Jazz summit to be April 23-26 at KCKCC

by Kelly Rogge, KCKCC

Jazz music is filling Kansas City Kansas Community College this week as the 2019 Kansas City Jazz Summit returns to the main campus.


The Jazz Summit is 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 23 to 26 in the KCKCC Performing Arts Center, 7250 State Ave. The event, which is produced by the Kansas City Jazz Alliance, is free and open to the public.


The Jazz Summit caters to jazz groups at the middle school, high school and college level in both competitive and non-competitive sessions. It is a collaborative effort between the KCKCC Music Department, Audio Engineering Department, Theater and the Intercultural Center. Awards are given for outstanding soloists, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section performers.


There are three levels of participation. These include:


• Jazz Summit. A non-competitive group where jazz groups perform for adjudicators. No winners are named, but outstanding groups and soloists are recognized. Groups that participate in this category receive a plaque or trophy.


• Kansas City Jazz Heritage – “Basically Basie.” This is a competitive category on Thursday of the Jazz Summit. Groups are required to pick three songs from an established list of Count Basie repertoire. These selections must have been recorded by the Count Basie Orchestra. Judging is based on the authenticity and attention to detail. The top two groups will compete for audience voting, which is done by text message. The winning group receives a cash prize as well as a traveling plaque. Olathe Northwest High School Raven Jazz I won the competition last year.


• Jazz Tyro. This is specifically designed for younger bands with little experience. Those that participate receive positive comments as well as a clinic following their performance.


Each day, groups from throughout the region perform. Local schools attending the Jazz Summit include Wyandotte High School, Turner High School, Washington High School, Harmon, Schlagle, Lansing, Basehor-Linwood, Tonganoxie, Blue Valley North, Blue Valley Northwest, Blue Valley Southwest, Olathe West, Olathe East, Olathe North and Olathe Northwest. In addition, KCKCC ensembles, including the Fusion Vocal Ensemble, Vocal Lab, The Standard and Funk Band will perform the first day of the summit.


Clinicians for the summit include Jim Mackay from Winnipeg, Manitoba; Scott Prebys from Bismarck, N.D.; Harold Jones from San Francisco, Calif.; Bill Richardson from Northwest Missouri State University; Todd Hastings from Pittsburg State University; Chris Burnett from Leavenworth, Kan. and vocal jazz specialists Mike Engelhardt and Paul Langford. For complete schedules for all three days of the event, visit www.kansascityjazz.org/kansascityjazzsummit.html.

$500 million arts and entertainment project proposed near Kansas Speedway in Bonner Springs

The preliminary development plan and plat for Bonner Crossing, a mixed-use arts and entertainment district proposed for the southwest corner of 118th and State Avenue in Bonner Springs.

A $500 million arts and entertainment project is proposed for 118th and State Avenue in Bonner Springs.

The 180-acre Bonner Crossing project for the southwest corner of 118th and State, which is near the Kansas Speedway, moved forward at the Bonner Springs Planning Commission on Tuesday night.

Amber McCullough, Bonner Springs community and economic development director, said the project was approved and next will go to the Bonner Springs City Council for approval. It will be either the April 22 meeting or the May 13 meeting.

McCullough said the preliminary plat, rezoning and special use permit for a subdivision, Bonner Crossing, a mixed-use arts and entertainment district with some residential, was considered on Tuesday night.

The project includes a concert pavilion, e-sports venue, performing arts venue, as well as a technology component. It also includes a for-profit college and arts and entertainment campus.

The developer is The Solutions Group from Shawnee, Kansas, and the project’s engineer is CFS Engineers of Kansas City, Missouri. The architects are HOK Group and NSPJ Architects.

The performing arts campus is shown on the plat as Velocity Arts, an Atlanta college.

Currently, the land is undeveloped, zoned agricultural, and the proposed use is mixed use, according to planning documents. The project is in keeping with the mixed-use zoning recommended for future developments at that location.

The Kansas Speedway, in Kansas City, Kansas, is nearby. To the east is the city of Edwardsville. To the west of the proposed project are some apartments, and Wyandotte County Park at Bonner Springs. The existing Providence Medical Center amphitheater is located west of Wyandotte County Park.

The northern part of the development would be the arts and entertainment campus, according to planning documents.

The southern part of the development would have townhomes, multi-family apartments, assisted living and memory care facilities, as well as an independent living community, according to planning documents. About 1,000 total dwelling units are planned.

There also is space in the development for retail shops, professional offices, medical office building, and restaurants, according to the planning documents.

The development lists a total of two hotels. Some dormitories would be included in the campus planning.

The proposed concert pavilion is about 14.54 acres, planning documents stated. It would have 14,800 seats and is described in planning documents as the region’s first “indoor-outdoor venue.” It would have retractable walls.

There are still some details to be worked out in this project, with some variance requests granted and a parking reduction request pending, McCullough said.

Plans for this new development are contained in the agenda online at https://www.bonnersprings.org/ArchiveCenter/ViewFile/Item/706.

Sister Hazel to perform pre-race concert May 11 at Kansas Speedway

Calling all Hazelnuts – Sister Hazel, whose songs have been on the charts in both the rock and country genres, will perform the pre-race concert at Kansas Speedway on May 11.

The “All For You” band has been called “one of the Top 100 Most Influential Independent Performers of the last 15 years” by Performing Songwriter Magazine.

In their first showing on the country chart, they made a strong debut with “Lighter In The Dark” at No. 4 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums, and #6 on Billboard’s Independent chart.

Their most recent release “Water,” a six track EP, is Volume 1 of a collectible compilation series titled, “Elements,” and includes a bonus seventh track that will continue throughout the series. “Water” made its debut at No. 4 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart and No. 2 on Billboard’s Independent Albums chart.

Pre-race passes for Saturday night, May 11, which allow up close access to the Sister Hazel concert and driver introductions are currently available online at www.kansasspeedway.com or by calling 866-460-7223. Pre-race passes must be accompanied by a grandstand ticket or RV admission. Tickets for the May 11 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race and May 10 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race are also available.

Kansas Speedway, a premier motorsports facility in the Midwest, holds two NASCAR race weekends a year, in addition to holding approximately 200 other events throughout the year. Kansas Speedway’s first race weekend of the season is in May with the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series under the lights. In the fall, the NASCAR playoffs return in with the NASCAR XFINITY Series and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. To purchase season or single day tickets, call 866-460-RACE (7223) or log onto www.kansaspeedway.com.