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  • Writer's pictureJAM

Kansas City Jazz ALIVE now in its 7th year “Raising the Tide”

Updated: Oct 11, 2020

Founded in April 2014, the non-profit catalyst organization Jazz ALIVE continues its efforts to make Kansas City a premier destination for jazz and live music by “raising the tide that lifts all jazz boats,” per Jazz ALIVE founder Jon McGraw. “Our ultimate objective is for musicians find a haven for performance, visitors and residents expect quality live performances, and venues experience economic success,” as McGraw explains it.

Over the last six years, KC Jazz ALIVE has focused on one of Kansas City’s most influential jazz legends, Charlie Parker. Supported by a small army of volunteers, musicians and venue owners, Jazz ALIVE coordinated and programmed many of the Parker events. In 2019, the organization turned the ‘spotlight’ on the many events being produced all around Kansas City.

This year, KC Jazz ALIVE led Parker’s 100th Birthday celebration by coordinating licensing, marketing and programming for the ten day celebration. Planning sessions were attended by representatives of UMKC, The American Jazz Museum, Folly Theater, Jazz Ambassadors and various business leaders. More than twenty performance and educational events produced by fifteen+ organizations came together for the successful endeavor, a true testimony to the Kansas City Jazz community!

Starting in the fall of 2019 and continuing throughout the Parker planning sessions, KC Jazz ALIVE also implemented a Strategic Plan review. In January 2020, Jazz ALIVE hosted a Jazz Summit designed to understand the issues facing jazz as well as to set forth activities that would strengthen and advance a ‘Rising Jazz Tide’ for the years to come. The end result was a refreshed Strategic Plan for Jazz ALIVE: Igniting the Catalyst for Jazz; which is being implemented today.

Jon McGraw says his group is primed and ready to go. “Expect to hear more from Kansas City Jazz ALIVE as we continue to move forward to Raise the Tide and bring a vibrant Kansas City Jazz future to life!”

For more information on Jazz ALIVE, visit

—Jon McGraw, President KC Jazz Alive

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