WMM’s 20th Anniversary Show w/ Calvin Arsenia, Julia Othmer, IVORY BLUE, Kasey Rausch, & Stephonne

Wednesday MidDay Medley
Produced and Hosted by Mark Manning
Wednesday, May 15, 2024

WMM’s 20th Anniversary Show w/ Calvin Arsenia, Julia Othmer, IVORY BLUE, Kasey Rausch, & Stephonne. Plus, Marion Merritt, Maria Vasquez Boyd, Nico Gray, & Necia Gamby.

WMM Celebrates our 20th Anniversary with Live Performances from: Calvin Arsenia, Julia Othmer, IVORY BLUE, Kasey Rausch, and Stephonne. Plus we welcome special guests from our WMM “Radio Family”: Marion Merritt, Maria Vasquez Boyd, Nico Gray, and Necia Gamby. WMM launched our very first show on Wednesday May 12, 2004. In these 1046 weeks, 2092 hours of shows, 30,000 hours of preparation, over 2900 Interviews, 2500 guests, 20,000 songs, from thousands of musical artists, we have made it our mission to jump over musical genres, play with themes, diversity, equality, free speech, and connect artists and venues and listeners and communities. Wednesday MidDay Medley has proudly endeavored to help tell the story of our growing Kansas City area music community, “The Midcoast Sound.”

Calvin Arsenia released his newest 14 track album Paradise to fans on June 23, 2023. His most biographical album yet, with songs about Black Lives Matter, racism, being on probation, gay love and collaborations with Cheery, Kadesh Flow & Jametatone. Calvin Arsenia is 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. His passion for stretching the boundaries of musical expression saw him transform a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland’s Fringe Festival early in his career into a life-changing music mission, with an Edinburgh church offering him a role as musical liaison between the church and the city that would change his life. Calvin released the albums: Cantaloupe in 2018, with a sold out gigantic spectacle at The Gem Theatre on Saturday, September 15, 2018. He then released, L.A. Sessions in 2019, and the EP HONEY DEW, and the EP Goddess with Quixotic, the Holiday album, ALL IS CALM. In 2020 Calvin collaborated on the Soundtrack to “Summer in Hindsight,” a feature-length film created by The West 18th Street Fashion Show where Calvin also starred as an actor. Calvin is also the published author of EVERY GOOD BOY DOES FINE, a collection of Poetry & Prose published on October 5, 2021, by Andrews McMeel Universal. More info at: www.calvinarsenia.com

Marion Merritt is our most frequent contributor to WMM, she grew up in Los Angeles, and St. Louis. She went to college in Columbia, Missouri. She studied art and musical engineering, and is a avid lover of classic films and punk rock music. For 20 years now she has been sharing her musical discoveries and information from her musically-encyclopedic brain on Wednesday MidDay Medley. With her partner Ann Stewart, Marion is the proprietor of Records With Merritt, a minority owned business at 1614 Westport Rd. in Kansas City. Marion is also a contributor The Pitch where she writes about new releases. More information at: www.recordwithmerritt.com

Julia Othmer grew up in Kansas City and is a graduate of Park Hill High School and studied at Columbia University in New York City. The child of European refugees, she draws from a broad and richly cultured palette of experience to create her intensely human yet otherworldly songs. Julia Othmer released her 2nd album “Sound,” on April 12, 2019, produced with James Lundie. She had been introduced to his music production and fell so deeply in love with his sonic architecture, she transported to the UK, and refused to leave until he listened to her songs. James married Julia in January of 2016, during the completion of the record. Julia Othmer & James Lunde released Seeds (Vol. 1) on November 13, 2020, and SEEDS VOLUME 2 on March 20, 2022 containing live songs selected from her 30-day Songs of September Project, where Julia performed a different live cover and broadcast the performance throughout the month on streaming platforms to inspire people to vote. In 2021 Julia and James relocated to Kansas City and recently unveiled their newest creation, THE FORCEFIELDS featuring, reimagined vintage synthesizers, video projections, one of a kind instruments. Their debut EP, BRIDGE, will be released in 2024.

Maria Vasquez Boyd, is a mother, grandmother, friend, writer, artist, published poet, teacher, trailblazer, daredevil, traveler, lover, angel, radio show host & producer. Maria is a founding member of the Latino Writers Collective. She is a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute, where she has also taught in the Design/Illustration Department and for for the Nelson Atkins Museum. Maria has served as the gallery coordinator for the Guadalupe Center and The Writers Place. She is a contributing Artist at Mattie Rhodes. Maria is host and producer of ARTSPEAK Radio, celebrating 11 Years on the air every Wednesday at 9:00am, on KKFI. Maria Vasquez Boyd is the author of THE WEIGHT OF RECOGNITION her newest book of poetry published by Spartan Press in September 2022. Maria’s art work is currently showing at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in an exhibit titled: A LAYERED PRESENCE featuring incredible new works from many Kansas City based Latinx artists.

IVORY BLUE released her second full length album, STARLIT LOVE CHILD, on November 17, 2023, It was in the top 5 of Wednesday MidDay Medley’s 120 Best Recordings of 2023. A free-spirited musician, IVORY BLUE has become an expressive multi-genre artist whose music is passionate rock, with a dash of pop hooks & a healthy dose of swagger. At the age of four, IVORY’s birth mother put her up for adoption. IVORY lived with eight different “foster parent” families, before running away at 15. Ivory turned to music to express her pain and personal story. In 2010 Klaartje Van Lue saw IVORY performing in a YouTube video. The Van Lue family adopted IVORY into their family. 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. More info at: https://linktr.ee/ivorybluemusic

Nico Gray is host and producer of Radio Nicopisa on Wednesdays, 12:00 Noon to 2:00pm on 90.1 FM KKFI. Nico contributed to Wednesday MidDay Medley for over 10 years, helping with shows about Glam Rock, David Bowie, and Fund Drive, and serving as Guest Producer for 12 different shows. In 2022 Nico own radio show, “Radio Nicopisa” was launched in the over night hours. Nico Gray is also a writer, performance artist, and has worked as an actor with Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Gorilla Theatre, 8th St. Cafe Theatre, Actor’s Craft, and Big Bang Buffet. He appeared in HBO film “Truman” and in the Robert Altman film, “Kansas City.” Nico was also in an early short film of John McGraths that had a small role played by Emmy Award Winner Jason Sudeikis. Nico is currently a marketing & advertising consultant with Union Station

Kasey Rausch is a 5th generation songwriter & musician who began performing at age 15. Two days after graduating from high school, she moved from Texas back to her hometown of Kansas City to live alongside her extended family while pursuing music. With pedal steel & guitar master Marco Pascolini, Kasey performs as The Country Duo. Kasey plays locally with classic country honky tonk band The Naughty Pines. She has shared the stage with Joe Ely, Dale Watson, Peter Rowan, Roland White, Kris Delmhorst, Jack Williams and many more. As Kasey Rausch turns 50 this year, she’s reflecting on her career and her upcoming album as half of The Country Duo with Marco Pascolini. The Little Lagoon Sessions album was recorded with former Sun Studio head engineer Curry Weber in Gulf Shores, Alabama. This is the fifth time the duo has worked with Weber on various projects, including their 2017 album Live at Sun Studio. More information at: www.kaseyrausch.com

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.

Necia Gamby has been called “the Oracle of 39th Street” by Kansas City musician Calvin Arsenia. Necia currently serves on the Board of Directors of KC Folk Fest. She has served on the board of directors of the Volker Neighborhood Association and was vice president of the board of the MidCoast Radio Project. Necia is a massage practitioner in private practice and owner of Heartland Massage and Bodywork Center. She has been in practice 40 years. She uses Swedish (classical) massage technique. Over the years she has studied and practiced Hatha Yoga and is currently studying TaiChi. She founded and directed the Heartland School of Massage from 1988-1996. She has studied and incorporated Shiatsu, trigger point technique, lomi-lomi and a host of other philosophies and techniques into her massage style. Necia was an instructor for Johnson County Community College’s Certified Massage Program for 6 years. She taught Basic Swedish technique and Business Practices. Necia is the daughter of Sandra Brown a Kansas City Jazz pianist, and the mother Jamal Gamby a graphic artist and MC Joe Good for the acclaimed KC based hiphop duo SoundsGood with Miles Bonny. More info at: www.heartlandmassges.com

Show #1046

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