By Bob Evans
Sit down and get ready to hear the story of one of Jazz’ pioneers of the big bands when Br. John performs his best work to date at the Kansas City Fringe Festival 2017, a tribute to Cab Calloway and his unique style as a bandleader and celebrity entertainer.
Br. John, backed by a three-piece combo narrates the story as Calloway in a radio interview and steps in and out of the performance spotlight to give stories and insight into the celebrated Black performer. “HEY HI-DE-HO MAN; ATribute to Cab Calloway” guarantees a family-style entertaining show from the Fringe favorite.
“From longtime favorite KC Fringe Fest producer-Br. John, comes the latest installment in his ‘Historical Music Showcase Theater’ series. A talk show host sits down with Jazz legend-Cab Calloway (both portrayed by Br. John) for a probing interview into the secrets of what made him who he was. We’ll explore how Calloway became the world-famous showman and star of stage and screen. We’ll discuss Calloway’s tour with an all-black band into the segregated-Jim Crow South. This show explores provocative themes ranging from Cab’s music philosophy, band feuds, to women, relationships, and family life. Featuring live, enthusiastic, renditions of Cab-and his hot band’s-hit, jump-jiving tunes,” the Fringe program states.
Br. John’s vocal talents are known to Kansas City audiences and he has performed in the KC Fringe Festival for several years. His shows are generally well-attended and many times sold out when he was featured in the smaller venues. His personality and style just sends electricity from the stage into the audience. This year, the combo behind him of a trumpet, banjo, and bass just give an added dimension and depth to his performance.
After seeing one of Br. John’s performances, it’s no wonder that fans follow his shows and repeat them each year. This year is no exception. While former shows told the story, this show seems to involve the audience more with the blend of his narration and performance.
Calloway’s style of singing scat is explained and his zoot-suit persona explodes as he enters the stage to the sounds of Calloway’s famous “Minnie the Moocher.”
Settle in for a full hour of entertainment when you attend his show. The show is jam packed with fun and music.
Kansas City Fringe Festival, “HEY HI-DE-HO MAN; ATribute to Cab Calloway”, Westport Coffee House, Kansas City Performing Arts, Kansas City Theater, Kansas City Arts & Entertainment