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  • Writer's pictureJAM

Jazz in the Valley

Jazz in the Valley, a free music festival on the Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley campus, will be held 6-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 29. The public is invited.

Penn Valley’s third annual jazz event will feature:

• The Jim Lower Jazz Orchestra (6 p.m.) – Lower is a Kansas City-based traditional jazz drummer and bandleader who attended MCC-Penn Valley and played in a big band on campus. Lower enjoys an active performing schedule all over Kansas City, with his 16-piece big band, the same group he is bringing to Jazz in the Valley.
• MCC’s own Millie Edwards Nottingham, Clarence Smith and Friends (7 p.m.) – Known for her big voice and wide vocal range, Nottingham is a regular on the Kansas City jazz and blues circuit, frequently performing throughout Kansas City. She is also the reading coordinator at MCC-Penn Valley. Smith is a Kansas City-based musician and music educator. He is the coordinator/instructor of music at Penn Valley.
• Stranded in the City (8 p.m.) – A five-man band led by brothers Andre Reyes Jr. and Antonio Reyes, Stranded in the City brings a retro flavor wrapped in a fresh sound and laced with soul and rich vocal harmonies. They are well-known in Kansas City and play a variety of genres, including R&B, funk, country, Tex-Mex, rock and pop.

“We’re excited about this lineup and for the opportunity to welcome the community to campus for a wonderful night of jazz music,” says Larry Rideaux Jr., president of MCC-Penn Valley.

Jazz in the Valley will take place outdoors near the Carter Art Center on the Penn Valley campus, 3201 Southwest Trafficway, Kansas City. Free parking will be available in the MCC garage on Pennsylvania Avenue between 32nd and 33rd streets. In the event of rain, the festival will move inside the Campus Center.

The first 100 people at Jazz in the Valley will receive a free burger from Whataburger. The company is a partner in Penn Valley’s campus food pantry, known as the Wolf Pack Resource Room Powered by Whataburger. A variety of food trucks will also be on site, including Hungry Alligator, Jadabay’s and Taste of Brazil.

Attendees are welcome to bring lawn chairs, blankets, water bottles or coolers. Alcohol, pets, firearms, tobacco and drugs are not allowed on campus.

Visit for more information.

What to call us: Metropolitan Community College is one college with five campuses. When referring to an individual campus, we say Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods, Metropolitan Community College-Blue River etc., not “Maple Woods Community College” or “Blue River Community College.” On second reference: MCC-Maple Woods, MCC-Blue River, MCC-Online etc. Thanks for getting our name right!

A century of service: Metropolitan Community College is Kansas City’s oldest public institution of higher education; 2023-24 marks our 109th academic year. We were founded in 1915 as the Kansas City Polytechnic Institute, changed our name to the Junior College of Kansas City in 1919, and became “Metropolitan” in 1964. Our campuses — MCC-Blue River, MCC-Longview, MCC-Maple Woods, MCC-Online and MCC-Penn Valley — educate about 20,000 students annually through credit and noncredit courses and business services.

Our mission: Preparing students, serving communities, creating opportunities for all

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