Hey-Hay, Going to Kansas City

Photographer Steve Wilson.
Photographer Steve Wilson.

Choreography: Donald McKayle
Music: Various

This piece celebrates the Golden Age of Kansas City Jazz utilizing seven selections from the rich anthology of the men and women who created the music that filled the more than a hundred clubs and dance halls along 18th Street and 12th Street and throughout what is now known as Kansas City’s Historic Jazz District.

The title of McKayle’s piece stems from the Hey Hay Club, a converted hay and feed barn located at 4th and Cherry, where customers sat on bales of hay and musicians such as Count Basie performed on a stage built from a hay wagon. From Euday Bowman, the last of the early ragtime composer’s 12th Street Rag, through the great Count Basies’s signature composition Jumpin at the Woodside, it traces highlights of some of Kansas City’s legends: Jay McShann, Jesse Stone, Mary Lou Williams, Charlie Parker, Buster Smith. The dance is a seamless rejoicing in the wealth of musical expression that continues to entertain people around the world.

World Premiere: February 21, 2008, Lyric Theatre, Kansas City, Missouri

All Repertory