Kansas City jazz stages are celebrating the contributions of women singers this week — not by paying tribute to the past, but by showing what they’re up to right now.
On Friday, Oct. 28, singer Kathy Kosins returns to town for a show at the Blue Room. Kosins is a thorough professional, a studio veteran who has contributed to soul and pop productions through her work with Don Was and others. She’s a composer, arranger and abstract painter. But put a microphone in her hands and it’s clear that her heart is truly in jazz.
In her latest musical venture, Uncovered Soul, she bridges the jazz and soul worlds in a set of rarely heard R&B tunes by writers including Curtis Mayfield, Eugene McDaniels and Amos Lee. That’s the program she’s bringing to the Blue Room, and she has the right skill set and the right eclectic approach to make the idea really work.
On Saturday, Oct. 29, the Blue Room stage belongs to Ida McBeth, a Kansas City treasure, who has been bridging those fields of jazz, soul and R&B effortlessly throughout her whole career. And it’s mesmerizing.
McBeth’s appearances have become less frequent in recent years, so every one is a reason to celebrate. And she has a real knack for turning every occasion into a celebration.
Kosins appears at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Blue Room, 1600 E. 18th St. Tickets are $10. McBeth performs at 8:30 p.m. Oct. 29. Tickets are $15.
▪ One more singer, and a good one: The midday jazz series at Johnson County Community College presents Eboni Fondren and her quartet at noon Tuesday, Oct. 25, in the Polsky Theatre. It’s free.
▪ The Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand Blvd., also has some good singers: Kathleen Holeman at 6 p.m. Oct. 23, and Molly Hammer at 6 p.m. Oct. 25. There’s also saxophonist Ernest Melton’s quartet at 9:30 p.m. Oct. 23; drummer Todd Strait’s trio at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 24, followed by trumpeter Stan Kessler’s Crossroads Quartet at 9 p.m.; Melton, Strait and organist Ken Lovern at 9:30 p.m. Oct. 25; drummer Natalie Bates’ trio at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 26, followed by Lovern’s OJT at 9 p.m.; guitarist Matt Hopper’s trio at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27, followed by organist Chris Hazelton’s quartet at 9 p.m.; pianist Tim Whitmer at 5:30 p.m.Oct. 28, followed by the group Guitar Elation at 8:30 p.m. and Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7 at 10 p.m.; and OJT from 6 p.m. Oct. 29, until 1:30 a.m., with keyboardist Max Groove downstairs at 8:30 p.m.
▪ The Blue Room also has bassist Seth Lee running the Monday jam, at 7 p.m., on Oct. 24. Percussionist Pablo Sanhueza and the Latin Jazz All Stars appear at 7 p.m. Oct. 27.
▪ The Westport CoffeeHouse Theatre, 4010 Pennsylvania Ave., presents bassist Ben Leifer’s Plus Minus band, with keyboardist Matt Villinger, drummer John Kizilarmut, tenor saxophonist Steve Lambert and trumpeter Clint Ashlock, at 7 p.m. Oct. 26.
Joe Klopus, 816-234-4751