Make Plans to Attend the 2018 Jazz Summit at KCKCC

Kelly Rogge
Public Relations Officer
Friday, April 20, 2018
Jazz music is filling Kansas City Kansas Community College next week as the 2018 Kansas City Jazz Summit returns to the main campus.

Jazz music is filling Kansas City Kansas Community College next week as the 2018 Kansas City Jazz Summit returns to the main campus.

The Jazz Summit is 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 24 to 27 in the KCKCC Performing Arts Center, 7250 State Ave. The event, which is produced by the Kansas City Jazz Alliance, is free and open to the public.

“We are celebrating Kansas City’s Jazz Heritage,” said Jim Mair, professor of Jazz Studies and Director of Instrumental Music at KCKCC. “April 24 to 27, we have more than 70 student groups from South Dakota to Wichita to St. Louis who will be participating and competing. Ensembles perform in 30-minute slots starting in the early morning and going until after 6 p.m.”

The Jazz Summit caters to jazz groups at the middle school, high school and college level in both competitive and non-competitive sessions. It is a collaborative effort between the KCKCC Music Department, Audio Engineering department, Theater and the Intercultural Center. Awards are given for outstanding soloists, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section performers.

There are three levels of participation. These include:

·         Jazz Summit. A non-competitive group where jazz groups perform for adjudicators. No winners are named, but outstanding groups and soloists are recognized. Groups that participate in this category receive a plaque or trophy.

·         Kansas City Jazz Heritage - “Basically Basie.” This is a competitive category on Thursday of the Jazz Summit. Groups are required to pick three songs from an established list of Count Basie repertoire. These selections must have been recorded by the Count Basie Orchestra. Judging is based on the authenticity and attention to detail. The top two groups will compete for audience voting, which is done by text message. The winning group receives a cash prize as well as a traveling plaque. Olathe Northwest High School Raven Jazz I won the competition last year.

·         Jazz Tyro. This is specifically designed for younger bands with little experience. Those that participate receive positive comments as well as a clinic following their performance. 

Each day, groups from throughout the region perform. Local schools attending the Jazz Summit include Wyandotte High School, Turner High School, Washington High School, J.C. Harmon, Lansing, Basehor-Linwood, Tonganoxie, Blue Valley Northwest, Blue Valley Southwest, Olathe Northwest, Olathe East, Olathe North, Shawnee Mission North, Liberty High School and Shawnee Mission Northwest.

“Our adjudicators wear headsets for the on stage clinic so everyone in the audience can hear what’s being said during the critique,” Mair said. “On Thursday, April 26, we have the Basically Basie competition, which is very intense with all bands competing to see which group exemplifies the Basie sound and energy. Cash prizes, camp scholarships, college scholarships and merchandise all at stake for the competitors.”

Sponsors for the event include Conn-Selmer Instruments, the Herb Alpert Foundation, Planet Sub, Speed Pro, EJazz Lines, Supersonic Music and Treehouse Drum Sets.  For complete schedules for all three days of the event, visit For more information or for questions, contact Jim Mair at or by phone at 913-288-7503


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