Folly Theater’s 35th Jazz Season Brings World-Renowned Jazz Musicians to Kansas City

This year marks the 35th Anniversary of the Folly Theater’s Jazz Series!  The past 35 years, the Folly has curated seasons featuring Jazz greats like Chick Corea, Esperanza Spaulding to Jon Batiste, and Robert Glasper. The Folly Theater is kicking off its 35th anniversary with its most diverse lineup yet.

Starting with Lee Ritenour 9 (Oct. 28), a Grammy-award winning contemporary jazz guitarist, who was a founding member of the group Fourplay and started out his music career as a session player for the Mamas & Papas and Tony Bennett. Spanish Harlem Orchestra (Dec. 9) spices up the holidays with Salsa Navidad, as they showcase their brand of salsa and Latin jazz, dedicated to the sounds of the barrio. In 2014, Marcus Roberts’ (Jan. 19) life and works were featured on an episode of 60 Minutes, segment entitledThe Virtuoso,” which traced Roberts’ life to date from his early roots at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind to his remarkable career as a modern jazz pianist. Vocalist Cyrille Aimee (Feb. 17) was raised in France in the same town as legendary gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt had lived, and became hypnotized by gypsy music. Her hybrid of influences has resulted in a sound that is at once both fresh and enlivening.  When Hot Sardines (Mar. 9) appeared at the Folly previously, they wowed the audience with their Paris Cabaret of the 20s meets New Orleans Jazz approach. The Sardine sound is steeped in hot jazz, salty stride piano and the kind of music Louis Armstrong and Fats Waller used to make: straight-up, foot-stomping jazz. Closing out the season is the all-star ensemble, SFJAZZ Collective (Apr. 27), comprising eight of the finest performer/composers at work in jazz today as they pay tribute to the music of Miles Davis.

Tickets go on sale, August 18th

The Folly Theater is a 501c(3) organization, whose mission is “To preserve Kansas City’s oldest historic theater as a premier performance venue, we commit to maintain our building’s heritage, diversify our program and entertainment offerings, and be an enthusiastic participant in the continuing revitalization of downtown Kansas City.”

Visit to purchase tickets or call the Folly Box Office at 816.474.4444.  The box office is located at 1020 Central Street, Suite 200 and is open Monday-Friday 10 am – 5 pm.