KCKCC Jazz Ensemble to perform dress rehearsal before Cuba performance

th[5]In preparation of its upcoming performance at the 30th annual Havana International Jazz Festival, the Kansas City Kansas Community College Jazz Ensemble will be performing a complete dress rehearsal next month.

The dress rehearsal will be during the Spirituality and All That Jazz Program at 7 p.m. Dec. 3 at Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th St., Kansas City, Mo. Tickets are $7 at the door, and children under 16 are free. Spirituality and All That Jazz is a monthly program held the first Wednesday of every month. During the program, the KCKCC Jazz Ensemble will be performing a complete dress rehearsal of their introduction of Kansas City Jazz to the islands.

The jazz ensemble was invited last fall to perform at the jazz festival, which is Dec. 16-22. The invitation was based on the group’s long reputation as one of the premiere community college jazz ensembles in the nation.

The Havana International Jazz Festival started in 1978 when Bobby Carcasses and other Cuban jazz musicians had a concert at the Case de la Cultura de Plaza. The following year, Chucho Valdes, now the president of the festival’s organizing committee, gave another concert. Those yearly concerts morphed into the festival as it is known today.

In addition to attending the festival, the jazz ensemble will have the opportunity to take a guided tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and the Havana Historical Centre; tour Cuba’s National Museum of Fine Arts; visit the Institute Superior de Arte, the country’s top art academy; explore Finca Vigia, where Ernest Hemingway lived for more than 20 years; enjoy tap dancing and live jazz music at Pena de Santa Amalia and learn about the Cuban culture. Any U.S. citizen is allowed to travel to the small country with the appropriate license.

The KCKCC Jazz Ensemble is under the direction of Jim Mair.

For more information on the KCKCC Jazz Ensemble’s invitation to the 2014 Havana International Jazz Festival and on the group’s fundraising efforts, contact Jim Mair at jmair@kckcc.edu or call 913-288-7149.

By Kelly Rogge, Wyandotte Daily

Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor at Kansas City Kansas Community College.

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