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.