Jay McShann's Kansas City

April 02, 2018 through May 03, 2019

Miller Nichols Library, 3rd Floor | LaBudde Special Collections Gallery

There has been Ellington. There has been Basie. There have been Herman, Kenton, and more musical giants with huge legacies. There are none, save Louie Armstrong and Dizzie Gillespie, who come close to matching the down-to-earth musical contribution of Jay McShann.

Jay McShann performing at the Century Room, Kansas CityThese words, part of a tribute written by Bill Jones, speak of the Kansas City jazz, boogie-woogie, and blues pianist Jay McShann (1916-2006), known affectionately to many as “Hootie.”  

McShann is recognized as one of the last great pianists fluent in the Kansas City jazz style, and his far-reaching influences as a musician, bandleader, and mentor still impact the jazz world.  His archives are housed in UMKC’s LaBudde Special Collections, and these documents give valuable insight into McShann’s musical life. This semester, a team of UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance graduate students has explored the collection to create an exhibit showcasing the diverse experiences and contributions that explain McShann’s life and legacy.

Come experience the exhibit, rich in history and images, from April 2018 through May 2019. The opening event is April 19, 4-5:00pm. All are welcome for light refreshments, live jazz, and a closer walk alongside this local icon.

This exhibit will be on display throughout the fall semester. It is free and available for viewing whenever the library is open. Click here for library hours.

Posted: April 17, 2018

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