AJM Media Center | NEWSROOM

KANSAS CITY’S CHARLIE PARKER CELEBRATION 2016 AT THE AMERICAN JAZZ MUSEUM FEATURES LEADING SCHOLAR AND ORIGINAL NEW EXHIBIT

(Kansas City, Mo.) – This year’s Kansas City’s Charlie Parker Celebration 2016 at the American Jazz Museum commemorates the 96th anniversary of the birth of legendary jazz great Charlie Parker with a special public program and the unveiling of a new exhibit about Bird’s formative years in Kansas City.

The series of events begins with a presentation by Dr. Ron McCurdy, professor of music at the prestigious Thornton School of Music at USC and former director of the Thelonious Monk Institute, who speaks on The Life and Legacy of Charlie Parker on Thursday, August 18, 2016, at 6:30 p.m. in the Atrium of the American Jazz Museum, 1616 E 18 St., Kansas City, Mo. A 6 p.m. public reception precedes the program. Admission is free.

McCurdy, a scholar of African American culture and music, as well as a recording artist and jazz composer in his own right, is known for his illuminating stories about the lives, times, and music of the 20th century’s great jazz musicians. He is also the musical director of Jazz Montage: A Multimedia Concert Performance of Langston Hughes’s Ask Your Mama: Twelve Moods for Jazz, a work that offers homage in verse and music to the struggle for artistic and social freedom at home and abroad at the beginning of the 1960s. McCurdy retains long-time ties to the Kansas City area, having earned both his Master’s and PhD from the University of Kansas. He also led the Jazz Studies Program at KU for seven years.

Complementing McCurdy’s talk, will be the unveiling of a new temporary exhibit titled A Musician in the Making: Charlie Parker in Kansas City, 1920-42. The five-panel traveling display, created from the collections of the American Jazz Museum and other archives, examines Parker’s youth, the various venues he played in as an up-and-coming jazz man, and the mentors and bandmates he jammed with along the way. A special map highlights 22 locations in greater Kansas City with direct connections to Parker’s life and times.

McCurdy’s presentation also kicks off the Museum’s new speaker series, called Riffing on the Repertoire that will bring top jazz scholars and authors to the 18th & Vine Jazz District throughout the rest of 2016. The lineup features noted authority Ted Gioia, speaking about his highly-acclaimed new book How to Listen to Jazz; and Williams College professor Rashida Briggs, author of Jazz Diasporas: Race, Music, and Migration in Post-World War II Paris. Additional presentations in the series focus on Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, and Stan Levey. More information at www.americanjazzmuseum.org.

The Kansas City’s Charlie Parker Celebration 2016 at the American Jazz Museum is being hosted in partnership with KCJazzAlive. More information at www.kcjazzalive.org . Charles Parker is a Trademark of the Estate of Charles C. Parker Jr.

 


 

“HARMONY ON THE VINE” MURAL PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS AUGUST’S FIRST FRIDAY

(KANSAS CITY, MO) – Visitors to this August’s First Friday festivities at 18th & Vine can lend their artistic proclivities to the production a giant public mural depicting the past, present, and future of Kansas City’s famous and revitalizing Jazz District. In the process, they can do their part to work toward achieving a feeling of harmony and togetherness in the wake of the violent tragedies that have befallen the country in recent weeks.

On Friday, August 5, 2016 from 3:30 p.m. till just before dark, hundreds of people are expected to participate in the painting of “Harmony on the Vine” – an original nine-panel canvas mural 36 feet wide and 8 feet tall designed and sketched by Kansas City artist and educator Michael Toombs. The mural features the bands, buildings, scenes and signage that capture the vibrancy of the 18th & Vine Jazz District.

“The senselessness of what’s been happening lately needs to stop,” says Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner, executive director of the American Jazz Museum which began hosting First Fridays at 18th & Vine in May. “Now is the time for all us in Kansas City to come together in the neighborhood where people of all races have always come together. We invite everyone to put their collective mark on this new mural that we hope will aid the healing process.”

Using water-based artist-grade acrylic paints, participants of all skill levels will be directed to various sections of the mural to color in portions of the sketch for a period of approximately 30 minutes. The vast size of the mural means that roughly 50 people could be painting at a given time. Toombs, a noted muralist with some 30 works to his credit, as well as two coordinators, will oversee the painting process.

Painting “Harmony on the Vine” will take place behind the American Jazz Museum. Musical groups will be performing during the painting period. The mural will be completed at regularly scheduled painting periods in the Museum’s Atrium during the rest of August through mid-September.

 

FEATURES, PHOTOS AND PRESS RELEASES

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EXHIBIT PHOTOS:

o Download hi-res exhibition photos from Dropbox
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PRESS ARTICLES:

o Google Search Results: “American Jazz Museum Executive Director Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner”
o JAZZIZ Magazine / Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner named new director of the American Jazz Museum
o AJM Press Release / Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner Tapped to Lead American Jazz Museum
o New York Times: The Mets, the Royals and Charlie Parker … 10-30-15
o AP Story: New York City, Kansas City jazz museums bet on World Series – 10-28-15
o New York & Kansas City Jazz Museums Swingin’ for the Fences with World Series Bet 10-28-15
o NYC KCMO Jazz Museums Press Release – 10 -27-15
o Plastic Sax Review: The 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival – 10-11-15
o “All Hail to Hale” exhibition in the media – 2015-2016
o Dr. Rowena Stewart Media Alert – 9-19-15
o AJM Ralph Reid Press Release – 8-13-15
o The Call – 8-13-15
o Kansas City Business Journal – 8-13-15
o The Kansas City Star – 8-13-15
o AJM Position Announcement – 08-15
o KC Studio Magazine – September/October issue (pg 62)
o C-SPAN school bus crew toured the American Jazz Museum – Dr. Rowena Stewart – 01-08-2001

 

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ABOUT: AMERICAN JAZZ MUSEUM SHORT BIO

Located in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District in Kansas City, MO, the American Jazz Museum showcases the sights and sounds of jazz through interactive exhibits and films, the Changing Gallery exhibit space, Horace M. Peterson III Visitors Center, Blue Room jazz club and Gem Theater.Since its inception in 1997, the Museum has hosted thousands of students, scholars, musicians fans for over 200 performances, education programs, special exhibitions, community events and more each year, providing an opportunity to learn about the legends, honor their legacy, or simply enjoy the sounds of Kansas City jazz.Our mission is to celebrate and exhibit the experience of jazz as an original American art form through research, exhibition, education and performance at one of the country’s greatest jazz crossroads – 18th & Vine.As the only museum in the world solely focused on the preservation, exhibition and advancement of jazz, the American Jazz Museum is dedicated to public service and collaborative efforts to expand the influence, awareness and appreciation of jazz within Kansas City and to audiences worldwide.

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Brief Institutional History .pdf – changing gallery flyer .pdf – john baker film collection flyer .pdf – support the museum flyer
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