Due to inclement weather conditions the showing of "Vice" on Wednesday, Feb. 20th has been cancelled.
Please join us this weekend, Feb. 22-27 for a showing of "The Favourite".
Great sounds of jazz coming to the Farris
The ever-popular jazz sound is returning to the Farris Theatre, with a special ensemble of Kansas City musicians presenting a concert of “exciting arrangements and engaging tunes” made famous by the likes of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Art Blakey and Wynton Marsalis.
The ensemble – seven members of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra who bill themselves as KCJO7 – comes to Richmond as part of the 10th Concert Season at the historic Farris Theatre. The show is set for Saturday, March 9.
“We will be performing a selection of tunes that are representative of what makes jazz – and especially Kansas City jazz – great,” said bandleader Clint Ashlock. “KCJO7 plays music that all music lovers can enjoy.”
Always popular with the Farris audience, the jazz sound is recognized as being timeless, says Ashlock, who also plays trumpet with the ensemble.
“Jazz music seems to transcend the time in which it was conceived,” Ashlock said. “A good reason for that is that the creativity of group interplay is always fresh and engaging.”
He says people can identify with jazz the same way they can identify with a great film or book.
“There’s always something new and fun with live music,” he said, “and in jazz, there’s such a deep tradition to build upon.”
Ashlock says the ensemble is eager to bring its music to Richmond, and the ensemble is excited to play some great Kansas City jazz for the Farris audience.
“The tradition of bringing music from one location to a new one is always fun,” Ashlock said. “It’s one of the highlights of being a musician.”
Although the members of KCJO7 more routinely perform with the bigger orchestra, the smaller ensemble has performed at several venues, Ashlock says.
“Part of the fun of playing jazz, for us and for musicians throughout history, is to reinvent the music in ways that honor the tradition and refresh it at the same time,” Ashlock said.
He notes that when jazz began, no specific ensemble makeup existed. KC legend Count Basie, for example, led groups ranging from three musicians to 18, Ashlock says.
“One of the great things about jazz is that it’s always malleable for any ensemble size,” he said. “We have some great arrangements of classic tunes that swing just as hard and feel just as full as when the big band plays them.”
He adds that he thinks it’s easier for members of the smaller ensemble to interact with the audience in a more intimate way than they can as part of the full orchestra.
In addition to Ashlock, KCJO7 features trombonist Steve Dekker; saxophonists David Chael on alto and Brad Gregory on tenor; James Albright on bass; pianist Charles Williams; and drummer John Kizilarmut.
Founded in 2003, the full Kansas City Jazz Orchestra aspired to reach the same cultural plane as Kansas City’s symphony and ballet company. Paying tribute to the likes of Benny Goodman, Stan Kenton, Frank Sinatra, Woody Herman and Count Basie, the full orchestra performs at Unity Temple on the Kansas City Plaza, the Folly Theater and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
In 2018, the orchestra embarked on its first international tour and performed in Germany and Poland.
Ashlock says that at the Richmond concert, he plans to invite audience members to attend concerts to be presented by the full orchestra and will offer ticket discounts to interested fans.
The Farris show begins at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m.
Reserved seat tickets are $15 in advance or $17 at the door.
A three-part dance extravaganza, Farris On Pointe, wraps up the 10th Farris Concert Season. Ballerina Ashley Thursby, formerly of Richmond, highlights the show. Dancers from Kansas City Contemporary Dance add a modern component to the performance, and members of Shapes Dance and Acro round out the evening. Farris On Pointe wraps up the season Saturday, April 13.