Wednesday MidDay Medley
Produced and Hosted by Mark Manning
Wednesday, June 28, 2023
WMM’s 1000th Show!
WMM Celebrates 1000 Shows with Live Performances from: Madisen Ward, Mikal Shapiro, Calvin Arsenia, IVORY BLUE, Stephonne and Poet Jen Harris
Madisen Ward was born in Oklahoma, and grew up in the outskirts of Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from William Chrisman High School in 2007. Madisen’s journey to become a musician, was “melodically passed down” through the songs of his mother, where Madisen grew up watching his mom perform at local coffee shops. Eventually he began to learn to play the guitar, and poured his talent for writing into the music to create original songs. Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear have garnered international acclaim, and new fans from all over the world. They signed with Glassnote Records and recorded their debut full length album in Nashville with acclaimed producer Jim Abiss. They performed their debut single “Silent Movies” on The Late Show with David Letterman, they’ve toured across the United States, and Europe, more than once. They were featured on CBS Sunday Morning, NBC’s The Today Show, and “Later With Jools Holland and played Bonnaroo, Pilgramage, and the Newport Folk Festival, and the Ryman Theatre, in Nashville.
Mikal Shapiro is founder of State City Films creating documentary and experimental filmmaking practices. Mikal studied Film History, Film, & Writing at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York. She received her MFA in Film/Video/New Media/ Animation from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012. Artist, filmmaker, puppeteer, ring-leader, Mikal Shapiro is a KC songwriter whose musical influences span popular songs, psych rock, lounge, classic country and old time spirituals. She has toured extensively across the United States and has recorded 5 critically acclaimed albums Mikal also performs with Shapiro Brothers, and Monta At Odds. Mikal is also the creator and co-host and producer of Siren Song, Saturdays at 11:00 AM on 90.1 FM KKFI KC Community Radio.
Calvin Arsenia one of our most frequent guests, who first appeared on WMM on July 25, 2012. KC Magazine has hailed Calvin as ‘equal parts opera, symphony, musical theatre, rock show, all built around its creator: a charismatic 6-foot-7-inch harpist with a 3 and ½ octave range, natural stage command and knack for gilding gold and painting lilies.’ Born in Orlando, Florida, Calvin’s creative journey began when he moved to Olathe, Kansas, teaching himself the guitar, piano, banjo. He learned his signature instrument, the harp, at the age of 20. In 2012, Calvin traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland and found himself accepting a role as musical liaison with an Edinburgh Church that became a life-changing musical mission. Two years later Calvin returned to KC reborn with a new confidence, a new sense of self. Two years and 300 shows later, Calvin returned to KC reborn as a humanistic songwriter / performerCalvin was voted KC’s Best Musician in The Pitch 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022. He has been featured in Billboard, NPR.org. Charlotte Street Foundation awarded Calvin the 2022 Generative Performing Artist Awards along with The Black Creatures.
IVORY BLUE‘s debut EP, Ready Get Set was released in June 2015. In 2017 Ivory was among 1800 artists/bands that competed in neXt2Rock. Ivory won local & regional challenges and advanced to nationals in Los Angeles to win the top prize. Ivory Blue was born in 1986 in Peoria Illinois, as Devin James Miclettet. Ivory’s birth mother put them up for adoption at the age of four. Ivory speaks about how it was difficult to find trust in people offering their home to someone denied it for so long, Ivory lived with eight different families, before running away at 15. In 2010 Klaartje Van Lue saw Ivory performing in a YouTube video and contacted them, flying Ivory to Kansas City, and adopting Ivory into the Van Lue family. During the past 10 years Ivory came out as “Non-Binary Transgender”. As a multi-instrumentalist, Ivory began refining their performance style, using digital looping pedals to stack harmonies and guitar parts live on stage, giving their solo shows the feel of a full band. IVORY BLUE released their debut album COMPOUND LOVE on February 25, 2022.
Stephonne describes himself as the lovechild of Prince & Billie Holiday. He grew up in KCK and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from Benedictine College, and Masters in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University. Singer, songwriter, actor, model, artist – Stephonne Singleton keeps very busy, organizing Tribute Shows, working as a Resident Artist at Charlottee Street studios, playing Music Festivals, Lemonade Park, Lawrence Pride, Manor Records, Midwest Music Foundation, The AIDS Service Foundation of KC, InterUrban ArtHouse, The Black Box, The Folly Theatre, collaborating with The Black Creatures, Calvin Arsenia, Miki P, Jass, Eboni Fondren, putting out EPs, and singles. Stephonne released his EP SIS: Side B on June 24, 2022 it was in the TOP TEN of WMM’s 120 Best Recordings of 2022. Stephonne was a featured performer at the 23rd Annual West 18th Street Fashion Show on Friday, June 2, 2023.
Poet Jen Harris (she/her) is a writer based in Kansas City, Missouri. Jen has been featured on NPR, Netflix Queer Eye, Creative Mornings, TEDx, and many more, Harris is the author of 3 books of poetry and the recipient of numerous accolades. A sought-after performance artist, Harris is the founder and host of The Writing Workshop KC, whose mission is to nurture creative curiosity and inspire confidence within prompt-based writing workshops. She hosts weekly classes and offers creative coaching to private clients. Additionally, Jen is one half of the artist-to-artist indie podcast Confessing Animals. Her firstborn community love child, Kansas City Poetry Slam, sold out monthly for seven years.
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STREAMING LIVE at: kkfi.org