Monday, June 25, 2012

Welcome to the Future

The embedded video may simply look like five guys playing cerebral jazz for a small audience.  I see more- a lot more.  The video represents the future of jazz in Kansas City.  Four of the five young musicians are graduates of the jazz program at UMKC's Conservatory of Music.  They're playing a gig in Michael Shults' current base of Cincinnati with St. Louis' Peter Schlamb.  At a time when jazz is an afterthought at area "jazz" festivals and the number of Kansas City venues dedicated to jazz can be counted on the hand of a careless butcher, the elements exhibited in this modest video provide a reason to celebrate.


Michael said...

Thanks for the post and the kind of words, Happy. Much-appreciated. That was a really fun night playing music with some of my favorite people in the world.

One small note: it is not captured on the video but the audience that night was well upwards of 50, in a room about the size of Take Five. The median age was probably 25. Not a rock audience, no, but for a Wednesday night at a coffee shop, not bad! If you catch the last 20 seconds or so of the video of "REL" from the same night posted on youtube, you'll hear proof from the crowd reactions that it is possible to play live jazz and have it resonate with young people. It's difficult, yes, and hard to sustain on a regular basis, but I do think if you work really hard at promoting, play original music, and have a good band, there's hope.

Matt Leifer said...

Come something we can DANCE TO!!!!