Kansas City Jazz

By | February 26, 2010

Kansas City Jazz began in Kansas City, Missouri and the nearby Kansas City Metropolitan Area in the 1930s. It marked the change from the structured big band style to the musical improvisation style of Bebop. The hard-swinging, bluesy transition style is bracketed by Count Basie who in 1929 joined Bennie Moten’s Kansas City Orchestra and Kansas City native Charlie Parker who ushered the Bebop style in the 1940s.

The first band from Kansas City to acquire national fame was the Coon-Sanders Original Nighthawk Orchestra, a white group which broadcast nationally in the 1920s. But the Kansas City jazz school is known for the black bands of the 1920s and 1930s.

Indeed, while New Orleans was the birthplace of jazz, America’s music grew up in Kansas City which is considered one of the most popular “cradles of jazz”. Only in Kansas City did jazz continue to flourish. At a certain time, there were over 100 night clubs, dance halls and vaudeville houses in Kansas City that featured jazz music. Legends like Count Basie, Andy Kirk, Joe Turner, Hot Lips Page and Jay McShann all played there. .

Kansas City’s 12th Street became nationally known for its jazz clubs, gambling parlors and brothels, earning the city the moniker, The Paris of the Plains. At its height, 12th Street was the home of over 50 jazz clubs. A mere six blocks to the north, jazz likewise blossomed at 18th Vine that evolved as the epicenter of the cities African-American community.

Another great product of Kansas City jazz was the jam session. After performances, musicians would come together to exchange ideas and experiment with new methods of playing. This contributed to Kansas Citys unique and popular jazz flavor that is enjoyed by many people. For more business tips and tricks, be sure to visit http://www.blairstover.com/.


4 Comments

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Blair Stover on October 5, 2010 at 4:02 pm.

Thanks guys, I’m glad you enjoyed my post.

-Blair Stover

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