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KC Drive in Concerts Celebrates Bobby Watson with CD Release Party July 16 at the Plexpod

Updated: Jul 1, 2020

Bobby Watson’s newest CD release Keepin’ It Real, on Smoke Sessions Records gets an unusual CD release party on Thursday, July 16 at 8pm. It all happens outdoors, in the parking lot of Plexpod, 39th and Warwick. Curtis Lundy, who recorded the CD with Bobby, will join a number of top KC jazz musicians and Watson for the concert. Tickets are on sale now at

“I could not be more thrilled to kick off our midtown drive-in concerts with a performance by the legendary Bobby Watson,” explained KC Drive In Concerts creator and producer Jackie Myers. “It is an honor to celebrate the massive legacy he has built here and around the world, through his educational contributions to generations of jazz musicians at UMKC’s Conservatory and the indelible mark he’s left on the jazz world from his work with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Max Roach and Wynton Marsalis to his group Horizons.”

Plexpod is conveniently located at 39thth and Warwick and boasts a parking lot big enough to allow fifty cars to safely park and enjoy the show. Each ticket is good for the admission of one car and are being released in two phases. Right now, premium tickets are on sale for $45 per car, which includes a signed copy of Bobby’s latest album and a parking spot in the first two rows from the stage. Subject to availability, additional tickets for $22.50 and will go on sale in July.

Watson’s new album is a vital continuation of the supple hard-bop sound that Watson has practiced throughout the decades, laced with the profound influences of gospel and R&B and now infused with the renewed vigor of hungry young collaborators. Keepin’ It Real, Watson explains, is a mantra that he strives to exemplify every time he lifts his alto to his lips.

“It’s the essence of who you are and these times we’re living in,” he says. “After you’ve lived a certain period of time you want to try to be yourself. You don’t want to BS people. I’ve lived a while and seen a lot of people leave the planet. You become more committed to not trying to mince words. Keeping it real can extend from the way you treat your band to your philosophy, what you stand for as a person.”

Canteen Chow at the Plexpod will sell beer, wine, soft drinks and other beverages before and during the concert and Urban Cafe will have a food cart set up with a limited menu for snacks and meals. Jazz fans can keep a safe social distance in their cars or right next to them, thanks to the low power FM transmitter that will broadcast the concert to their car radios. “It’s an idea that we’ve been trying to bring to Kansas City for a while,” continued Myers. “Drive in concerts started in Europe and then Keith Urban was the first to do them in the states. Think drive-in movie, meets live music, meets tailgating! For an outdoor venue, it’s surprisingly intimate.”

Patrons are asked to wear masks when not in their designated parking spaces. No drinks other than bottled water are allowed at the concert. For more information, check out

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