In a city rich in jazz heritage, the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra culls some of the finest saxophonists, trumpeters, trombonists, and rhythm players from the local scene to revivify music from jazz's booming big-band era. During the "Tribute to Gerry Mulligan" concert, the orchestra revisits the legendary baritone saxophonist's repertoire, backed up by the musician's longtime rhythm section of bassist Dean Johnson and drummer Ron Vincent. Along with Miles Davis, Mulligan helped fuel the cool-jazz movement, inspiring other players to tone down their tempos, lighten the tones, and wear sunglasses at night. Although his songs marked a sophisticated revolution for the genre, they also contained gritty, soulful elements mimetic of Mulligan's edgy personal life, including a drug arrest that the Guardian named the 20th key event in the history of jazz music, coming in right behind the day Charlie Parker blew a newborn dove out of his saxophone.
As UMKC’s resident theater company, Kansas City Repertory Theatre performs professional-grade productions under its nationally lauded artistic director, Eric Rosen. This season’s theatrical selection features the musical classic Cabaret, alongside the thought-provoking, one-man show Another American: Asking and Telling, the Obie-award-winning comedy Circle Mirror Transformation, and the famously “impossible to produce” adventure Peer Gynt. Check the regular season showtimes and seating charts to plan your visit; call to reserve your tickets all at once, or schedule your trips separately, in accordance with your celestial horoscope.
Most orchestras have 80?100 members, but a true chamber orchestra is smaller. The 10?33 instrumentalists that take the stage at the KCCO's concerts harken back to the small-ensemble, pretzel-stick-baton days of Bach, Mozart, Handel, and Vivaldi. The orchestra pays further tribute to these artists by regularly performing their works in addition to more unconventional programs: they've collaborated with artists as diverse as Paul Mesner Puppets, Owen/Cox Dance, and the Kansas City Chorale. Led by Music Director/Conductor Bruce Sorrell, KCCO is celebrating its 27th season of concerts.