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Jazz Town: Phoenix Fest, July Jazz Jam top week’s offerings

Tim Whitmer
Tim Whitmer From the artist

Maybe the Phoenix doesn’t get enough respect in the jazz community. But the club at 302 W. Eighth St. now has 25 years of presenting live music under its belt, and that’s worth a celebration.

So the club is throwing its own party — the sixth annual Phoenix Fest, taking place Saturday on two stages, inside the club and out in the street.

Outside, there’s Amanda Fish at 3 p.m.; Levee Town at 5 p.m.; Jason Vivone and the Billy Bats at 7 p.m.; and the MGDs at 9 p.m.

Inside, there’s pianist Tim Whitmer and the Wild Women at 3 p.m., the Old No. 5s at 6:30 p.m. and Shades of Jade at 10 p.m.

Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door; children younger than 12 are free. Bring a lawn chair. And show the Phoenix some respect for all these years of keeping the music going.

We just mentioned pianist-about-town Tim Whitmer and the Wild Women — singers Geneva Price, Lori Tucker and Millie Edwards. They’re also headlining an event of their own on Sunday: Whitmer’s fifth annual July Jazz Jam.

They’ll have simpatico backing from guitarist Rod Fleeman, saxophonist Jim Mair, bassist James Albright and drummer Jurgen Welge in a program of show tunes and jazz classics.

The event is at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Community Christian Church, 4601 Main St. Tickets are $10 in advance at or 816-561-6531; they’re $15 at the door.

To reach Joe Klopus, call 816-234-4751 or send email to


▪ The Blue Room, 1600 E. 18th St., has the Louis Neal Big Band at 7 p.m. Monday; the Latin Jazz All-Stars, featuring percussionist Pablo Sanhueza and trumpeter Chalis O’Neal, at 7 p.m. Thursday; bassist Tyrone Clark’s quartet at 8:30 p.m. Friday; and guitarist Will Matthews with organist Bobby Floyd at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

▪ Take Five Coffee + Bar, at 6601 W. 135th St., Suite A-21 in Overland Park (behind the Von Maur store), has the Crossroads Quartet, with trumpeter Stan Kessler, pianist Andrew Ouellette, bassist Karl McComas-Reichl and drummer Brian Steever, at 8 p.m. Friday.

▪ The Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand Blvd., has the Foundation 627 Big Band at 8:30 p.m. Sunday; drummer Todd Strait’s Midwest Quartet at 9 p.m. Monday; the Sequel Trio at 9 p.m. Tuesday; organist Ken Lovern’s OJT at 9 p.m. Wednesday; percussionist John Kizilarmut’s trio at 9 p.m. Thursday; Whitmer’s quartet at 5:30 p.m. Friday, followed by pianist Mark Lowrey’s trio at 9 p.m.; and the return of Interstring at 6 p.m. Saturday, followed by OJT at 9:30 p.m.

▪ The Broadway Kansas City, 3601 Broadway, has the New Jazz Order big band, directed by Clint Ashlock, at 9 p.m. Tuesday; saxophonist Brett Jackson’s quartet at 7 p.m. Thursday; singer Kathleen Holeman at 5 p.m. Friday, followed by Victor and Penny at 8:30 p.m.; and soul band 2 Proud 2 Beg at 8 p.m. Saturday.

▪ The Jazz Underground series at the Westport CoffeeHouse Theatre, 4010 Pennsylvania Ave., has tenor saxophonist Matt Otto’s group at 8 p.m. Thursday.