KCK Street Blues Fest Saturday features local blues greats

Fans enjoyed last year’s KCK Street Blues Fest. (File photo by William Crum)

A great lineup of blues musicians is slated for the KCK Street Blues Fest on Saturday, June 23.

The annual event runs from 2 to 11 p.m. Saturday at Lavender’s Circle L Ranch, 3924 N. 49th Drive, Kansas City, Kansas, which is north of Leavenworth Road. The festival location overlooks the Missouri River valley.

According to Dawayne Gilley, one of the founders of the festival, any one of the performers could have been a headliner.

He said long-time blues musician D.C. Bellamy will be the “king” of the festival this year. Perennial favorite Danny Cox, known nationally and internationally, is on the lineup. And Millage Gilbert’s 80th birthday celebration is the closing act, he said.

Musicians who are scheduled to appear include Ernest James Zydeco, Danny Cox, Terry Bohner, Bob Simons, Joe Miquelon, Norm Liggins and Danita “Little Red” Oliver, Jason Vivone, Jaisson Taylor Group, D.C. Bellamy, 51% Blues Band, Mark and Sue Corbett, Allen Locke and Shannon Basham, Eugene Smiley Blues Band and special guest Millage Gilbert.

The annual festival began in 2000 to celebrate Kansas City’s blues and jazz heritage.

There might be a slight chance of rain on Saturday, but Gilley said, “We don’t use that ‘r’ word.” The festival will go on, rain or shine.

New this year to the Blues Fest will be a popup record show, Gilley said, that they have been trying to put together for years. Record stores including 7th Heaven Records in Kansas City, Missouri, are planning to have a table or booth.

The record sale area will probably be tailgate-style, he added.

Although music downloads have taken off over the last decade or so, vinyl records have made a comeback recently, according to Gilley.

“New vinyl outsold downloads this year,” he said. “The technology of it is so much warmer and richer than digital. Analog sound on old vinyl is very sought after.”

And there is a whole new generation to learn about vinyl records, to go with the older ones that understand them, he added.

Admission to the KCK Street Blues Festival is $10, with children under 12 free. Those attending may bring coolers with refreshments, lawn chairs and blankets.

For more information, visit kckblues.com or call 913-991-3451.


Fielder charged with capital murder in deaths of two deputies

District Attorney Mark Dupree today charged Antoine R. Fielder with two counts of capital murder in the shooting deaths of two Wyandotte County Sheriff’s deputies. (Staff photo)
Deputy Patrick Rohrer, left, and Deputy Theresa King were killed in the line of duty on Friday, June 15.

Antoine R. Fielder, 30, today was charged with two counts of capital murder in connection with the deaths of Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Deputies Theresa King and Patrick Rohrer on June 15.

The deputies were transferring Fielder from court to the Wyandotte County Jail when they were overpowered and slain on June 15.

District Attorney Mark Dupree also charged Fielder with aggravated robbery.

Antoine R. Fielder

Fielder, who suffered gunshot wounds on June 15, has been transferred from the hospital to the Johnson County Jail, according to authorities. His bond was requested at $2 million, Dupree said.

Little new information was released today about the circumstances of the shooting on June 15. The district attorney said it is still under investigation. He also said that based on the evidence, no other persons are believed to be involved in the June 15 shooting.

Fielder previously had been tried twice in 2017 for a murder in 2015, and that ended in a mistrial with a hung jury with 10 in favor of acquittal and two in favor of a guilty verdict, Dupree said.

Dupree said his office dismissed the case, but left the option to try it again later, continuing to investigate the 2015 murder to find more evidence to get a conviction.

While investigating Fielder, authorities picked him up on charges of aggravated robbery, he said. That was the charge he faced in court last week, when he was being transported, Dupree said. Fielder also was charged with robbery, criminal possession of a firearm, aggravated intimidation of a witness and intimidation of a witness at that time, he said.

Fielder also was charged by the Jackson County prosecutor’s office with a murder that occurred while he was out, Dupree said.

“When we found the evidence that could put him in custody, we in fact did,” Dupree said.

Dupree said he is not concerned with jury tampering now, but it will not be tolerated.

He said the death penalty is possible with the capital murder charge, and the prosecution will consider all things that are legal.

“Deputy King and Deputy Rohrer represent the best that is in all of us,” Dupree said. “We appreciate the sacrifice they made and the sacrifices that law enforcement made on a daily basis.”

Dupree said they will try the case in a fair and impartial way. He added the defendant is innocent unless and until proven guilty.

“We will do our best to bring justice and to make sure that (Deputy) Rohrer and King and their families receive some type of justice with this,” he said.

He said he believed Fielder could get a fair trial in Wyandotte County, and that the jury would judge him on the evidence.

Wyandotte County Sheriff Don Ash, who did not take any questions, thanked the community for the tremendous outpouring of support shown to the Sheriff’s Department and the families of the slain deputies. He also thanked the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department for the investigation, and the district attorney’s office.

“We’re profoundly sad about this incident, yet there’s duty that remains to be done each day,” Sheriff Ash said. “We will move forward from this incident and we will continue to do what we do each day. Your expressions of love and support and care and concern are greatly appreciated.”

Wyandotte County Sheriff Don Ash, right, thanked the community for the outpouring of support. (Staff photo)

KCK student initiated into honor society

Paola Prada of Kansas City, Kansas, was recently initiated into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi at the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

Prada is among about 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation only and requires a nomination and approval by a chapter. Only the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible for membership. Graduate students in the top 10 percent of the number of candidates for graduate degrees also may qualify.