Kansas Public Radio brings holiday jazz concert to Lawrence

Originally published December 7, 2010 at 11:35 p.m., updated December 7, 2010 at 11:35 p.m.

Kansas Public Radio is presenting the second annual Big Band Christmas performance this Saturday at Liberty Hall, 644 Mass. and if KPR Media Manager Phil Wilke has it his way, it will be the second of many.

"That's what we're hoping to do this year. By next year more people will look forward to it," says Wilke.

Last year's headlining act was David Basse, a regular host of KPR's "The Jazz Scene." This year, the show will feature reworked Christmas classics by the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra.

Founded in 2003, the KCJO is a 17-piece big band that performs in and around the Kansas City area. The band features a regular roster of talented musicians, but also showcases guest performers depending on the show. For their holiday show "A Big Band Christmas," big band arrangements from Duke Ellington, Rob McConnell, Bob Florence and the group's own Kerry Strayer will be showcased.

"This is a holiday show that they've developed over the years that we're real pleased to be able to bring to Lawrence," Wilke added.

So pleased in fact that KPR is using a combination of station resources and low ticket prices to attract attendees. At $10, the show is a steal for any fan of traditional Jazz arrangements or Christmas music lover. Tickets are available now at the Liberty Hall box office. The show starts at 8 p.m.