Saturday, July 29, 2017

Mighty Mo Combo's "Ella" Wins Best of Venue. Special Encore Performance Added!

Eboni Fondren and the Mighty Mo Combo have won this year's Best of Venue at KC Fringe for their show "Ella!" As a result, a special encore performance has been added for Sunday, July 30, 2017 at 1:30 pm at City Stage in Union Station.

Tickets are available at under Best of Venue: Union Station: Tribute to Ella. The event is expected to sell out so advanced purchase is encouraged.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Ella's legacy lives on at this year's KC Fringe Festival

Join the Mighty Mo Combo and special guest vocalist Eboni Fondren as they channel the immortal legacy of Ella Fitzgerald, the First Lady of Song, for two performances on the 2017 KC Fringe Festival.

With a program based around Ella's hits including "A-tisket, A-tasket," "Get Happy," "Caravan," and "Hard-Hearted Hannah,"  Eboni has studied Ella's stage mannerisms and vocal stylings to honor one of the twentieth century's greatest voices across all genres.

"Ella" run for two performance on Friday, July 21, 2017 and Friday July 28, 2017 at City Stage at Union Station (30 W. Pershing Rd.). Both shows are at 7:30 p.m. Admission requires the one-time purchase of this year's $5 KC Fringe button (grants access to all KC Fringe shows) and $10 per performance. Tickets and buttons available at

For additional jazz offerings, check out the newly formed Mini Mo Combo performing "Improvisations" on Monday, July 24 at 6 and again on Wednesday, July 26 at 10:30 pm.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Generating and Overcoming May 6 & 7, 2017

Generating and Overcoming
Saturday, May 6, 2017
7:30 pm Sunday, May 7, 2017
2:00 pm
J.C. Nichols Auditorium, National World War I Museum and Memorial

2 Memorial Drive., Kansas City, MO

MAFB’s spring concert takes listeners on a journey from the bottom of the sea with Alex Shapiro’s Immersion—a work for band and electronics that at times sounds as if she invited humpback whales to solo in a jazz club—to sweeping panoramic earthly vistas with Kansas City-based James Mobberley’s piece Fantasy in Earth Tones. Sydney Hodkinson’s Stone Images, Daniel McIntosh’s Earth, and a new commissioned piece inspired by solar flares from Justin Raines are also programmed. Manuel de Falla’s Ritual Fire Dance and Sea Songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams bring a classical touch. And what season based on the elements would be complete without a medley of songs from Earth Wind and Fire.
Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Season tickets are $25.

Generating and Overcoming
Justin Raines: CME (commissioned premiere)
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Sea Songs
Bach/McGinty: Air Daniel McIntosh: Earth
James Mobberley: Fantasy on Earth Tones
Alex Shapiro: Immersion
Manuel de Falla: Ritual Fire Dance
Sydney Hodkinson: Stone Images
Earth Wind and Fire In Concert

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Mid America Freedom Band Announces 15th Season including 2018 LGBA Conference

March 30, 2017 (Kansas City, MO) -  The Mid America Freedom Band’s 15th season is based on the theme of Frontiers and Pioneers. In addition to its annual fall and holiday concerts, this season also includes the organization’s second educational concert for the National World War I Museum and Memorial and the 2018 Annual Conference of the Lesbian and Gay Band Association, for which MAFB will proudly serve as the host band.

“Season 15 is a monumental one for the Mid America Freedom Band,” said Lee Hartman, MAFB artistic director. “It’s hard to believe that from 13 musicians 15 years ago to the 70-plus performing members of today that we’d be playing the diverse repertoire of often marginalized composers that we are and welcoming the Lesbian and Gay Band Association to the Kansas City. I can’t wait to show off our great city and all that MAFB has accomplished.”

Jessie Riggins, board president, agreed. “Having a chance to show LGBA members from across the globe just what Kansas City has to offer artistically is exciting,” she said. “It’s a wonderful time to live in Kansas City, and the anticipation levels from our Mid America Freedom Band members and other Kansas City organizations we are partnering with are high, creating a really thrilling environment all around.”

Sunday, October 29, 2017
2 p.m.
J.C. Nichols Auditorium, National World War I Museum and Memorial
2 Memorial Dr., Kansas City, MO

MAFB’s fall concert blends music about those who pursued liberty and justice for all with “space—the final frontier.” Julie Giroux’s Boston Liberties programmatically recounts the first days of the American Revolution. Lincoln Portrait by Aaron Copland, Mark Camphouse’s Movement for Rosa, and O’Neal Douglas, Jr’s Vigil touch upon key points in the battle for civil rights, culminating in Florence Price’s Three Negro Dances and an excerpt from Julius Eastman’s Gay Guerrilla. Price was the first African-American woman to have a piece played by a major orchestra, and Eastman was a queer black maverick musician of uncompromising skill and innovation. Louisa Trewartha’s premiere takes inspiration from the frontier setting of Little House on the Prairie, and the final frontiers are showcased in a medley of themes from the Star Trek series, Ralph Raymond Hays’ Jovian Moons, and a whimsical take on Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star by Frederick Piket.

Kringle and Krampus: Holidays on Screen
Saturday, December 16, 2017
7:30 p.m.
Sunday, December 17, 2017
2 p.m.
J.C. Nichols Auditorium, National World War I Museum and Memorial
2 Memorial Dr., Kansas City, MO

The music of holiday movies and television specials leap off the silver and small screens to the concert stage for MAFB’s “Kringle and Krampus.” Classics like Miracle on 34th St., A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Christmas Vacation are juxtaposed with some off-the-wall selections including Randall Standridge’s A Christmas Tale: Beware the Krampus, Jerry Goldsmith’s award-winning score to Gremlins, and what if 2001: A Space Odyssey was a Christmas film with Julie Giroux’s Beautiful Blue Danube Christmas Waltz. Bass vocalist Luke Williams is the guest soloist for Beware the Krampus, “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch,” and John Moss’ evocative setting of Night Before Christmas.

Votes for Women!
Sunday, February 25, 2018
2 p.m.
J.C. Nichols Auditorium, National World War I Museum and Memorial
2 Memorial Dr., Kansas City, MO

Concurrent to the events surrounding World War I was the Women’s Suffrage Movement. MAFB will, in a concertized setting, recreate portions of the 1913 Women’s Suffrage Procession in Washington, D.C., highlighting Missouri’s own Alma Nash and her musical contributions to this important milestone in the fight for equality.

2018 Lesbian and Gay Band Association Conference
There’s No Place Like Home
May 23–27, 2018
Jazz Band - Friday, May 25, 2018
Lyric Opera of Kansas City Richard J. Stern Center
1725 Holmes St., Kansas City, MO 64108
Concert Bands - Saturday, May 26, 2018
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
1601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, 64108

MAFB serves as the host organization for the 2018 Lesbian and Gay Band Association Conference. Approximately 400 LGBTQ and allied band musicians from the 30+ member bands will converge on Kansas City to perform in two massed concert bands and a jazz big band. Taking its title from the immortal line from The Wizard of Oz, “There’s No Place Like Home” features the music of regional composers and exciting collaborations.

Season and individual tickets go on sale summer 2017.

The Mid America Freedom Band is a community ensemble of LGBT and allied instrumental musicians with 70-plus playing members. MAFB provides opportunities for instrumental music lovers to share their passion of performance with the diverse community of Kansas City. It strives for excellence while promoting equality, fostering education, and celebrating the joy shared through music. For more information, visit

Season Repertoire (Tentative)

Louisa Trewartha: New Work (commission, world premiere)
Julie Giroux: Boston Liberties
Aaron Copland: Lincoln Portrait
Florence Price: Three Negro Dances
Mark Camphouse: Movement for Rosa
Julius Eastman: Gay Guerrilla (excerpt)
O’Neal Douglas, Jr: Vigil: For Those Who Do Not Know
Ralph Raymond Hays: Jovian Moons
Arr. Moss: Star Trek Through the Years
Frederick Piket: Variations on Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Kringle and Krampus: Holidays On Screen
Bruce Broughton/Johnnie Vinson: Overture to Miracle on 34th St.
Randall Standridge: A Christmas Tale: Beware the Krampus
John Moss: Night Before Christmas
Arr. Julie Giroux: “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”
Alan Silvestri: Polar Express
Vince Guaraldi: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Julie Giroux: Beautiful Blue Danube Christmas Waltz
Cynthia Weil: Christmas Vacation
Jerry Goldsmith: Gremlins
John Williams: Home Alone
Lyle Moraine: “Christmas Island” from Elf
Irving Berlin: Happy Holidays/White Christmas

Votes for Women!
Ethel Smyth: March of Women
Otto Schreiner: Suffragettes
Selections from the Suffragette Songbook (pub. Topeka, Kansas)
Selections from the March 3, 1913 Women’s Suffrage Procession

2018 Lesbian and Gay Band Association Conference
Jazz Band Selections
TBA - Selected to highlight Kansas City’s rich jazz heritage
Concert Band Selections

Composers include Chen Yi, Zhou Long, Randall Standridge, Derek Jenkins, Ingrid Stölzel, Carlos Surinach, Aleks Sternfeld-Dunn, Daniel Morel, Claude T. Smith, Harold Arlen, and more.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Brookside St. Patrick's Day Parade Rescheduled

Due to the potential upcoming inclement weather event Kansas City may experience this weekend, the Brookside St. Patrick's Day Warm-Up Parade has been postponed until March 18th.  Because of this rescheduling, MAFB will be unable to perform at this wonderful neighborhood event. We are saddened by this unfortunate turn of events but we will be back for the 2018 parade! Sláinte!

Francis Family Foundation

Thanks to this season's supporters
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