Music

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Benjamin “Bennie” Moten was an influential pianist and bandleader whose career was essential to the development of Kansas City-style jazz. 
The musician most closely associated with Kansas City jazz, pianist and bandleader William Basie was born in New Jersey and came to Kansas City in the late 1920s.
Maj. N. Clark Smith was a prominent musician, composer, and instructor and one of the most accomplished African American bandmasters of the early 20th century.
Singer Myra Taylor is recognized as one of the last great performers from Kansas City’s jazz heyday of the 1930s.
Among the great jazz musicians, Mary Lou Williams was a piano prodigy and became a professional performer while in her teens.
Ironically nicknamed “Speedy” for his slow, soft-shoe dancing style, L. C. Huggins’ roots stretched back to the city’s Golden Age of Jazz.
Born in Boonville, Missouri, and raised in Kansas City, Julia Lee was a singer and pianist whose work incorporated both blues and jazz. 
James Columbus “Jay” McShann was a prominent and influential jazz pianist and band leader. Growing up in Muskogee, Oklahoma, he defied his parents’ disapproval of his musical inclinations and taught himself to play the piano.
Musical giant Charlie Parker was a key creator of bebop, the jazz style marked by improvisation, quick tempos, and virtuosic technique. Born in Kansas City, Kansas, and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Parker attended Lincoln High School.
Bettye Miller and Milt Abel, a husband and wife musical duo, reigned over the Kansas City jazz scene from the 1950s through the 1970s.