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October 6th 2009
Published: October 6th 2009
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Me & Jay McShannMe & Jay McShannMe & Jay McShann

This is a picture of a picture, taken at the Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival 2000, with the late, Jay "Hootie" McShann
I thought I'd include some pictures of relating to the Blues & Jazz Scene for my friends Dan, Soulideth, and anyone else.

One of the coolest jobs I ever had was being on the stage crew for lots of Kansas City music events. I worked on the KC Blues and Jazz festival for about 7 of it's 10 or 11 years. Got to work for lots of big name acts but especially enjoyed getting aquainted with several Kansas City music Legends including the Late Jay "Hootie" McShann, Sonny Kenner, and Claude "Fiddler" Williams.

Over on the Missouri Side, they opened the American Jazz Museum in the "historic Jazz District" around 18th St. and Vine. I worked on the all star show they had for the grand opening about 11 years ago. They got a nice Charlie Parker Statue down there too.

In the same neighborhood, between 18th and 19th streets on Highland, is the Mutual Musicians Foundation. Beginning in 1930 this building was the Union Hall for the (Black) Musicians Local 627. This was the local that all the jazz musicians worked out of. In 1970, local 627 merged with the white musicians Local and the building became the Mutual Musicians Foundation. They continue there with the tradition, dating back to 1930 of all night Jazz jams on Friday and Saturday nights. It is a wonderful cultural gem & great place to listen to jazz in the oldest continualy operating jazz venue in the world. The music usually starts about 1AM and goes till 5 or 6 AM. The foundation was given a "waver" to the Missouri liquor laws so that they can serve alcohol all night (only one in the state that does not have to close down at 2 AM) One never knows what rising star, elder statesman, or living legend of jazz they might hear on the Mutual Musicians Foundation stage on any given weekend night. It's always good! Nowadays, they have a Mardi Gras Parade that goes down 18th street from the Crossroads arts district to the Historic Jazz district & finishes with a jam at the Foundation.
Jazz Giant Charlie Parker is buried in the Lincoln Cemetary East of Kansas City Missouri. An annual tribute is held on his Birthday in late August that includes a 21 sax salute!

They hold the Kansas City Kansas Street Blues festival every
Bird LivesBird LivesBird Lives

From the side it is supposed to represent the shape of the African Continent
year (almost) in June. I took a few pictures at the last one...
(UPDATE) As of 2010 the KCK Street Blues Fest is (sadly) discontinued....


Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


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Mutual Musicians FoundationMutual Musicians Foundation
Mutual Musicians Foundation

The old Jazz Musicians Union Hall... a musical landmark. They still hold late night (sometimes all night) jams here on weekends
Kansas City KS Blues festival Kansas City KS Blues festival
Kansas City KS Blues festival

They have this every June in KCK
Patty With Mardi Gras Parade FloatPatty With Mardi Gras Parade Float
Patty With Mardi Gras Parade Float

Parade goes from Crossroad Arts District (18th & Wyandotte) to Mutual Musicians Foundation @ 18th & Highland
Charlie Parker MemorialCharlie Parker Memorial
Charlie Parker Memorial

Yearly, on Charlie Parkers Birthday, a memorial is held at this graveside in the Lincoln Cemetery on the East Side of Kansas CIty Missouri.
Charlie Parker Graveside MemorialCharlie Parker Graveside Memorial
Charlie Parker Graveside Memorial

at the Lincoln Cemetary


7th October 2009

Gotta visit
Thank you to my friend TS for directing me to this site. I definitely have to make it to KC to visit. I used to live in Kansas some 35 years ago as a soul-searching student. I am an aging man in American Samoa now... but the music lives on.

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