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Origin: Lawrence, 2001
What have you done for us lately? Released two 7-inches on the Love Garden Sounds label; invented Ad Astra Arkestra! — an eight-piece ensemble that performs new versions of Ad Astra songs.
Desert-island indie-rock disc: Jabraham Lincoln by Drakkar Sauna — Mike Tuley, singer and guitarist
JAZZ: SOLO ARTIST
Sound: Versatile piano playing that's heavy on standards, with the occasional Afro-Latin twist
What have you done for us lately? Released the album Trio ALL with Zack Albetta and Ben Leifer; plays piano for the McFadden Brothers and the Barclay Martin Ensemble; can be seen everywhere from 18th Street and Vine to Leawood.
Defining jazz album/song/moment: Quartet by Herbie Hancock
Sound: 1940s jump-swing piano
Origin: Born in the Netherlands; moved to Kansas City, Missouri, in '92.
What have you done for us lately? Plans to release a CD in September; completed a Dutch tour at the beginning of the summer; plays regular solo gigs around town and also with his swing band, the Majestic Seven, with the Bram Wijnands Trio and with his French trio, Nuit Du Jazz.
Defining jazz album/song/moment: "Sweet Sue" by Fats Waller and His Rhythm
Sound: Soulful B-3 organ jazz
Origin: Originally from Pueblo, Colorado; relocated to Kansas City, Missouri, in '69.
What have you done for us lately? Teaches music theory and history at Kansas City, Kansas, Community College; hosts weekly jam sessions at the Juke House and the Phoenix; performs at both Peachtree locations.
Defining jazz album/song/moment: Got My Mojo Workin' by Jimmy Smith
Sound: Sassy, smooth and seasoned vocal jazz
Origin: Born in Detroit; moved to area in high school and began performing about seven years ago.
What have you done for us lately? Rebuilding arsenal of regular local gigs since recovering from reconstructive facial surgery in 2007; released Obama-inspired This Is The Time earlier this year and plans to release the follow-up, Over the Bones, later this year.
Defining jazz album/song/moment: "Sugar" by Billie Holiday
Sound: Free-flowing hard bop for alto sax
Origin: Lawrence, Kansas; first gig in 1970 in high school
What have you done for us lately? Currently playing and conducting workshops in Italy; released From the Heart this past March; is director of jazz studies at the UMKC Conservatory of Music; performs regularly at the Blue Room.
Defining jazz album/song/moment: Bird With Strings by Charlie Parker
Pearl Thuston Brown
Sound: Gently melodious, early modern jazz piano
Origin: Downtown Kansas City at places like Gigi's, the Muehlebach Hotel and the Highball Bar in the early '50s
What have you done for us lately? Released The World of Pearl Thuston in March; frequently plays Blue Monday Jams at the Blue Room.
Defining jazz album/song/moment: Seeing Dorothy Donegan play the piano standing up
Sound: Greasy, experimental disgusto-rap
Origin: Lee's Summit, 1996
What have you done for us lately? Working on a new full-length titled Cornking and getting ready to film a video and comedy sketch.
Your best concert? Crashing a frat party and playing an impromptu set, knocking over a dining table covered with half-empty beers. "Ruggles was not there for that one — he was at a separate frat party getting head from some football coach." — Lethal D, MC
Hearts of Darkness Afrobeat
Sound: A 16-person Afrobeat ensemble melded with 21st-century hip-hop and a twist of funk
Origin: Kansas City, Missouri, 2007
What have you done for us lately? Gigging and working on a first CD.
Your best concert? The Crosstown Station Mardi Gras show: "An outrageously costumed audience who danced incessantly throughout the show." — Sean Branagan, drummer