Kansas City Jazz Orchestra Announces 21-22 Season


Posted by Bob Evans

At Helzberg Hall in

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Includes Performances of

Bird Lives and Hallelujah Holidays

 Kansas City Jazz Orchestra Executive Director Lea Petrie today announced the 2021-2022 season which includes the much-anticipated performances of Bird Lives and Hallelujah Holidays.  All performances will be held at the Helzberg Hall of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts (1601 Broadway, KCMO 64108).

Petrie stated, “We couldn’t be more excited to return to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts this coming fall as we bring the long- anticipated Bird Lives! to the stage. You won’t want to miss saxophonists  Jaleel Shaw, Bobby Watson and David Valdez and the orchestra with strings, and later in the season we welcome Grammy Award Winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum to our stage with Just the Two of Us. Eboni Fondren, whose artistry is top notch, joins us once more for Roaring KC. Our orchestra has been busy producing outstanding educational content, recording new works and arrangements, and preparing for more outdoor concerts like the drive-in series we did back in the late summer. Once back on stage live with our audience, we promise that this season will be worth the wait!”

The season at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will include:

Bird Lives

Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 @ 8 p.m.

Live music has faced enormous challenges over the past year and half, but nothing personifies the enduring power and perseverance of jazz like the great Charlie Parker: a monumental figure who helped create the musical language of bebop, which is still being used 80 years later. On this concert, we will feature music from Bird’s most iconic album, Charlie Parker with Strings, and the mastery of alto saxophonists Jaleel Shaw, David Valdez, and Bobby Watson.  Ce

lebrating Women in Jazz Month with the music of Mary Lou!

Hallelujah Holidays

Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021 @ 7 p.m.  

After Charlie Parker’s brilliant cultivation of bebop, a number of new stylistic directions emerged in the 1960s jazz landscape, and of those nothing grooved harder than Soul Jazz: a combination of swing, bebop, and the Rhythm and Blues and Soul Music that had taken the pop charts by storm. Artists like Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin dominated the airwaves just as Cannonball Adderley and Horace Silver infused jazz fans’ ears with powerful music. For this year’s holiday concert, KCJO will fill Helzberg Hall with sounds celebrating and paying homage to this great movement in the music. 


Just the Two of Us

Saturday, March 12, 2022 @ 8 p.m.

SMOOTH JAZZ BIG BAND? Huh? That’s right, it’s going to happen – and whether you’re already a huge fan of Grover Washington and George Benson or if you still need convincing, we can tell you that KCJO is going to blow the roof off with a completely fresh take on contemporary jazz. Breeze on in and check out the breadth of jazz, from smooth to funky and everywhere in between!


Roaring KC

Saturday, May 14, 2022 @ 8 p.m. 

The most notorious figure in Kansas City’s history was at the center of a saga rife with crime and unpleasantness, but the heyday of Pendergast’s reign speaks loudly to jazz fans as the era of swing. In the historic 18th and Vine Jazz District, a rollicking, riffing, and rambunctious music was the soundtrack of the 20s and 30s, and it lasted all night long. Join us as we dive into the music of Jay McShann, Bennie Moten, Count Basie, and others, and celebrate our city’s history and heritage. 


High – res photos, audio and video can be found at https://www.kcjo.org/media-resources.

COVID Protocols

The health and safety of our patrons is our top priority. The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has developed a COVID 19 plan, details of which can be found at https://www.kauffmancenter.org/the-center/health/.


Ticket Information

For information about purchasing tickets for the 21-22 season, visit www.kcjo.org or call 816-994-7222. On sale dates are as follows:


Season subscription renewals: May 10

New subscriptions: June 21

Single tickets: August 2


Connecting to our Community

Even through these difficult and unprecedented times, KCJO is committed to the Kansas City community and its audiences the world over. To learn more about how to connect with KCJO, please visit KCJO Media which has links to content and resources that are sure to uplift, educate and inspire.


Visit KCJO online at www.kcjo.org for the latest information about virtual events, drive-in concerts, and more.


For the latest news and updates, be sure to follow us on all of our social media channels: FacebookInstagram, and Twitter pages, as well as our blog, Clef Notes.


About Kansas City Jazz Orchestra

MISSION: Through performances and education programs, The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra preserves the rich heritage of jazz, nurtures its growth, and encourages its appreciation as an art form for all ages.

VISION: The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra is an internationally acclaimed, premier performing arts icon providing jazz entertainment and education.


Founded in 2003, the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra is one of the nation’s preeminent big bands, performing classic and original repertoire in a variety of settings. With the beautiful Kauffman Center For The Performing Arts as a home base, KCJO’s concert season puts forth engaging themed shows ranging from Duke Ellington’s early works to brand-new reimaginations of pop music, “celebrating the past, and embracing the future.” In addition to the season, the orchestra plays a variety of concerts, dances, and festivals, engaging audiences from Kansas City, Missouri to Hannover, Germany, and beyond.


The orchestra is a 501c3 tax-exempt organization governed by a board of directors and two co-equal directors – Artistic Director Clint Ashlock and Executive Director Lea Petrie. The Musicians are contracted with the organization but have been considered resident artists since the formation of the Orchestra.


KCJO engages with the community through its educational programs which work to train the next generation of talented Kansas City musicians through Master classes with visiting guest artists, in-school programs and outreach events for all ages such as Listening Parties and Jazz Chats. 


For more information, please visit kcjo.org.


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