Revamped Kansas City Jazz and Heritage Festival debuts this weekend

Posted at 4:58 PM, May 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-25 17:58:00-04

It’s been over one year in the making. On Thursday, crews began setting up for the revamped Kansas City Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner, Executive Director of The American Jazz Museum, said, "You're a jazz city, and you need to do a world class festival."

The event is a three-day music and culture festival showcasing Kansas City’s role in the development of music and jazz.

"The most important thing about this festival is we are really highlighting our heritage that is jazz, as well as we want the community to really be prideful of this heritage," Kositany-Buckner said. 

After finding their new focus, the Kansas City Jazz and Heritage festival will feature an impressive lineup.

Jo Macklin, Festival Music Manager, said, "I mean you have people like Ida McBeth, we have Queen Bey, you have the McFadden Brothers who are local, you know just beautiful talent, and then you have national stars like Brandy Norwood, and then you have Lalah Hathaway."

This year’s festival will feature more than 50 artists. They will take one of the five festival stages, making it too big for the 18th and Vine District alone.

“The way we're setting it up, as you can see, we've blocked off some streets. We have Truman blocked off all the way up to 19th off of Paseo, and I think it's just a good look, and I think we just want to bring a different kind of energy," Macklin said. 

Tickets are available online at the Kansas City Jazz and Heritage Festival website or can be purchased at The American Jazz Museum box office.

Kositany-Buckner said she wants everyone to feel welcome at this year’s event.

“I think what I want the customers to come and enjoy and go away feeling very, very prideful that they are part of KC and they are a part of this heritage," she said. 

The 2017 festival will kick-off Friday with Grammy winner Lalah Hathaway opening on the main stage at 7 p.m.