Grant funding is pursued

and used for strategic investments

and arts integration.

GREAT YOUTH JAZZ NEWS! WHAT? Sign up for a 2021 season audition for KC Area Youth Jazz Fellowships now! KCAYJ is a spring and summer-only program. WHO? We are now accepting both, High School and College age youth jazz musicians for our two performing groups: “The Bill Crain Ensemble” and “The Leon Brady Ensemble.” 2021 Season (Rehearsals during May, June, July, Recording in August)


KC Area Youth Jazz is a unique arts education program. KC Area Youth Jazz is a no participation fee spring-and-summer-only program. KC Area Youth Jazz participation is FREE because we want no barriers to this arts business scholarship due to costs.


KC Area Youth Jazz concluded a successful 2019 season. KC Area Youth Jazz Fellows perform + record commissioned original music written for them, learn about the jazz art form, and perform community concerts during a season. KC Area Youth Jazz Fellowships are awarded to the top jazz players in grades 9-12 to benefit from this opportunity.

track details

ODE TO JOE HEN is Dr. White’s nod to the legendary Joe Henderson and the progressive arrangement and harmonic progression of the composition captures the spirit musically. Although Henderson’s earliest recordings were marked by a strong hard-bop influence, it must be noted that both his writing and playing encompassed not only the bebop tradition but R&B, Latin, and avant-garde as well. Atzin Garcia’s alto saxophone delivers a creative solo that leads into pianist Coleman Gliddon’s colorful improvisation. Joshua McKeague’s burnished trumpet tone adds the right textures during his solo, and his brother Michael McKeague’s drum improvisation with the ensemble accompaniment brings the piece to a satisfying conclusion. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE is a performance that demonstrates the skill of director Bill Crain in that he successfully attained a level of subtlety and nuance from the fellows during both their ensemble work and improvised solos. Mr. Garcia delivers another fine alto solo and trombonist Brendan Sullivan takes his first of several expressive solos on the album here. Carter Beucher’s alto saxophone solo is highlighted by a centered tone and focused improvisational ideas. Mr. Gliddon’s piano adds another tasty contribution. LIGHT / DARK is a complex and multi-layered composition that features interwoven melodic lines and contemporary harmonies in a very well written piece of music. The work begins with Mr. Gliddon’s piano establishing a single note theme that develops and builds musically until the full ensemble is performing together. Another fine solo by Mr. Sullivan on trombone. Tenor Saxophonist Spencer Addis is heard for the first time improvising with passion and creativity. BISHOP’S PEAK is a composition of shifting rhythmic moods that allow for interesting thematic melodic materials, background lines, and bedrock for soloists. Mr. Sullivan’s trombone solo takes advantage of the rhythmic contrasts while Mr. Beucher’s alto saxophone imbues a bluesy, swinging feeling. Mr. Gliddon and Michael McKeague trade improvisations back and forth between piano and drums respectively. Joshua McKeague delivers a strong performance. BIRD FLU is a fitting tribute to bebop jazz innovator and Kansas native, Charlie Parker that also provides a few musical twists and turns for the soloists as well. Joshua McKeague’s flugelhorn keeps the energy level moving forward during his thoughtful improvisation. Mr. Garcia uses various thematic devices to cycle his alto saxophone improvisation as a hand-off to Mr. Gliddon’s piano solo break. 

ARC-2994 Vinyl LP (sold out)

2019 FELLOWS is a fine debut album by the Kansas City Area Youth Jazz program that superbly documents the results of the program after its first season. The musical vision of both Mr. Christopher Burnett, the program’s Artistic Director, and Mr. Bill Crain, the ensemble’s Musical Director, is unified. They want the program efforts each season to culminate in the Kansas City Area Youth Jazz Fellows understanding the music harmonically and performing with nuance. In that way, they are genuinely able to improvise original melodies along with the traditional modern jazz language phraseology passed down from studying the jazz masters.  


released May 28, 2020 

Album Title: 2019 FELLOWS Album Artist: KANSAS CITY AREA YOUTH JAZZ featuring the music of Dr. Arthur White. Under the musical direction of Bill Crain. Edited, mixed, and mastered by Bill Crain. Recording Session Engineer: William Crain. Kansas City Area Youth Jazz meets and records at BRC Audio Productions in Kansas City, Kansas USA. Burnett Music Foundation: Christopher Burnett, Founder and Artistic Director.

Piano – Coleman Gliddon
Bass – Robert Law
Drums – Michael McKeague
Trumpet + Flugelhorn – Joshua McKeague
Alto Saxophone – Carter Beucher
Alto Saxophone + Flute – Atzin Garcia
Tenor Saxophone – Spencer Addis
All Saxophones – Emilio Alvarez
Trombone – Brendan Sullivan


all rights reserved


KC Area Youth Jazz was initially conceived in 2010 and designed to simply have the program meet at a local business above the Tune Shop music store in historic downtown Leavenworth, Kansas. We had already done several successful jazz-related projects working with other businesses and people in the “First City” and we were set.

Upon telling our good friend Bill Crain (founder of BRC Audio Productions, Inc. in Kansas City) about the program in 2019, he became excited about it too and volunteered unsolicited to get involved as an instructor, offered to host rehearsals at his studio, and to serve as the primary recording engineer as well.

Needless to say, we were impressed and humbly accepted Bill’s offer. And with the understanding of roles KC Area Youth Jazz has teamed up with BRC Audio Productions in a strategic partnership of unique arts business cooperation and team work. KC Area Youth Jazz is a one-of-a-kind program model.

This unique business relationship among good friends realizes several inherent benefits to both organizations. An arts synergy realized.

— Christopher Burnett, Founder and Artistic Director

We are able to present the program on the campus of the BRC Audio Productions professional recording studio facilities. Business goals are mutually achieved while serving the greater Kansas City area community.

This is a very unique opportunity for the youth jazz musicians who receive fellowships each season.


Our professional staff and esteemed faculty during our first season were unpaid volunteers. That says lots about the motives and reasoning behind our program. Our motivation is to pass down our professional knowledge of the jazz music art form to our youngest generations. We do this through a four-month season of 16 rehearsals, concerts, and recording sessions. Fellows perform original compositions written specifically for them, learn the process of preparing music for commercial release, and learn about booking live performances in the community, among other vital skills. Among our goals is to immerse participants in an artist-level program that helps provide useful insights before attending college, university or conservatory music programs. The KC Area Youth Jazz experience helps refine and inform such decisions. We seek funding support of the program by selling the recordings we produce, chair sponsorships, booking concerts, donations, and grants. We use this funding for strategic investments in this project and for arts integration purposes.

— Christopher Burnett – Founder + Artistic Director

2019 Youth Jazz Fellows

Carter Beucher, alto saxophone
Atzin Garcia, alto saxophone + flute
Spencer Addis, tenor saxophone
Emilio Alvarez, all saxophones
Joshua McKeague, trumpet + flugelhorn
Brendan Sullivan, trombone
Coleman Gliddon, piano
Robert Law, bass
Michael McKeague, drum set


Coleman Gliddon, piano
Brendan Sullivan, trombone
Spencer Addis, tenor saxophone

NOTES: “LIGHT / DARK” (ARC-3536) and “BISHOP’S PEAK”(ARC-3543) composed by Dr. Arthur White are the two digital singles to be released worldwide Apple Music + Spotify + Google Play from the 2019 KC AREA YOUTH JAZZ FELLOWS ALBUM on the ARC Label in early March !! The full LP will be released at the start of the 2020 season !! #worththewait




KC Photography shown in our projects is by Duane Hallock

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