[JPL] Methenys lay down foundation plans

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Thu Dec 6 10:56:50 EST 2007


Thursday, Dec 6, 2007
Posted on Wed, Dec. 05, 2007

JAZZ TOWN | Methenys lay down foundation plans


The Kansas City Star
The home fires still burn in the hearts of the musical Methenys,
flugelhornist Mike and guitarist Pat. They¹ve never forgotten their roots in
Lee¹s Summit, and Lee¹s Summit is proving it has never forgotten them.

Almost three years ago Lee¹s Summit Journal columnist Kathy Smith and some
friends began talking about ways the community might honor Pat Metheny, the
pace-setting guitarist and composer and 17-time Grammy Award winner. The
talk expanded to honoring others in the family, too, because the Methenys
have been making things happen in Lee¹s Summit since 1915.

And now, with the family¹s involvement, that talk has grown into the Metheny
Music Foundation, a group with two specific goals for the near term, a dream
for the long term and a fundraising strategy that¹s guaranteed to make
people happy.

³The concept for the whole thing began with some local citizens in Lee¹s
Summit who laid the groundwork before the family knew much about what was
going on,² said Mike Metheny, who sits on the foundation¹s board of
directors along with Smith and several others. ³The credit for what it¹s now
become goes to other people.²

The first foundation goal to be realized was creating scholarships to send
serious high school music students to summer jazz camps. Two were sent to
the University of Missouri-Kansas City jazz camp this summer, and more
scholarships for Lee¹s Summit music students are on the horizon. (Watch the
foundation¹s Web site, metheny musicfoundation.org, for more information.)

The second goal is to put up a sculpture that honors the Metheny family
legacy. The proposed design, by Jason Bartsch, has a guitar and an LP record
for Pat and a trumpet for Mike and other ancestors (³Our dad was a good
trumpet player, and our maternal grandfather was a trumpet player,² Mike
said). It even has an old Dodge hubcap, because father Dave and grandfather
Harrison were car dealers. No site has been selected for the sculpture yet;
it will be 7 or 8 feet tall, Mike Metheny said.

The third goal, still in the dreaming stage, is the creation of a Missouri
Music Museum in Lee¹s Summit. The idea has plenty of possibilities, because
Missouri music covers a lot of territory: Coleman Hawkins and Charlie
Parker, Porter Wagoner and Virgil Thomson, Scott Joplin and Chuck Berry, and
Sheryl Crow and Nelly.

But the next big step is the foundation¹s spectacular fundraiser, set for
March 7. Pat Metheny and his trio, with bassist Christian McBride and
drummer Antonio Sanchez, will have released a CD by then, ³Day Trip,² and
they¹ll be touring behind it. Between shows in Texas and Florida, the
high-powered trio will perform a show at Unity Village to benefit the
Metheny Music Foundation. (Tickets start at $35; they¹re available at
Cameron¹s at 26 S.E. Third St. in Lee¹s Summit, or see the Web site above).

That homecoming show will feature Mike sitting in with the band for a number
or two (probably ³Always and Forever,² the ballad Pat dedicated to his
parents). It will also feature, believe it or not, a medley of Pat¹s tunes
arranged for marching band and performed by Lee¹s Summit high school

The Methenys haven¹t been shy about letting everyone know that the place
they come from contributed to who they are. It even shows in their song
titles ‹ Pat¹s ³Unity Village² and ³Lone Jack,² and Mike¹s ³Lakeview
Ballad,² after the street where they grew up, and ³Third and Green,² after
the corner where their father¹s car dealership was.

Let¹s hope the whole Kansas City music community isn¹t shy about showing
some appreciation.


€Composer and pianist Brad Cox has presented holiday music programs for five
years, all of them surprising and unconventional but also right on. This
year he has adapted sources from medieval times to now into ³The Christmas
Story,² which he¹ll perform with a nine-piece ensemble at 4 p.m. Sunday at
All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, 4501 Walnut St. Tickets cost $10.

€There¹s a new big band in town, dedicated to playing original music that
pays attention to the Kansas City riff tradition and everything that has
come along since. They call themselves the New Jazz Order. Trumpeter Clint
Ashlock is the leader, and some of the key members are friends he made as a
student in the UMKC jazz program. They¹re playing from 9 p.m. to midnight
Tuesday at Harling¹s Upstairs, 3941-A Main St.

€Singer Giacomo Gates, a bebop and vocalese man in the tradition of Eddie
Jefferson, is the next featured performer on the Kansas City Jazz
Ambassadors concert series.

He¹ll perform with pianist Joe Cartwright, bassist Bob Bowman and drummer
Tommy Ruskin at 7 p.m. Monday in the 12th Street Rag Room of the Downtown
Marriott, 200 W. 12th St. Tickets cost $25, $10 for students.

€The Kansas City Youth Jazz Bands program shows off its considerable
achievements in a concert at 4 p.m. Sunday at Metropolitan Community
College-Penn Valley, 3201 Southwest Trafficway.

€The Blue Room, 1600 E. 18th St., offers singer Pat Wilson and her quartet
at 7 tonight; that¹s free. Singer Ida McBeth takes charge at 8:30 p.m.
Friday, and the Jazz Disciples perform with Lisa Henry, who is subbing for
Debbie Duncan, at 8:30 p.m. Saturday; cover is $10. Organist Everette DeVan
is in charge of the Monday jam session at 7 p.m.; that¹s free.

€Organist Ken Lovern and his OJT band deliver a well-informed
concert/lecture on organ jazz, with an emphasis on its history in Kansas
City, from 7 to 8:30 tonight at the West Wyandotte Branch of the Kansas
City, Kan., Public Library, at 1737 N. 82nd St.

To reach Joe Klopus, call 816-234-4751 or send e-mail to jklopus at kcstar.com.

© 2007 Kansas City Star and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

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