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Hey. Hey guys. Shh… But I’ve got a secret, and it’s a pretty exciting secret. I’m not sure that I can keep it to myself, so, um, maybe I should just, you know, share it? Just with you? Would that be okay? Okay. Here goes… During the 2019-2020 KCJO Concert Season, we’re going to bring in some pretty big time guest artists, for their first time sharing the stage with your favorite big band! 

Now, first of all, I want to say that our band is pretty kicking on its own, a big band that I’d be energized to listen to at any venue on the planet. And, our guest artists we’ve had in the past have also been fantastic. Since before my time with KCJO, we’ve seen some heavies brought to Kansas City to share our stage. We also have some of the greatest local guest artists anyone could ask for – so many that it’s tough to bring everyone onboard (although we’re trying!). I always say that we have an embarrassment of riches here in the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra family, and this year is no exception – Eboni Fondren, Stan Kessler, Adam Larson, Jason Goudeau, a gospel choir… Adding to that roster, let’s welcome two jazz greats. 

On October 11th, is a certified jazz legend. Composer of some of the most well-known standards of all time: Killer Joe, I Remember Clifford, Blues March, Stablemates. Bandmate to some of the most famous groups in jazz: Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, Art Blakey. He recorded over 30 albums for many recording companies under his own name, and innumerable with other major artists. For more than 60 years, Benny Golson has had one of the truly illustrious careers in music, and he will be joining us at the Kauffman Center!

On May 1st, perhaps the most prominent performers of today’s music, this guy is EVERYWHERE. Jazz at Lincoln Center? Check. San Francisco Jazz Collective? Check. With Illinois Jacquet, Jimmy Heath, Nancy Wilson, Marcus Miller? Check check check. He’s recorded some BRILLIANT sides as a leader, including 2017’s “Live from the Jazz Bistro,” which I’ve been humming in my head for nearly two years. He’s an internationally recognized educator – serving as the Brass Department chair at Berklee College of Music and currently the Richard Elizabeth Case Chair of Jazz at Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute in Baltimore. This guy is also maybe my favorite trumpet player on the planet right now: Sean Jones

It’s easy to get excited about music. It’s impossible to not feel electrified by this next season – certainly one you won’t want to miss! I’ll talk more, later, about the four concerts and their themes and so forth, but for now, we wanted to highlight these two great artists joining us! We want for you to join us! The best way for that is to buy season tickets, which you can do via the Kauffman Center’s site. You can also buy single tickets for individual concerts. We want to share this amazing music with you!


 

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