The opening theme of John Coltranes Blue Train has inspired countless musicians, but the songs impact was especially meaningful to Martel Chapman. The melody was an awakening to Chapman, who heard it as a sign to quit his day job and devote himself to painting. Ten years on, jazz is still the primary muse for the artist from Madison, Wisconsin. With icons such as Thelonious Monk and Sun Ra as his subjects, Chapman applies cubist and realist brush strokes to his canvases, bringing late greats back to life. Part of his striking portfolio is on display at the American Jazz Museum (616 East 18th Street, 816-474-8463). Chapmans Portraits as Jazz
collection opens at 6 tonight in the Changing Gallery. The exhibit will be up through September 17. Admission to the gallery is free; tickets for the rest of the museum cost $6 for adults or $2.50 for children ages 12 and younger.
American Jazz Museum
June 29-Sept. 17