Folly Theater
Folly Jazz Series: Anat Cohen Quartetinho 

Ever charismatic, prolific and inspired, Grammy-nominated clarinetist-saxophonist Anat Cohen has won hearts and minds the world over with her expressive virtuosity and delightful stage presence. As The Wall Street Journal says, “What’s not to love about a young clarinetist and saxophonist who plays everything we love – modern jazz, world music, “hot” New Orleans style jazz – and does it all brilliantly?”

The perennial winner of “Clarinetist of the Year” titles from DownBeatJazzTimes, and the Jazz Journalists AssociationFresh Air’s Terry Gross credits Cohen with “bringing the clarinet to the world” and The New York Times hails her a “Master.”

A unique blend of modern and traditional jazz, classical music, Brazilian choro, Argentine tango, and an expansive timeline of Afro-Cuban styles, the Anat Cohen Quartet is a musical tour-de-force that propels the clarinet to its rightful place at the forefront of jazz. Performing repertoire spanning Anat’s career and deep catalog of recordings, the Quartet has been Anat’s core ensemble through the years.

 Saturday, February 12, 2022 8:00 PM Anat Cohen Quartetinho  [buy tickets]
Mark and Maggie O'Connor Duo 

Mark O'Connor began his creative journey at the feet of American fiddling legend Benny Thomasson, and the iconic French jazz violinist Stéphane Grappelli. Now, at age 59, he has melded these influences into a new American classical music, and is perpetuating his vision of an American School of String Playing. Mr. O’Connor has won three Grammys, seven CMA awards as well as several national fiddle, guitar and mandolin champion titles. His distinguished career includes representing the United States Information Agency in cultural diplomacy to six continents and performing in front of several U.S. presidents including being invited to the White House by President Ronald Reagan to perform as a teen.

Violinist and American fiddler Maggie O'Connor performs a variety of musical styles throughout the U.S. and beyond, most recently as a member of the Grammy Award-winning Mark O'Connor Band. Frequently performing with her husband, violinist and composer Mark O'Connor, together they have appeared as guest soloists with the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, the Santa Rosa Symphony, the Walla Walla Symphony, the Nashville Symphony with the O'Connor Band, and many other symphony orchestras performing his compositions ranging from his Strings and Threads Suite to his Double Violin Concerto and Johnny Appleseed Suite.

The couple has also performed violin duos around the world, including the Leopold Auer Music Academy Hungary as well as the Berlin Konzerthaus celebrating the centennial birthday of the great violinist Yehudi Menuhin. Maggie was a member of the O'Connor Band, whose debut album Coming Home won a Grammy Award for "Best Bluegrass Album of the Year" in 2017 at the 59th Grammy Awards. Along with the Mark O’Connor Duo, Maggie has also frequently performed in her husband’s ensembles ranging from Hot Swing and An Appalachian Christmas, a hit concert tour taking place each holiday season.

 Friday, February 18, 2022 8:00 PM Mark and Maggie O'Connor  [buy tickets]
Allison Moorer 
Allison Moorer is a singer/songwriter, producer, and author who has released ten critically acclaimed albums.  Her first memoir, Blood, was released in October 2019 to high praise and received starred reviews in Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus, and Booklist.  Her second, I Dream He Talks to Me, was published in October 2021.  She has been nominated for Avademy, Grammy, Americana Music Association, and Academy of country Music Awards.  Allison holds an MFA in Creative Writing from The New School; her work has been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, American Songwriter, Guernica, No Depression, Literary Hub, and The Bitter Southerner.  She received the Hall-Waters Prize for Excellence in Southern Writing in 2020.  She lives in Nashville.
 Saturday, March 5, 2022 8:00 PM Allison Moorer  [buy tickets]
Folly Jazz Series: Paquito D'Rivera Quintet 

Paquito D’Rivera defies categorization.  The winner of fourteen Grammy Awards, he is celebrated both for his artistry in Latin jazz and his achievements as a classical composer.

Born in Havana, Cuba, he performed at age 10 with the National Theater Orchestra, studied at the Havana Conservatory of Music, and, at 17, became a featured soloist with the Cuban National Symphony.  As a founding member of the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna, he directed that group for two years, while at the same time playing both the clarinet and saxophone with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra.

His numerous recordings include more than 30 solo albums. In 1988, he was a founding member of the United Nation Orchestra, a 15-piece ensemble organized by Dizzy Gillespie to showcase the fusion of Latin and Caribbean influences with jazz. D’Rivera continues to appear as a guest conductor. A Grammy was awarded to the United Nation Orchestra in 1991, the same year D’Rivera received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Carnegie Hall for his contributions to Latin music.

D’Rivera’s most recent releases include Por La Rivera De Paquito and Kites Over Havana in 2017. Paquito’s most recent book “Letter to Yeyito”, published in 2015, is a captivating memoir of his history and experiences in the jazz world.

Band Line-Up

  • Paquito D’Rivera – AltoSax & Clarinet
  • Diego Urcola – Trumpet
  • Alex Brown – Piano
  • Oscar Stagnaro – Bass
  • Mark Walker – Drums
 Saturday, March 12, 2022 8:00 PM Paquito D'Rivera Quintet  [buy tickets]
Golden Girls Gone Wild Part 2 

Kansas City's Late Night Theatre brings an all-new version of the fantastic geriatric classic "Golden! Girls Gone Wild! Part 2!" to the Folly Theater in another hilarious drag parody of the phenomenal television show!

Join in the continuing adventures of Dorothy, Rose, Sophia, and Blanche as this talented troupe of actors recreate new episodes, along with a favorite or two from their inaugural Golden Girls Gone Wild.  All packed with the most witticisms and life lessons that the Golden Girls (or men in drag) can throw out!

Watch as this wild touring group of guys and girls perform their parody of the iconic hospital scenes, such as the one when Sophia thinks she's dying, the one when Blanche struggles over giving her kidney to her sister, or hte one when Rose has a heart attack and bypass surgery.  Yes, hospitals are funny!  Just you wait!

 Saturday, March 19, 2022 8:00 PM Golden Girls Gone Wild Part 2  [buy tickets]
2022 KCFAA 
The talented dancers of Ailey II are universally renowned for captivating audiences and translating their strength and agility into powerful performances.  Ailey II merges the energy of the country's best young dance talent with the passion and creative vision of today's most outstanding emerging choreographers.  Under the leadership of Francesca Harper, the Ailey spirit shines as these artists perform an exhilarating and diverse repertory that includes Alvin Ailey's timeless classics and thrilling new works.
 Friday, April 8, 2022 7:30 PM Ailey II  [buy tickets]
 Saturday, April 9, 2022 1:30 PM Ailey II  [buy tickets]
Folly Jazz Series: An Evening with Eliane Elias 

Over the course of a distinguished career spanning nearly 30 albums, multi-Grammy-winning pianist/singer/composer Eliane Elias’ distinctive musical style has emerged as one of the most unique and immediately recognizable sounds in jazz. With over 2.2 million albums sold to date, Elias blends her Brazilian roots and alluring voice with her virtuosic instrumental jazz, classical and compositional skills, while she consistently displays her pianistic mastery and ability to integrate the many artistic roles she takes on.

Elias’ most recent recording, Love Stories, is an orchestral, all-English album released in 2019, via Concord Jazz. “I am very proud of this production and feel it’s one of the most romantic sets of music I’ve ever produced,” she says of the project, which she recorded in Brazil and at London’s Abbey Road Studios alongside co-producers Marc Johnson and Steve Rodby. Eliane Elias last performed at the Folly Theater in 2017 closing out that season’s jazz series to an almost sold-out crowd!

Band Line-Up

  • Eliane Elias – Piano & Vocals
  • March Johnson – Bass
  • Tiago Michelin – Drums
 Saturday, April 16, 2022 8:00 PM An Evening With Eliane Elias  [buy tickets]
Folly Jazz Series: Jeff Lorber Fusion Trio 

Grammy Award-winning keyboardist, composer, and producer Jeff Lorber has, over the course of 42 years and 24 albums, pioneered the post-fusion sound of contemporary jazz with his radio-friendly, groove-oriented instrumental music.

From 1977’s Jeff Lorber Fusion to 2017’s Prototype (named Best Contemporary Instrumental Music album at the 60th annual Grammy Awards) to his recent collaboration with guitar great Mike Stern on Eleven, Lorber has shown a knack for creating fresh vibes and funky grooves while layering on jazzy improvisations on piano, synthesizer, and his signature Fender Rhodes electric piano. Lorber’s work has spanned widely to include music for The Weather Channel and the hit video game, Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

Jeff also served as a speaker for the PKD Foundation, after being diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease and received a successful kidney transplant from his wife.

Band Line-Up

  • Jeff Lorber – Keyboard
  • Jimmy Haslip – Bass
  • Sonny Emory – Drums
 Saturday, April 23, 2022 8:00 PM Jeff Lorber Fusion Trio  [buy tickets]
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