since I learned of the murals' existence, of course I wanted to see them, so Paul, generous and intrepid husband that he his, made sure that I did. Below are photos. 


Kansas City’s Blue Room is famous in the state and region as a jazz venue. As luck would have it, the weekend we were there, not one, but two jazz trombonists were featured. Friday night was Delfeayo Marsalis and Saturday night was Grammy-nominated musician and composer, Alan Ferber
Paul had heard Delfeayo recently in Des Moines, and although I offered to get tickets, Paul said he wanted to save space in his music brain for Mr. Ferber who was new to him.

Paul and Delfeayo Marsalis in Des Moines

This is an entirely gratuitous picture of Paul with New York City 
trombonist and composer Ryan Keberle when he was in Des Moines 
with Ryan Truesdell's Gil Evans Project a few months ago

Alan is a New York-based trombonist and composer. All About Jazz NY called him “one of the jazz world’s premier composers and arrangers for larger groups.” Jazz Times magazine described his compositions as “inspired and meticulous” and L.A. Weekly pronounced him to be “one of the premier modern jazz arrangers of our time.”

The Blue Room performance we heard featured works from his 2014 Grammy-nominated big band release March Sublime and his brand new work for jazz nonet, Roots & Transitions, that was just released April 29 on Sunnyside Records.

Roots & Transitions includes eight movements. It was commissioned by a 2013 Chamber Music America: New Jazz Works Commissioning and Ensemble Development Grant with generous support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Alan Ferber in nonet form at the Blue Room on May 7, 2016.

Paul and Alan Ferber

Besides of course Alan, Paul and I were particularly impressed with the trumpet player, Hermon Mehari. I wanted to take Hermon back with us to Des Moines. Not gonna' happen, but he will be playing Noce sometime in August. He’s superb, and a pal of Paul’s friend, trumpeter Chris Van Leeuwen

1 comment:

  1. So the Birthday Trip was a roaring success! Meaningful art for both of you - great painting with a special FB connection and great music. I know you are just delighted.