The KC Jazz Orchestra announces the 2021-2022 season at the Kauffman Center


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

Petrie said, “We couldn’t be more excited to return to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts this fall as we bring the Bird Lives on stage! long awaited. You won’t want to miss saxophonists Jaleel Shaw, Bobby watson and David Valdez and the String Orchestra, and later in the season we welcome Grammy Award Winning saxophonist Kirk whalum to our scene with Just the Two of Us. Eboni Fondren, whose artistry is second to none, joins us once again for Roaring KC. Our orchestra took care of producing exceptional educational content, recording new works and arrangements and preparing other outdoor concerts like the drive-in series we did at the end of the summer. Once back on stage live with our audience, we promise you this season will be worth the wait! “

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

Friday October 8, 2021 at 8 p.m.

Live music has faced enormous challenges over the past year and a 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, still used 80 years later. At this concert we will be presenting music from Bird’s most iconic album, Charlie parker with Strings, and the mastery of alto saxophonists Jaleel Shaw, David Valdez and Bobby watson. This

let’s celebrate Women in Jazz Month with the music of Mary Lou!

Hallelujah Holidays

Tuesday December 7, 2021 at 7 p.m.

After Charlie parkerthe brilliant bebop culture of, a number of new stylistic directions emerged in the jazz landscape of the 1960s, and among these, nothing is more groove than soul jazz: a combination of swing, bebop and rhythm and blues and soul music that had taken the pop cards by storm. Artists like Ray charles and Aretha franklin dominated the airwaves just as Cannonball Adderley and Horace Silver infused the ears of jazz fans with powerful music. For this year’s holiday concert, KCJO will fill the Helzberg Hall with sounds celebrating and paying homage to this great musical movement.

Just the two of us

Saturday March 12, 2022 at 8 p.m.

BIG BAND OF SMOOTH JAZZ? Eh? That’s right, it’s going to happen – and whether you’re already a huge Grover Washington fan and Georges benson or if you still need to convince, we can tell you that KCJO is going to blow up the roof with a whole new take on contemporary jazz. Come in and discover the breadth of jazz, from mild to funky and everywhere in between!

Roaring KC

Saturday May 14, 2022 at 8 p.m.

The most notorious figure in Kansas City history was at the center of a saga full of crime and inconvenience, but the height of Pendergast’s reign speaks loudly to jazz fans as the era of swing. In the historic 18th and Vine Jazz District, upbeat, rhythmic and exuberant music was the soundtrack of the 20s and 30s, and it lasted all night. Join us to dive into the music of Jay McShann, Bennie Moten, Count the base, and others, and celebrate the history and heritage of our city.

For more information on purchasing tickets for the 21-22 season, visit or dial 816-994-7222. The sale dates are as follows:

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Henry R. Wright