Here’s a peek into your jazz future. The lineups for our town’s jazz concert series for next season are taking shape, and there’s good news for fans of almost any kind of jazz.
We’ll start by unveiling the Folly Theater’s jazz series:
▪ Bob James and Fourplay, Oct. 15: James is a Marshall, Mo., native who developed a relaxed, poised piano style that’s widely imitated in the “smooth jazz” idiom, but it still sounds best when James is the one playing it. With him is a band of like-minded virtuosi and studio ninjas — guitarist Chuck Loeb, bassist Nathan East and drummer Harvey Mason.
▪ Cecile McLorin Salvant, Dec. 10: An emerging singer who’s getting a lot of attention with her formidable skills and open-minded approach. It’s sometimes said that she sounds like an updated version of Sarah Vaughan.
▪ Robert Glasper, Feb. 18, 2017: A pianist in his 30s who’s already widely influential among younger players. His jazz is successfully cross-pollinated with hip-hop and soul, and there are plenty of good reasons that others are following him there.
▪ Aaron Diehl and Warren Wolf, March 4: Kudos to the Folly for taking chances on the younger ones. Diehl is a rising piano star, and Wolf is a vibraphonist who’s already been to KC for gigs with Christian McBride and Bobby Watson.
▪ Donny McCaslin, April 7: Jazz folk have known about this tenor saxophonist for quite a few years, but now he seems to be breaking through to a new level of acceptance. He was best known for his work with bandleader Maria Schneider, but now he’s been most widely heard on David Bowie’s last recordings.
▪ Eliane Elias, May 19: The Brazilian pianist and vocalist has a way of making everyone, from neophytes to the most jaded jazz snobs, shut up and pay attention.
Also, the Folly has a holiday fundraiser featuring Karrin Allyson scheduled Nov. 18.
Single tickets for the Folly series aren’t available just yet, but will be soon. Keep watching FollyTheater.org.
Meanwhile, here’s the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra’s next season:
▪ “Classic Big Band Broadway,” Oct. 7: Durable songs from Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Lerner and Loewe, Stephen Sondheim and others.
▪ “KCJO Swings ‘The Nutcracker,’ ” Dec. 6: The big band swings the holiday favorite, drawing from the Duke Ellington-Billy Strayhorn jazz adaptation and adding some original touches.
▪ “Hard Habit to Break,” March 3, 2017: Horn-driven music from Chicago, Blood Sweat and Tears, Stevie Wonder and others.
▪ “ ’Round About Midnight: Music of Miles Davis and John Coltrane,” April 21: Fresh workouts on material associated with the two giants.
The KCJO shows are in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets for the KCJO series are on sale now; call 816-994-7222.
That’s not all. There are more concert announcements to come from other presenters. Watch this space.
Noteworthy this week
▪ Alto saxophonist Bobby Watson doesn’t bring his I Have a Dream Band together very often, so it’s a special occasion when they play some of his most provocative music. That will happen at 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 8, at the Blue Room, 1600 E. 18th St. The Blue Room also has tenor saxophonist Matt Otto’s group at 7 p.m. Thursday and guitarist Max Berry’s band 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
▪ Organist Chris Hazelton is next on the next Spirituality and All That Jazz concert, at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th St.
▪ The Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand Blvd., has pianist Roger Wilder’s trio 6 p.m. Sunday, followed by pianist Andrew Ouellette’s trio at 9:30 p.m.; the group of drummer Kevin Frazee and guitarist Matt Hopper at 5:30 p.m. Monday, followed by B Vibe at 9 p.m.; the very busy Chris Hazelton’s trio at 6 p.m. Tuesday, followed by bassist Karl McComas-Reichl’s quartet at 9:30 p.m.; drummer Natalie Bates’ trio at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, followed by organist Ken Lovern’s OJT at 9 p.m.; percussionist John Kizilarmut’s trio at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, followed by Frazee’s trio at 9 p.m.; pianist Tim Whitmer at 5:30 p.m. Friday, followed by OJT again at 8:30 p.m. and Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7 at 10 p.m.; and keyboardist Max Groove at 2 p.m. Saturday, followed by singer Molly Hammer at 6 p.m. and organist Mitch Towne at 8:30 p.m.
Joe Klopus, 816-234-4751