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Karrin Allyson at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre

Karrin Allyson

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In 1992, vocalist Karrin Allyson cobbled together a band of Kansas City musicians and enough funding from her parents to enter the studio. Ever since the release of the debut record which emerged from those recordings, Allyson has produced nine more CDs for the Concord label, and risen to the forefront of mainstream jazz.

Allyson was born in Great Bend, Kan., and grew up in neighboring Nebraska. After graduating from the University of Nebraska with a degree in piano, she came to Kansas City to sing at a nightclub owned by her uncle. With its decades of jazz history, the community conditioned and developed Allyson's performances, and provided a home base for her rise to fame.

Karrin Allyson's newest CD, 2006's Footprints, earned her a Grammy Award nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album -- her second Grammy nomination. In this performance from New Year's Eve 2006, broadcast in collaboration with KCUR, she comes back home to the Kansas City Repertory Theatre for a spirited reading of tunes from Footprints, as well as some favorite standards.

Backed by a group of local musicians, Allyson's voice mixes a natural simplicity with the sophistication of an internationally touring performer. And, as this set proves, she has a lot of fun on stage ringing in the new year.


"Old Devil Moon" (Burton Lane/E.Y. Harburg)

"Samba Saravah" (Baden Powell/Vinicius de Moraes/Pierre Barouh)

"Everybody's Crying Mercy" (Mose Allison)

"All You Need To Say" (based on "Never Say Yes" by Nat Adderley, lyrics by Chris Caldwell)

"A Long Way To Go" (based on "Equinox" by John Coltrane, lyrics by Chris Caldwell)

"I Found The Turnaround" (based on "The Turnaround" by Hank Mobley, lyrics by Chris Caldwell)

"Follow the Footprints" (based on "Footprints" by Wayne Shorter, lyrics by Chris Caldwell)

"Ask Me Now / I Mean You" (Thelonious Monk)

"It Might As Well Be Spring" (Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein)

"Bye Bye Country Boy" (Blossom Dearie/Jack Segal)


Karrin Allyson, vocals and piano
Danny Embrey, guitar
Paul Smith, piano
Bob Bowman, bass
Tommy Ruskin, drums


Karrin Allyson's Web Site
Karrin Allyson's Performance on NPR's Toast of the Nation

Thanks to KCUR: Program Director Bill Anderson, with technical support from Chris Prewitt, and special thanks to Patty Cahill and Parker Van Hecke.

Our crew is Field Producer Dayna Calderon, Stage Manager Meredith Ries, Music Mix Engineer Timothy Powell with assistance from Michael Ways and the Metro Mobile Truck from Chicago, Audio Engineer Ginger Bruner of KUNV Las Vegas, Producer Becca Pulliam, Technical Director Duke Markos, and Executive Producer Thurston Briscoe III at WBGO in Newark and

Copyright 2007 NPR