Archive for Thursday, September 9, 1999


September 9, 1999


A new lecture series could be subtitled "Everything you wanted to know about jazz but were afraid to ask."

Ever wonder about the origin of jazz, or the differences between Kansas City-, Chicago- and New Orleans-style jazz?

"Nuts and Bolts of Jazz," a series of lectures being offered as part of the JazzTrain project, might answer all your questions about the musical genre.

"It's to give a vocabulary about jazz, the historical and musical underpinnings of jazz and how it developed," Laura Prindiville, JazzTrain project coordinator, said.

The series includes:

  • Sept. 16: "What Is Jazz?," which will define jazz and take a look at the early 20th century when jazz is thought to have begun. Instructor: Dick Wright, Kansas University professor emeritus of music and dance and one of the country's leading jazz historians.
  • Sept 23: "Major Periods of Jazz," which focuses on the evolution of jazz. Instructor: Wright.
  • Sept. 30: "Outstanding Jazz Innovators," a look at such jazz legends as Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holliday and John Coltrane. Instructor: Wright.
  • Oct. 7: "Jazz Potpourri," includes jazz terminology, a jazz bibliography and a jazz discography. Instructor: Wright.
  • Oct. 14: "Jazz & Film," an exploration of jazz music in movies from the late 1920s to contemporary film. Instructor: Chuck Berg, KU professor of theater and film.

The lectures will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall at First United Methodist Church, 946 Vt. Each session is $5, or $20 for the series.

The classes also will be offered on consecutive Wednesday nights during the same time period at the American Jazz Museum in the 18th & Vine District in Kansas City, Mo.

"We have 50 people already (signed up) here," Prindiville said, adding that a handful of people also have signed up for the classes in Kansas City. "A lot of people are signing up as couples."

The lecture series precedes a year of activities revolving around "JazzTrain," a dance performance by Donald Byrd/The Group to music by Max Roach, Vernon Reid and Geri Allen. "JazzTrain" will be presented April 7-8 at the Lied Center.

The JazzTrain project is the result of a partnership among the Lied Center, the Gem Theater and the State Ballet of Missouri and is funded by a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund Arts Partners Program grant.

Prindiville said pulling together the activities and working with two other arts organizations with different audience bases has been "an enormous undertaking."

"On a national level, it's a remarkable project, and it will set the tone in arts education and community partnership," she said.

For information about the classes, call 864-4790.

-- Jan Biles' phone message number is 832-7146. Her e-mail address is


A number of activities have been scheduled as part of the JazzTrain project and the Lied Center's Cultural Countdown series, which this season focuses on African-American influences on the arts.

In addition to the "Nuts and Bolts of Jazz" lecture series, here are the events planned for the remainder of 1999:

  • Saturday: 18th & Vine Festival, outdoor jazz concert, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., 18th and Vine, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Oct. 26: "Suite Kander," by State Ballet of Missouri, 8 p.m., Lied Center.
  • Oct. 27: "Smokey Joe's Cafe: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller," 8 p.m., Lied Center.
  • Nov. 9: Ailey II school performance, 10 a.m., Lied Center. The dance troupe will also perform at 7 p.m. Nov. 4-6 at the Gem Theatre, 18th and Vine District, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Nov. 1-5: Community story circles with Donald Byrd in Kansas City and Lawrence.
  • Nov. 2: "Jazz, Dance and Race," a free town-hall meeting, 7 p.m., Gem Theater.
  • Nov. 6: Donald Bryd appearance with Dick Wright on "Jazz in the Morning," 8 a.m., KANU-FM 91.5.
  • Nov. 20: "Porgy and Bess," 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Lied Center.
  • Dec. 17: The Boys Choir of Harlem, 8 p.m., Lied Center.

Ticket information: Call 864-ARTS.

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