An irreverent and opinionated guide to jazz in Kansas City.
Sunday, August 16, 2020
The politician representing the Jazz District on the Kansas City City Council mistakenly cited the Mississippi bluesman Big Joe Williams as a local jazz hero several weeks ago. She obviously meant Big Joe Turner. Melissa Robinson felt obliged to cite past masters in her introduction to a publicly-funded Jazzy Jamdemic performance that attracted less than 50 live viewers. Apparently unaware of the explosion of live-streaming, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver repeatedly insisted that his Jazzy Jamedemic initiative was the world’s sole outlet for jazz performances during his appearances in the series. In themselves, the slips aren’t a big deal, but the faux pas are emblematic of Kansas City’s fraught relationship with jazz. De rigueur lip service without historical understanding or a genuine passion for the music results in abuse, waste and further erosion in the public’s tenuous perception of jazz in Kansas City.