A jazz singer lives her dream by moving to KC

Jackie Myers Quartet
Photography Courtesy of Jackie Myers Quartet

In 2016, Jackie Myers found herself in Kansas City for a night, touring as a pianist with a pop band based out of Nashville. “The music was cool,” Myers says, “but it wasn’t jazz. I wasn’t fulfilled. I was tired of playing the same thing night after night.” Myers stepped into the Green Lady Lounge to listen to some jazz before her gig. Danny Embrey’s trio was on the bill for the night. “When I walked in and heard them, I just thought, ‘What am I doing with my life?’” Myers says.

Over the course of the next several months, Myers emailed the Green Lady incessantly. “We don’t have a spot right now, but try back in six months,” they’d say.

Myers would write it down on her calendar and do just that, over and over again. Finally, Myers got an email from club owner John Scott: Can you play this weekend?

Myers dropped everything, cleared her plans for the weekend and made the drive from Austin, her home at the time, to Kansas City.

Scott was thoroughly impressed by Myers’ performance. He wanted her to record a live jazz album at the Green Lady. She went back to Austin and wrote an entire album of original music in four months. When she came back to the Green Lady to record, it went well again.

The next day, Scott called Myers and asked to meet for coffee. “Have you ever thought about moving to Kansas City?” he asked.

“All I wanted to do was play jazz in Kansas City,” Myers says, “and I was sotired of being on the road.”

In late 2017, Myers, a multi-talented jazz pianist, vocalist and composer, put down roots in Kansas City for a residency at the Green Lady Lounge and, most importantly, to pursue her true passion: jazz.

Now, four years later, Myers is a part of the Johnson County Community College Jazz Series lineup this month, playing straight-ahead jazz to honor the Kansas City tradition. Now in its thirty-third year, the series features the best jazz musicians of the city, with a long line of legends in its history. In December, Myers will make her debut at The Folly Theater. This performance will feature the skilled composer’s original music in The Folly’s listening room.

While the repertoire varies between these two performances, both share the same all-star quartet with Ben Tervort on bass, Marty Morrison on drums and Trent Austin, the newest member of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, on trumpet. Myers’ soulful voice, witty lyrics and deft piano playing, especially with this tight combo, are not to be missed.

In addition to these two big performances, Jackie Myers has a full plate of exciting projects. Currently, she is writing a musical, finishing up her master’s degree at the UMKC Conservatory, getting back to gigging consistently (you can catch her regularly at Corvino Supper Club, The Foundation and American Slang Brasserie), film-scoring for her production company, Silent Films Out Loud, which revives silent Buster Keaton films, and building a home studio.

GO: Jackie Myers Quartet, Yardley Hall in the Midwest Trust Center at JCCC, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park. Tuesday, October 26. 7 pm. Free. Jackie Myers Quartet, The Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St., KCMO. Tuesday, December 7. 7 pm. $22. Seating limited to forty-five

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