Do you love to dance to big band music? Or just listen and tap your feet?

If so, don’t miss the Kansas City Youth Jazz  dinner and dance event Sunday, April 22nd at the Madrid Theater, 3810 Main in Kansas City. Abel Ramirez and his Big Band with eighteen of our town’s finest musicians, will be performing classical arrangements handed down through generations that will send you back to Kansas City’s magical big band era.

The fund raiser is to benefit Kansas City Youth Jazz, an organization comprised of more than one hundred middle and high school kids from the Kansas City area. Four bands and three combos  study at their new location on the campus of the Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley and play at such places as The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and The Good Morning America show. These children and those that follow are our musical future.

Ten year ago, Leon Brady, a well known musician and teacher, recognized the need for youngsters to learn and carry on the traditions of jazz. Music programs  were closing and many children, some in difficult family circumstances, had no opportunity to learn to play a musical instrument. Along with his wife Linda and a few dedicated volunteers, he started KCYJ. Though he has since retired, he has left a grand legacy in the form of  Kansas City Youth Jazz.

Under the leadership of Clarence Smith, “the consummate music man,” KCYJ  has grown and endured. Smith is the Coordinator of the Music Department and teacher at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley . He says Saturday, the day KCYJ meets, is his favorite day. That’s when he can do what he likes best: work with the youngsters.

Smith, a great teaching staff, the Kansas City jazz community, and a band of consummate volunteers invite you to join us. Even if you don’t dance, come listen and sing along to the fabulous music of The Abel Ramirez Big Band and The Kansas City Youth Jazz band and combs from 6:30 to 9:30. Tickets range from $20 for dancing and a cash bar, to $75 a person for dinner and dancing or join us at the Patron’s Party and reception at 6:00PM with a donation of $150 or more. To make reservations call MichaelPagan@gmail.com, or go to www.kcyouthjazz.org.




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