The June/July 2007 edition of Jazz Ambassador Magazine (JAM) contains a feature article about 'ASR Records Artist, Chris Burnett. Jazz Ambassador Magazine is undertaking a series of feature articles about Kansas City based saxophone artists of note. It hit me like a meteor while the last JAM went to press that the ranks of classy saxophonists in the area is huge. Some, like Bobby Watson, the recently departed Kim Park, Gerald Dunn , Mark Southerland, and Ahmad Alaadeen have received extensive coverage in JAM. Many others haven't, and starting with this issue we will profile about a dozen of these players. The variety of music that they play is indicative of the breadth of the regional jazz scene", states the magazine's editor, Roger Atkinson. The series Kansas City Is SAXY! A Survey of Kansas City saxophonists, Part One" is published in the current magazine and also found at the Jazz Ambassador website: eww.jazzkc.org.
About Jazz Ambassador Magazine
Kansas City is known throughout the world for its rich jazz heritage. It has produced some of the greatest names in jazz and continues to do so. Names in jazz associated with Kansas City include: Charlie 'Bird" Parker, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Count Basie, Benny Moten, Mary Lou Williams, Jay McShann, Claude Fiddler" Williams, Bob Brookmeyer, Carmell Jones, Marilyn Maye, Gary Foster, Pat Metheny, Karrin Allyson and Kevin Mahogany.
During the golden age of Kansas City jazz (the late 1920s through the mid-1940s), there were hundreds of jazz clubs, many of which were located in the 12th & Vine to 18th & Vine area. Most never closed. Some club owners didn't even have keys because they never locked their doors.
As the second half of the century began, however, Kansas City was among the hardest hit by a national jazz recession. Most of the jazz clubs closed. Jazz was still alive, but only in fragments.
In the mid 1980s, the world's first and only city government jazz commission was formed in Kansas City. Its purpose was to preserve the city's jazz history and to revive the local jazz scene. Out of the Kansas City Jazz Commission's programs came the need for volunteers to support jazz events. Thus, the KC Jazz Ambassadors, Inc. was organized in the fall of 1984.
Today, the KCJA is one of the nation's strongest and most successful jazz support organizations. And, with Kansas City enjoying a strong rebirth of jazz in the 1990s, the Jazz Ambassadors feel it has been another new beginning that will carry well into the 21st century.
JAM is published bi-montHly by the Kansas City Jazz Ambassadors, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the development and promotion of Kansas City jazz. Other 'ASR Records Artists featured in past issues: