Party in the Street 

Charlie Parker’s saxophone, Ella Fitzgerald’s dress and Duke Ellington’s suit might be the main attractions at the American Jazz Museum (1616 East 18th Street, 816-474-8463), but the institution’s first decade has been defined by its contributions to the Kansas City music scene. Stop by the Blue Room for a Monday open jam, and you’ll understand why the 18th and Vine District is anything but Disney-fied. Stellar area musicians still gravitate to the venue, and like their forebears, most of them do it for the love of the game. “Being open for 10 years in any business is reason to celebrate,” Greg Carroll, executive director of the museum, tells the Pitch. “We’ve inspired thousands of performances and collaborations on both a local and national scale. We’ve prided ourselves on being a museum for the community, by the community.” In hopes of drawing in even more KC love, today the museum sponsors a free street festival to celebrate its anniversary. The all-day event kicks off with an 11 a.m. parade featuring the KC Sizzlers Drill Team (an energy-drink-consuming ensemble of marching drummers, break dancers and Stomp the Yard steppers), the Dirty Force Brass Band and plenty of clowns and other freaky characters for the kiddos. The rest of the day’s musical lineup is all that jazz and then some: R&B crooners Event (3:45 p.m.); funk flashers Karma (4:30) and dance-floor kings Cameo (5:45), the outlandishly styled disco-era group that was officially deemed “way too funky” on Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Other performers of note include Max Groove, the Wild Women of Kansas City, Paul Mesner Puppets, the Eugene Smiley Blues Band, El Grupo Atotonilco, Louis Neal Big Band and a dozen more. “This festival allows us to reflect on a successful 10 years,” Carroll says. “It’s our gift back to the community.” American Jazz Museum
Fri., Sept. 14; Sat., Sept. 15

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