KC Jazz Fest Canceled

This year’s Rhythm & Ribs blues and jazz festival in Kansas City, Mo., set for June 19-20, has been canceled because of fundraising problems but organizers are hopeful the event will return in 2010.

Festival chairman Peter Yelorda told The Call newspaper that organizers decided it was better to skip a year and regroup with the state of the economy.

“Fundraising is never easy, but this has understandably been an uphill battle,” Yelorda told the paper. “Scenarios like ours are being played out across the country.

“We could have scaled back on the scope and talent that sets Rhythm & Ribs apart, but compromising the quality of the festival was never on the table.”
The event reportedly costs about $500,000 to put on, with more than half that amount funding talent and other infrastructure needs, the paper said.

Al Green, Oleta Adams, George Benson, Jill Scott, Ida McBeth, Robert Cray and Keb Mo’ are just some of the artists that have performed at Rhythm & Ribs since it began in 2005.