Kansas City knows a thing or two about jazz, but now a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution will add to that body of knowledge. The Jazz Age in Paris 1914-1940 explores post-World War I Europe from an interesting perspective: Europe's early jazz movement, including its relationship to the development of jazz in the United States and the American artists, writers, and musicians who lived in Paris at the time. The exhibit features nearly 100 images, including portraits and candid photographs, posters, programs, and other print memorabilia, through which visitors get a glimpse of the period's American culture -- a complex mixture of racial repression, movements toward women's equality, and postwar adjustments. The Jazz Age in Paris opens tonight with a public forum featuring local jazz artists at 7:30 in Pierson Auditorium, University Center, 51st Street and Rockhill Road. For more information, call 816-235-1530.
The frenetic energy of Grupo Niche's salsa stylings takes over The Monaco at 510 E. 31st Street tonight. All the way from Cali, Colombia, the 15-member band (one of Colombia's most popular) most likely will perform its international hits "Una Aventura" and "Cali Pchanguero," as well as new songs from its latest album, A Golpe de Folklore. As a bonus, Millennium Modeling Agency will scope the crowd for new Latin talent. For information on this all-ages show call 816-805-8702 or visit www.mjoentertainment.com.
And the shortage of all-ages venues in town is about to ease up a bit; Muddy's Coffeeshop, at 3945 Main, kicks off the Antfarm Showcase, a monthly event showcasing live, original music from new and up-and-coming KC area bands. Tonight's showcase features new local band Oscar Edison Jones, whose music is "a combination of celestial, layered guitars, and solid, melodic drums and bass" with soothing vocal harmonies. Ahhh. For more information, call 816-931-0884.
Three big names -- Sunny Ade, Ebenezer Obey, and Dele Obiodun -- long dominated the Western Nigerian music scene until Sir Shina Peters came along and heralded a new generation of juju musicians. Years later, he's headed for Kansas City for a complete cultural experience of Western African music, food, and dance sponsored by the African Market and Bobo's Buka at the Ecumenical Christian Ministries, 1204 Oread Road. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. For more information, call 785-830-9100.
Today's a big day for the little city of Merriam, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a Summer Celebration. The farmers' market (for which the city council recently waived vendor fees) gets spruced up with live country music, kids' activities, and the like from 10 a.m. to noon. The city also plans to dedicate one of its newest parks, Chatlain Park, located at 63rd Terrace and Carter, at 9 a.m. And just to make sure everyone gets off to a good start, there's a free continental breakfast. For more information, call 913-722-7750.
This is the last weekend to catch Theatre in the Park this summer, so people who don't wanna grow up (as well as people who have -- but long to revert) should head out tonight to catch Peter Pan. The curtain rises on Peter, Tinkerbell, Captain Hook, and the Lost Boys at 8:30 (gates open at 7). Admission to the outdoor amphitheater on 10 acres of Shawnee Mission Park is $3 per person (free for those under 3 years old). For more information, call 816-464-9420.
Crime just ain't what it used to be, what with crafty hackers, destructive viruses, and identity thieves preying on the cyberworld. So starting today, Penn Valley Community College offers a five-day course on cyber crimes. For $159, you can learn about basic computer software and hardware, Internet access and security, and legal and jurisdiction issues from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. all week. For more information, call 816-759-4453.
There's not much time left before Kansas City voters decide on the latest curbside recycling ballot issue, known as Proposition 2, on Aug. 8. Similar efforts have failed twice, but recycling proponents hope the third time's a charm. In that effort Dan Karamaski from Bridging the Gap will discuss the issue and consumers' roles in "reducing, reusing, and recycling" at Central United Methodist Church, 52nd & Oak, at 7 p.m. Call 816-779-6708 for more information.
Lady linksters from all over the area mix it up today at scenic Quivira Lake and Country Club for a good cause at the 17th annual American Cancer Society Ladies' Tournament. The golfing begins with a shotgun start at 8:30 a.m., and the winners will advance to the state tournament in Wichita in September. To register a team or get more information, call 913-432-3277.
WRS Architects is launching its new art gallery with Architectural Studies, the work of St. Louis artist Ginny Herzog, whose watercolor/collage style draws from the world of architecture. In her work, however, she has an advantage, she says: "Not having to be concerned with the feasibility to actually build these designs gives me the artistic freedom that architects seldom have." The WRS Gallery is located at 110 Armour Road in North Kansas City. The opening is scheduled from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and the show runs through Sept. 20.