On Sept. 8 in the Kansas City Crossroads district, the 14th annual Crossroads Music Festival will launch into action. This event is a benefit for KKFI 90.1FM Kansas City Community Radio. The free day parties will start at noon at two venues, the Brewery Emperial and Josey Records. These parties will go until 5 p.m. and are open to all ages featuring bands such as Katy Guillen and the Girls, a locally based roots rock act that has been touring nationally for the last five years, playing notable events like the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Other bands playing the day parties include Turkey Bone & Full Count, Gullywasher and Jo, among others.

After the day parties will be the City of Drums Kickoff Party at the Lead Bank parking lot (18th and Main) which will have three drum lines playing at 6 p.m. This will start off the main part of the festival. A South by Southwest style music fest in which a ($20 in advance or $25 at the gate) ticket gets you into eight different venues to see more than 30 bands playing until 2 a.m. The eight venues include regular live music places such as the RecordBar and The Brick and all are within the same three-block area making it easy to jump from venue to venue listening to all the different bands. The 30-plus band lineup is an eclectic mashup of musical genres purposefully mixed together at each of the clubs so all of the festival goers will be exposed to a wide variety of music. Founder of the festival, Bill Sundahl, says that “two of the main points of both the Crossroads Music Festival and KKFI 90.1FM are community building and exploration.” 

The genres cover everything from singer/songwriter to funk to Cuban to even prohibition-era jazz. The band lineup is too big to list and describe individually, but some of the bands to watch out for include Hi-Lux, Grand Marquis, Summer Osborne and Hembree among others. Just consider going to a festival where you can experience everything from Gamelan Gent Kasturi playing traditional Balinese gamelan music to St. Joe based Radkey playing punk rock with the Quixotic dancers sharing the stage all in the same night. 

It will be well worth a short trip down to the Crossroads district of Kansas City. For more information on the Crossroads Music Festival, go to www.cmfkc.com

Mike Nickells writes about music in the Leavenworth area. To contact him, send email to mnickells@leavenworthtimes.com