ARTSPEAK RADIO presents, Sonie Joi Thompson-Ruffin and Bill McKemy

Sonie Joi Thompson-Ruffin, visiting curator of the American Jazz Museum Changing Gallery, and Bill McKemy, the museum’s education manager, will discuss the current exhibit “Jazz Then & Now” and other programming at the museum.

Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin is a renowned award winning contemporary fabric artist, author, teacher lecturer and fabric designer born, raised and educated in the Midwest. She has led workshops and lectures on African American quilting and color combining at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum’s Renwick Gallery, Carter Art Center, New England Quilt Museum, Nelson Atkins Museum and Nerman Art Museum. Her art work has appeared at International Quilt Market and a host of museums, universities and quilt guilds across the United States.

She is the author of Soulful Art of African American Quilts and Opening Day, both quilt books published by Kansas City Star quilt book division and the designer of ”My African Village, Drums of Afrika and Jumpin’ the Broom” fabric collections.

Bill McKemy is a Kansas City based musician and composer who has performed or recorded across North America with a number of prominent figures on the contemporary jazz scene including Grammy winners/nominees Randy Brecker, Karrin Allyson, Maceo Parker and John Abercrombie. His solo CDs have enjoyed critical acclaim including the Kansas City Star’s Top Ten of 2002 (Duende), Pitch Weekly’s Best Local Jazz CD of 2003 (Om Nidrah) and a feature on NPR’s All Songs Considered.

Bill is the rhythm section clinician and jazz combo instructor for the Metropolitan Jazz Workshop. He has been the education manager at the American Jazz Museum since July 2014.

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