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  • Writer's pictureJAM

Vocalist Deborah Brown with KCJO Thursday, November 10, 8:00 pm

Vocalist Deborah Brown began her career in Kansas City in 1972. Her first professional job was at Six Flags amusement park in St Louis. Returning to Kansas City, she was asked to headline at a popular venue on the top floor of the Hilton Hotel, overlooking the Kansas City Municipal Airport.

That’s the day Deborah became a bandleader.

This led to engagements in California, up and down the east coast, and around the Midwest. It eventually led her to travel the world. Highlights included two separate engagements with comedian, George Carlin, backed by an 18-piece orchestra, at the Sahara Hotel on the Las Vegas strip.

She performed on board the real Love Boat, while it was cruising around. Deborah would return to Kansas City from time to time to perform at the Signboard Bar in the relatively new Crown Center Westin Hotel. The Signboard was a six-night-a-week venue, that featured Ahmad Jamal, Les McCann, and Herb Ellis in their prime.

This is when Deborah became a jazz singer.

After touring most of the United States and Canada, Deborah took a well-earned vacation. She traveled to Europe and realized there was a very active jazz scene there. After moving to Holland, she spent close to two decades, teaching vocal presentation at a local university, and performing regular engagements that took her to more than 50 countries. She was a regular in London, at Ronnie Scott’s. She toured countries diverse as Switzerland and Belgium, Japan and Thailand. She toured in Africa.

During this time, Deborah was often paired many legends of jazz. Those, who lived in Europe, or toured there regularly. This was a huge opportunity for the attractive young lady from Kansas City. She sang with trumpeters Clark Terry and Harry “Sweets” Edison. She recorded with drummer Ed Thigpen, pianist Horace Parlan, and wrote songs with tenor saxophonist Johnny Griffin.

She was featured with the internationally recognized composer of stage and film, Michel Le Grand. Her time with the masters shaped her career.

On November 10th, one night only, Deborah Brown brings her refreshing arrangements, stories of jazz legends, and that lovely voice to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. She’ll be joined by the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra for a night of jazz as only Deborah Brown can create.

For tickets and information, please visit

Riff Generation Fall Series The Kansas City Jazz Orchestra also presents the inaugural concert series of Riff Generation. The final concert in this new series is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 4, 2022. All concerts Riff Generation concerts are held at the Medallion Theater in the Plexpod Westport Commons, 300 E. 39th Street, KCMO, 64111. For more Information, please visit or call 816-225-4949.

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