What were the songs you grew up listening to in the kitchen? Listening Party 35 will feature guest host Krystal Mack, who blends the culinary and visual arts here in Baltimore. As part of the culmination of her residency at The Walters Art Museum, she will partner with the Kissa to present a listening party that features songs important to her and her collaborators when they think about food preparation.
Listening Party 36 will feature the music of bagpiper and jazz musician Rufus Harley. Guest presenter Josh Kohn will share some of Harley’s greatest tracks and discuss how he went about incorporating such a unique instrument into the jazz idiom. Special thanks to the Enoch Pratt’s Best and Next department, featuring some great vinyl treasures! Complimentary beverages provided and all are welcome.
POSTPONED! We will have updated information on this session soon.
Listening Party will feature the legend Umar Bin Hassan of The Last Poets. This group paved the way for hip-hop as we know it today, incorporating spoken word, jazz riffs, and political consciousness. We are excited to debut our first listening session at the NEW Baby’s on Fire in Fell’s Point and to have Umar in person to discuss his music. Drinks and food available for purchase from Baby’s on Fire and all are welcome no matter what your jazz knowledge might be.
Listening Party 33 will be presented by special guest DJ Mills. He will share the incredible and unique sound that Larry and Alphonso Mizell were able to cultivate from some of Blue Note’s best jazz musicians in the 1970s. Think of jazz meets funk music!
The Mizells discovered music alongside their friends Donny Hathaway and Donald Byrd and by the 1960s were associated with Berry Gordy's Motown Records, writing hits for The Jackson 5 and Martha & The Vandellas. Eventually looking for a new sound, the Mizells once again linked up with their friend Donald Byrd in the early 1970s to combine their penchant for funk with new evolutions in jazz, and became a mainstay at Blue Note Records for the next decade. Their work at Blue Note continues to be used for sampling by the hip-hop community today.
Special thanks to Normal’s Books and Records for hosting us! Complimentary beer and coffee will be provided and all are welcome, regardless of your jazz expertise.
Listening Party 32 featured some great tuba players such as Bob Stewart, Arthur Blythe, Don Butterfield, and many more. Sometimes known as “the other bass,” the tuba was an important component for band leaders like Charles Mingus who created orchestral pieces. We listened to some tuba players who were happy to support the rest of the band as well as some musicians who put the tuba front and center in their jazz lineups. We are grateful to have had Soundscape as our host for this event.
LIstening Party 31 will features vinyl recordings of Dollar Brand, also known as Abdullah Ibrahim (b. 1934). Guest presenter Don Palmer will tell us about Ibrahim’s escape from persecution in South Africa and his rise as a jazz musician living in Europe combining American and African music.
After Palmer’s playlist, we’ll offer open turntables to anyone bringing their own vinyl. Complimentary beverages will be provided and we encourage everyone to peruse the amazing selection of literature and vinyl at Normal’s Books and Records, our host for the evening. The event is free and all are welcome no matter their prior jazz experience.
Jazz is one of the most unique genres of music and has often been categorized as “serious” or even conceptual. But jazz has always borrowed freely from other genres of music and the best jazz vocalists have been able to not only borrow, but marry their music with pop. Listening Party 30 welcomes guest presenter Andria Hanner, who will present vinyl recordings of iconic singers including Lena Horne, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Barbara Streisand, and many more.
Following our featured playlist, we’ll offer open turntables to anyone bringing their own vinyl. Complimentary beverages will be provided and all are welcome no matter your previous jazz experience.
There’s something about the jazz organ that can seem to warm you up in the middle of winter. Listening Party 29 will highlight a few of the talented women to have played this incredible instrument, with vinyl recordings of tracks by Trudy Pitts (1932-2010), Shirley Scott (1934-2002), Rhoda Scott (b.1938), and Barbara Dennerlein (b. 1964).
This will also be our first listening session at Dear Globe, a great new coffee shop located just a few doors down from the Eubie Blake Jazz Center. The venue is BYOB, and they’ll also have some tasty coffee and treats available for sale.
The event is totally free and open to everyone, regardless of your jazz knowledge.
Listening Party 28 will feature vinyl recordings of Latin jazz artists, and the line-up will be completely decided by the public. Are a Latin jazz lover? Do you have some Latin jazz records lying around the house that you'd like to share with others? Then help us plan our November Kissa session by joining our planning group. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you some upcoming meeting times. We'll get together periodically leading up to the event and play tracks for each other, eventually deciding on an overall playlist.
Just want to come listen to the Kissa? That's great too. As always, we'll have about an hour's worth of tracks for the listening party with open turntables afterwards for anyone bringing their own vinyl.
All are welcome, regardless of jazz or vinyl knowledge. Complimentary refreshments will be offered.
Listening Party 27 will feature vinyl recordings of percussion legend Joe Chambers, including his work on albums such as Andrew Hill's Compulsion, Archie Shepp's Fire Music, Bobby Hutcherson's Dialogue, and many more. Guest presenter Steve Estes will provide us with some context about Chambers' life and career, and then we'll hear about an hour of tracks before offering open turntables to the audience. This will be a great listening experience inside of a great record store!
All are invited, regardless of jazz knowledge. Complimentary refreshments will be offered.
Listening Party 26 will feature vinyl recordings of Japanese jazz artists such as Terumasa Hino, Maki Asakawa, Takehiro Honda, and more. The Kissa welcomes the Baltimore Japan Art Festival, and the audience will have a chance to learn about this awesome group and their upcoming festival. As always, we'll have about an hour's worth of tracks for the listening party with open turntables afterwards for anyone bringing their own vinyl.
All are welcome, regardless of your jazz or vinyl knowledge. Complimentary refreshments will be offered.
The Baltimore Museum of Art partnered with the Baltimore Kissa Society to host a listening party inspired by Jack Whitten’s passion for jazz. We gathered at the BMA and listened to vinyl recordings of jazz artists that fueled Whitten’s creative imagination including Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, and The Sun Ra Arkestra. We also listened to some amazing new jazz artists that are pushing ahead, just as Whitten did with his artistic practice. This was a nice two year anniversary.
Listening Party 24 will feature vinyl recordings of pianist, songwriter, and producer Allen Toussaint. Guest presenter Scott Hinman will discuss the life and style of Toussaint's music before playing an hour's worth of tracks. Afterwards, we'll offer open turntables to anyone bringing their own vinyl.
Everyone is welcome, regardless of your jazz or vinyl knowledge. Complimentary refreshments and red beans & rice will be offered.
Listening Party 23 will feature some great vinyl recordings from jazz drummer Tony Williams (1945-1997). You'll hear an hour's worth of tracks selected by guest presenter Ajay Malghan and then it's open turntables for anyone bringing their own albums. We will have some tasty refreshments, a great sound system, and plenty of good vibes. All are welcome!
Listening Party 22 will feature some great vinyl recordings from jazz cornetist, composer, and conductor Butch Morris (1947-2013). You'll hear tracks selected by guest presenters Don Palmer and Beth Frederick, who were friends of the late artist. After a half hour of social time, we'll listen to an hour of music, and then it's open turntables for anyone bringing their own albums. We will have some tasty refreshments, a great sound system, and plenty of good vibes. All are welcome!
Listening Party 21 will feature some great vinyl recordings from artists who helped to contribute to the Steely Dan studio sound. You'll hear tracks by jazz legends such as Wayne Shorter and Joe Sample, as well as the tunes they recorded with Steely Dan. After a half hour of social time, we'll listen to an hour of music, and then it's open turntables for anyone bringing their own albums. We will have some tasty refreshments, a great sound system, and plenty of good vibes at one of the coolest record stores in town. All are welcome!
Listening Party 20 will feature some great vinyl recordings from artists who helped to contribute to the Ragtime sound. You'll hear tracks by Baltimore's own Eubie Blake, as well as Jelly Roll Morton, Scott Joplin, Jo Ann Castle, and more. After a half hour of social time, we'll listen to an hour of music, and then it's open turntables for anyone bringing their own albums. We will have some tasty refreshments, a good sound system, and plenty of good vibes at the Eubie Blake Cultural Center. All are welcome!
Listening Party 19 will feature some great vinyl recordings from artists who helped to contribute to an "Afrofuturist" sound. You'll hear tracks by Minnie Riperton, Flora Purim, Abbey Lincoln, and many more. Come hear some great jazz music as well as a few pop and funk tracks with our host Vaunita Goodman. We will have some tasty refreshments, a good sound system, and plenty of good vibes at the Cardinal gallery space. All are welcome!
Listening Party 18 featured some great vinyl recordings from artists who helped create the sound we now call No Wave. These musicians—including James Chance, The Lounge Lizards, John Zorn, and Lydia Lunch, were inspired by jazz artists like Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, and Ornette Coleman. Our hosts Doug Hoepker and David Koslowski talked about the link between the the jazz world and No Wave, helping us to understand that these two genres are inextricably linked.
About the presenters:
Doug Hoepker curates the popular Little Records podcast (littlerecords.net), which focuses on underground and outsider rock from 1976-1994, and hosts an eclectic monthly DJ night, Pretty Ugly (IG: @prettyuglybmore), at south Baltimore's Idle Hour on the second Friday of each month. David Koslowski is a musician and owner of Baby's On Fire, a record store and cafe located in Baltimore's Mt. Vernon neighborhood.
Listening Party 17 featured some great vinyl recordings from artists who helped create what is now known as the Kansas City Sound in jazz. We heard music from Bird (Charlie Parker), Basie, Lester Young, and more! Our host for the evening was Andrea Boston and our venue was once again The Room. Our audio equipment was supplied by Soundscape.
Listening Party 15 featured some great vinyl recordings dealing with the themes of protest and/or freedom. We heard tracks from a large span of time, from the 1930s to today! Our host for the evening, Andre Mazelin, kept the masses refreshed with tasty drinks from the bar at The Room, and Alexander Jarman spun the tunes on some amazing equipment we had just for this occasion, all from Soundscape.
Our playlist for the evening is below.
Wanna hear this playlist? Well, you can by visiting our YouTube page.
Listening Party 14 will feature vinyl recordings from throughout the diverse career of Gil Scott-Heron. Our playlist will be chosen by special guest presenter Scott Hinman and our venue for the evening is the amazing record shop Normal's Books and Records.
After a half hour of social time, we'll hear about an hour of Gil Scott-Heron tracks, and then it's open turntables for the rest of the night for anyone who brings their own jazz records to share.
As always, Listening Parties are FREE and open to everyone, no jazz expertise required.
Listening Party 13 featured vinyl recordings of two amazing jazz harpists, Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane. Our playlist was chosen by special guest presenter Ada Pinkston. Our venue for the evening was an amazing newer addition to the Mt. Vernon neighborhood, The Room. For much of the evening the place was packed, and the combination of delicious food and tasty beer with the luscious sounds of the jazz harp made for a great night.
If you want to keep listening to some great tunes, check out the playlist below or just head straight to our YouTube page to listen to a recreation of the listening party.
Listening Party 12 featured vinyl recordings of trumpeter Lester Bowie, all handpicked by guest presenter Don Palmer. It was many folks' first time at Federal Hill's Protean Records, which has an amazing selection of records, books, games, and even a few custom macabre installations.
It was also many guests' first time hearing Lester Bowie and Don chose a playlist that reflected the wide array of approaches Bowie took in making music; sometimes avant-garde and poetic, and then sometimes unabashedly energetic and soulful (see his playing with Fela Kuti!).
You can find the evening's playlist and photos from the event below.
Listening Party 11 featured vinyl recordings of Joanne Brackeen's compositions. Women's History Month was the perfect time to highlight an underrated jazz pianist such as Ms. Brackeen, who is still alive and working in NYC.
Our venue for the evening was an exciting new addition to the Mt. Vernon neighborhood, Diskobar. This intimate subterranean lounge has a full bar and you can even order food to your table from Kumari restaurant, which is located just upstairs.
You can find the evening's playlist and photos from the event below.
Listening Party 10 featured a packed room of Django Reinhardt fans at Normal's Books and Records. The playlist featured a few Duke Ellington tracks, since the two men were such big fans of each other. We had lots of guests bring their own Django records to put on the turntables, and at the very end of the evening a few musicians actually busted out their instruments and started jamming Django tunes!
Special thanks to the Creative Alliance, whose annual Django Jazz Festival served as our inspiration for the evening. You can find information on the line-up and tickets for the 2017 festival
Scroll down for a playlist and photos from the event. You can also listen to a recreation of the listening party on our YouTube page.
Listening Party 09 at Baby's On Fire was a great night of music in a cozy environment. Guest presenter David Koslowski brought an amazing selection of Sonny Stitt tunes for everyone to enjoy. You can listen to a close approximation of our evening on our YouTube page. Or scroll down below to find a playlist and photos from the event.
This listening party was held at Jordan Faye Contemporary and featured vinyl recordings of Herb Alpert's music from the '60s through the '80s, all from the collection of guest presenter Wayne Collins. We learned about the connection between Alpert's music and hip-hop, as many of his tracks have been sampled by hip-hop artists. The playlist is below and can also be found on our YouTube page. Scroll down to also see some photos from the event!
This listening party was held at the incredible Normal's Books and Records and was led by guest presenter Dylan Kinnett, though he was nowhere to be found for the party. In his place, a being from another time, or place perhaps, presented in his stead. Tracks from different parts of Sun Ra's career were played, good stories about seeing Sun Ra in person were shared, and we even had the pleasure of listening to a live reading of some of Sun Ra's poetry over top of one of his songs. You can find the playlist from the event below or on our YouTube page.
This listening party took place at Spacecamp gallery in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. Our guest presenter Don Palmer brought an incredible swath of records from his own collection and shared his stories of meeting Ornette Coleman. Attendees got to see a bit of the documentary about Coleman, Made in America, and even leaf through the printed program from his funeral, also part of Don Palmer's personal collection. You can find the playlist from the event below or on our YouTube page.
This was our first listening party at Baby's On Fire—part coffee shop, part awesome record store. Our guest presenter Bob Jacobson educated us about the rich history of jazz pianists from Baltimore through the music of Ellis Larkins, Albert Dailey, and Jessica Williams. Larkins was the first African American student admitted to the Peabody Institute, Jessica Williams is the only transgender jazz pianist we know of, and Albert Dailey was a Morgan State graduate that went on to play with Charles Mingus, Dexter Gordon and Sarah Vaughan. You can find the playlist from the event below or on our YouTube page. And check out our photos from the event below too.