Kansas City Blues Society
The Kansas City Blues Society has been around since the 1980s. KCBS is the second oldest Blues Society in the nation and has served as the model for other blues societies. KCBS is a member of the International Blues Foundation and has sponsored many bands, youth bands, and solo/duo acts to the International The Blues In The Schools program is a program that was developed by the International Blues Foundation and is administered by its affiliates like the Kansas City Blues Society.
History of Blues in K.C.
Kansas City did not enter into blues history until the 1940s. Kansas City blues artists Pete Johnson and Big Joe Turner recorded a style of music called jump blues, which later provided the foundation for rhythm and blues, and later rock and roll. Charlie Parker dabbled in the blues in the late 1940s with his release of the hit “Now’s the Time”, a jazz number that gave a nod to the popularity of the blues in Kansas City, by using the familiar blues scale and blue notes.
The blues scene in Kansas City created Jay McShann, Julia Lee, Little Hatch, Sonny Kenner, and Cotton Candy. They were some of the most talented blues artists of their day. This style of music was popular in small nightclubs and after-hours jam sessions. People would come to hang out and listen to these jam sessions. It met a huge need for many Kansas City people to come and to listen to these artists. Many Kansas City musicians would finish their “paying” gigs at weddings, jazz clubs etc. and then pack up and head to the 18th and Vine-Downtown East, Kansas City district to participate in all-night parties that would sometimes continue well into daylight. The 18th & Vine jam sessions continue today at Kansas City’s Musician’s Foundation. The Musician’s Foundation has immunity from liquor laws, and has not changed its outlook since the 1940s.
The Contemporary Blues scene in Kansas City is alive and vibrant, recently foisting numerous acts onto the national stage. While the blues circuit is perhaps less prestigious than it once was national touring acts coming out of the Kansas City area market include: Trampled Under Foot (defunct), Moreland and Arbuckle, LeVee Town, Samantha Fish, Kelly Hunt, Danielle Nicole, Amanda Fish and Rev. Jimmie Bratcher.
Kansas City Blues Locations
ISLE OF CAPRI CASINO
Region: Downtown Area
Phone: (816) 855-7777