Musician's Appreciation Day 2018
Elder Statesmen of KC Jazz- 5:00-7:00 pm
The Elder Statesmen of Kansas City Jazz is a jazz service organization founded in 1983 by Samuel Johnson, Jr. and Edward B. Baker, presidents of Mutual Musicians Foundation and Charlie Parker Memorial Foundation respectively. During KCMO Mayor Richard Berkley’s administration, the first 18th & Vine and Kansas City Jazz Festivals were held, and 38-senior musicians and industry supporters were honored for their contributions to Kansas City jazz making the style and sound recognized and revered around the world.
The first Induction Ceremony was held at Crown Center during that 1983 Labor Day weekend, and it was William “Count” Basie’s 79th and final birthday. There have been several induction ceremonies, ushering-in more groups of talented men and women, who are known for their musicianship, support of the industry, popular and well known jazz and blues musicians are so honored, since that time.
The Elder Statesmen perform for festivals, private engagements, workshops and settings featuring seniors and children. Elder Statesmembers provide recollections and speaking engagements for businesses, civic groups, tourists and conventions coming to the Kansas City area. The Elder Statesmen Little Big Band performances are ones to remember, as they perform the traditional style of jazz resurrecting compositions from the sound-books of Bennie Moten, Count Basie, Jay McShann, Ben Kynard, Quincy Jones, Mary Lou Williams, Charlie Parker and others related to the Kansas City sound. .
Amber Underwood Project- 7:00-11:00 pm
Jazz and Classical flutist, educator, band director, bandleader and vocalist Amber Underwood is a native of Kansas City and has been entertaining and performing music since the tender age of 8. Beginning her musical journey on the piano and soon after began playing classical flute.
While in college, Amber discovered Jazz and became intrigued with the art form inspired by musical influences of Bobbi Humphrey, Hubert Laws, Frank Wess, Herbie Mann and Nestor Torres and found a love for the art form. At age 20, Amber graduated from Wichita State University with a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance and by 23 she completed a Masters of Arts in Arts Administration and Music Business from the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory and continued her education with a second Master’s degree in Education and Teaching Music from Pittsburgh State University.
Amber has been a presence in the Kansas City jazz scene making a place and a voice for her instrument. In the beginning of 2014 the Amber Underwood Project was formed with original members Drew Davis, DeAndre Manning, and Tyree Johnson with the mission to showcase an instrument that is normally used as an auxiliary instrument in jazz but now as a solo instrument. AUP is a modern and fresh take on smooth jazz, contemporary, original and R&B sounds. AUP uses the rich tones and colors of the flute to interpret the various styles and genres of jazz.