TITLE: 2021 Fellows (ARC-3671)

2021 FELLOWS album coming to all digital music services worldwide. Album photo by Duane Hallock.

Album Notes

The “2021 FELLOWS” (ARC-3671) album presents our two branded ensembles in a wonderful program of original compositions and arrangements of varied Jazz styles and sensibilities. Kansas City Area Youth Jazz premieres both the Leon Brady Ensemble and the Bill Crain Ensemble with music written by Dr. Arthur White, WM Thornton, William Crain and Christopher Burnett.

Digital Download and Streaming Formats Only

TITLE: 2020 Fellows (ARC-2277)

2020 FELLOWS album is at all digital music services worldwide. Album photo by Duane Hallock.

Album Notes

The “2020 FELLOWS” (ARC-2277) album, which is the second professional studio recording by the Kansas City Area Youth Jazz program, was realized during the active social distancing phase of the global coronavirus pandemic safety protocols of 2020. The program followed the guidance of the CDC as well as the mandates by our metropolitan boarder states of Kansas and Missouri without incident.

The 2020 Season was also the last season of high school-only musicians being accepted into the program. Our goal was to provide the program for two years to high school musicians and if it was appreciated and of continued interest, we would expand to include college musicians in the 2021 Season (which we have done).

The approach and vision for 2020 FELLOWS album repertoire was to include the work of various composers and arrangers who are actively working in the field of the professional jazz arts today. Each of the composers and arrangers were approached then asked for a specific composition for the Kansas City Area Youth Jazz Fellows to perform and record. Each one generously provided their work without mechanical license requirements. The 2020 FELLOWS album features original work by noted composers Bobby Watson, Bill Crain, Patrick Cornelius, David Berkman, and William Crain that’s been especially arranged for the recording.

The album was recorded at Studio A of the BRC Audio Productions recording facility in Kansas City, Kansas. The Kansas City region encompasses both Missouri and Kansas metropolitan areas and is affectionately known as simply “KC” to natives. KC is also acknowledged as one of the significant historical centers that originated and perpetuates the modern style of Jazz music. The KC Jazz legacy runs deep, going back to the “father of modern jazz,” Charlie Parker up through today’s Jazz giants like Bobby Watson and Pat Metheny.

The Kansas City Area Youth Jazz program is a relatively new and unique young artists program that performs and records original music as its primary goal for each cohort. Fellows are selected each season by a rigorous audition process of candidates who come from artists considered to be among the “best of the best” next-generation jazz musicians in KC. It’s a very unique program model that began in 2019 with an innovative approach to refine the applied jazz skills of area youth. Explore our website to learn more about this program!

Digital Download and Streaming Formats Only

TITLE: 2019 Fellows (ARC-2994)

2019 FELLOWS album is at all digital music services worldwide. Album photo by Duane Hallock.


Hello everyone! Thanks for supporting Kansas City Area Youth Jazz discography. The 2019 Fellows’ album is finally finished and released worldwide, with a limited edition vinyl version. Our professional staff and esteemed faculty during our first season were unpaid volunteers. That says lots about the motives and reasoning behind our program. Our motivation is to pass down our professional knowledge of the jazz musical art form to our youngest generations. We normally do this through a four-month season of 16 rehearsals, concerts, and recording sessions. Fellows usually perform original compositions and arrangements written specifically for them, learn the process of preparing music for commercial release, and learn about booking live performances in the community, among other vital business skills. Among our goals is to immerse participants in an artist-level program that helps provide useful insights before attending college, university, or conservatory music programs. The Kansas City Area Youth Jazz experience helps refine and inform such decisions. 


Thanks to all of the Fellows and their families for understanding and seeing the vision of this program then supporting it by participating. Thanks again to Bill Crain for his friendship, artistic passion, and expertise in the fields of musical performance and audio engineering. The sound of this 2019 Fellows ensemble is a musical reflection of his ability to connect with these young jazz musicians at a level of detail and subtlety that produced artistry. Thanks to Joel Gordon for his tangible commitment to the program in its first season through his untiring dedication as an educator, musician recruiter, and one of our program liaisons to the Kansas City area professional music educators’ community. Thanks to Will Crain for his work with engineering the recording sessions and managing the studio each week during our season rehearsals. And thanks to Dr. Arthur White for composing such great original music for this program. Like Bill, he saw the vision from the beginning and became an immediate friend of the program.Thanks again to everyone for getting involved and supporting this unique and innovative youth jazz program! 

Christopher Burnett 
Artistic Director and Founder 

Digital and Vinyl LP | Available in Digital Download and Streaming Formats Only

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Youth Jazz Fellows are ARC Recording Artists