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The Journal of Multimodal Rhetorics

ISSN: 2472-7318


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A stop sign at the intersection of 18th and Vine Street, Kansas

Track 2: Sound Effects


The timestamps refer to the complete audio. (VO) = audio that was recorded in my home studio and not captured during interview / (IV) = audio that was created via interview / (CA) = commercial audio sampled through fair use guidelines (SA) = audio sampled from a longer work / (EM) = audio captured in an experiential moment

00:00 (CA) Count Basie “Secrets” instrumental, piano and high hat. No lyrics.

00:06 (IV) Chuck Haddix: Music is interrelated with the story of Kansas City, in fact music in a lot of ways tells the story of Kansas City. We're fortunate to work, to live in a city, and collect in a city, that has such an interesting music history.

00:22 (IV) Ralph Caro: Musicians here, it goes back to the Pendergast Era, the musicians here, Kansas City was wide open and there was plenty of work because there were plenty of speakeasies and joints and nightclubs so everybody could work that wanted to work and that was a magnet.

00:40 (VO) Abigail Lambke: Hello. I’m Abigail Lambke, and this is the webtext “Kansas City Hear I Come: Sonic Curation for Civic Impact.” For this webtext, I synthesize interviews, field recordings, and found audio to explore how sonic curation is being used for civic impact within Kansas City. In doing so, I draw from two civic repositories of sound –The Marr Sound Archives at UMKC and The American Jazz Museum – to contrast between sonic curation for preservation and sonic curation for display. In my delivery of that exploration, I also practice sonic curation of my own to present a sonic tapestry for the listener. You’re hearing Count Basie and the Kansas City 7’s “Secrets” right now.

01:27 (VO) Abigail Lambke: Hopefully you’ve already listened to track 1 “Soundscape” which represents Kansas City sonically in 5 minutes. You’ve just begun track 2 “Sound Effects,” where I focus on how professionals at two locations employ sonic curation to achieve a specific mission. This will be followed by track 3 “Resonance,” which provides a philosophic underpinning for the webtext and probes into how sound operates curatorially due to its invisibility, participation, interiority, and simultaneity, and then track 4 “Frequency,” which functions as an extended Artist Statement where I describe the choices I made when creating the webtext and this process of sonic scholarship.

02:14 (VO) Abigail Lambke: But that all comes later; here in track 2 we’ll hear from representatives at The Marr Sound Archives at University of Missouri, Kansas City (with which I am not affiliated) and The American Jazz Museum in the historic 18th and Vine district in Kansas City. I spoke with individuals at both locations about their mission, choices, and how sound functions as curation. In this track I bring their voices to the forefront to encourage an immersive listening experience. You’ll hear some framing, and signposting, and comments from me, but I leave most of the talking in this track to the sonic curators of Kansas City. We start by hearing some background of each place, how they balance sonic curation in general with representation of Kansas City, followed by how they approach some of the cultural divisions in Kansas City. So, after this transition music from Big Joe Turner, you’ll hear the voices of Chuck Haddix and Derek Long of the Marr Sound Archives.

03:17 (CA)  Big Joe Turner "Shake Rattle and Roll." Driving piano, drums, and then brass instruments. Lyrics: "Get out of that bed, wash your face and hands. / Get out of that bed, wash your face and hands..."

03:32 (IV) Chuck Haddix: My name is Chuck Haddix, and I'm the curator of the Marr Sound Archives. I've been here since 1987 when the archives began. I was an English major, and a record collector, and a radio producer, and I worked in the record business, and I worked with historic sound recordings. I started here in '87, and they hired me because I knew all of the record collectors in town; they wanted to build a collection fast. Plus, I had studied with Gaylord Marr, the curator.

03:57 (IV) Derek Long: My name is Derek Long, I'm head of the Marr Sound Archives. I was a DJ and produced sample-based music, so I collected a lot of records. I also went to school to be an audio engineer; I did a lot of freelance audio engineering, but also got my bachelors in history, anthropology and became interested in audio preservation. And in order to do that, I needed to get an ALA accredited degree which is American Librarian Association; you have to have that to have a lot of the librarian jobs. So, I just combined all of my passions and education.

04:33 (VO) Abigail Lambke: Both men combine passion and education in service to the practice of preserving sonic artifacts for future generations both for those inside Kansas City and those outside the community. After years of serving as archivist, Chuck Haddix is now the curator.

04:49 (IV) Chuck Haddix: Well the curator usually is an individual that’s been involved in the collection for a long time that's nearing their retirement. That's the way it works, and so you know you kinda stick around and try not to get in the way and try and help where you can. You have a certain expertise, plus I know the collection. I mean Derek knows the collections because he’s been through it, but I know the story of all the collection.

05:08 (VO) Abigail Lambke: And Chuck Haddix is full of stories, mostly about Kansas City and music. He also hosts the radio program The Fish Fry for the local NPR Affiliate. 

05:19 (SA) Haddock "Fish Fry": And now we're rocking. Good evening, welcome to The Fish Fry, I'm Chuck Haddock here with you right up until midnight. Serving up the finest in blues, soul, rhythm and blues, jumpin' jive and zydeco. Stay tuned for new blues from Memphis from J.P. Soars we'll hear from more...

05:37 (VO) Abigail Lambke: Chuck Haddix, or Chuck Haddock, his Fish Fry personality, is a native Kansas Citian and literally wrote the book on Jazz in Kansas City – well, he co-authored it and it is called Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop--A History. He also wrote the book Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker

05:55 (IV) Chuck Haddix: Yeah, I’m a student of Kansas City history. I mean, If you think about it, Kansas City was a major center for Ragtime publishing, and then you had the Jazz bands of Bennie Moten and George E. Lee, the swing of music of Count Basie and Jay McShann, you had the blues with Big Joe Turner, and rock and roll with Big Joe Turner. It all originates from Kansas City.  

06:18 (IV) Chuck Haddix: So that's one of our missions is to collect our musical history and make it available to future generations; that's the challenge there. You know, if you have a collection of like, for example, a band leaders’ collection that goes into a garage sale, people pick up bit a little here and a little bit there; it's dispersed. But is you keep it together, it tells part of the history of Kansas City, and if it’s dispersed it’s lost.

06:42 (VO) Abigail Lambke: To keep culture from being lost, that is the objective of an archive. So, at the Marr Sound Archive their sonic curation is one of preservation, of collecting in order to secure the sonic past for future use. Of course, alongside collection there's preserving the materials, which often means digitizing them, so that what is ephemeral does not disperse. Derek Long, chief archivist:

07:12 (IV) Derek Long: I oversee the preservation studios and the archiving so, like organizing things and preserving things is kinda my area. We're doing everything we can to make sure we're preserving the digital files for the future because a lot of the physical stuff we have, like, it just - it won't exist, like it's going to deteriorate into nothing. This is our this is the only option for some of this stuff.

07:35 (VO) Abigail Lambke: The Marr Sound Archive is located in the main university library on the UMKC campus, in the basement, and it operates in the way most library archives do. Little is on display, but researchers or visitors can request pieces that have been collected, curated, and preserved and then use them for various ends.

07:57 (CA) George E. Lee's Novelty Singing Orchestra "Paseo Street (Strut)": Instrumental, Trumpet on lead, no lyrics.

08:09 (IV) That’s George E. Lee’s Novelty Singing Orchestra playing the “Paseo Street Strut.” Near the Paseo Street in Kansas City is the American Jazz Museum. They are concerned, like the Marr Sound Archives, with sonic curation, but through an entirely different lens. For the American Jazz Museum, curation is about display, experience, and education more than preservation. To tell us more about that, here's Ralph Caro.

08:38 (IV) Ralph Caro: Ralph Caro, I'm the interim executive director of the American Jazz Museum. Born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas. Educated in the Kansas City, Kansas public school system. Attended University of Kansas, where I got my BA degree. Have a Masters from UMKC from the Bloch School of Business.

08:59 (VO) Abigail Lambke: Caro has an impressive business background; indeed, he was brought in for his business acumen and involvement in the Kansas City community. You'll hear him speak about the museum in terms of business models and revenue streams throughout this interview. He has less of a professional background in sound, curation, or museum management. Indeed, when I interviewed him in June of 2019, he had only held the position for 9 weeks, and was adamant about serving as an interim executive director.

09:30 (IV) Ralph Caro: I was approached about 6 months ago to take a look at the American Jazz Museum, and I’m here in that capacity as Interim Director, Executive Director chartered with bringing stability back to this organization. So, I’ve been on board now for 9 weeks.

09:48 (IV) Abigail Lambke: How’s it going so far?

09:50 (IV) Ralph Caro: Well, I’ve been drinking out of a water hose, trying to absorb as much as I can. We actually have 4 businesses here: there’s the museum itself, the Blue Room which is meant to be a part of the exhibit of the museum is a working bar, then we have the Swing Shop which is our souvenir shop downstairs, and finally the Gem Theater, across the street. So we have 4 businesses, 4 different business models, all functioning under the auspices of the American Jazz Museum.

10:20 (IV) Abigail Lambke: That sounds complicated

10:23 (IV) Ralph Caro: It is. (Laughter)

10:26 (VO) Abigail Lambke: But while Ralph Caro, as an Executive Director, might be more focused on the business aspects of the museum, he has a knowledge and understanding of Jazz, Kansas City, and the mission of the museum.

10:37 (IV) Ralph Caro: I can remember as a, as a youngster coming down on 18th street. I was in college coming home and going into El Capitan which was a club that is where the museum is today, and I had never ever been in a room with that much smoke in it. I mean, visibility was zero.  

10:59 (IV) Caro: Historically, the museum has been one to preserve the American saga of jazz and its evolution, to preserve that evolution, and to educate the public about the origins of jazz as it originated here in Kansas City. When the designers and the planners were putting together the exhibit, as you know we have a whole section down there that allows the end user to hear rhythm, to hear melodies, to hear different instruments. It’s amazing to see the school kids go down and go through and hear what a melody is and then put it together with the harmony and then hear rhythm. That educational piece is part of the foundation of the museum. 

11:46 (VO) Abigail Lambke: At the American Jazz Museum, curation is focused toward presentation of artifacts and designed to be directly educational, both for those of us who might know less about jazz, and also for those who have a firm background. I visited the museum with a musician friend with a degree in music performance and a love of jazz. We experienced the museum together, standing and listening simultaneously at several stations, and discussing what we heard. He was particularly helpful in explaining some aspects of jazz with which I was unfamiliar. We're at the Bebop station here.

12:25 (EM) Friend: And then, like, it kinda like the way they crawl around in when they are playing their solos, like they are not arpeggiating stuff so much. (Along with music) Duba duba duba duba duba duba duba duba duba. / Abigail: Ok / Friend: I don't know why it's called Bebop / Abigail: Well, yeah... / Friend: It's labeled Bebop. I mean, it makes sense to be now, but I don't know. / Abigail: It makes sense to you that it's called Bebop? / Friend: Yeah - it sound like Bebop / Together: Be bop ba bop ba bop 

12:53 (VO) Abigail Lambke: Much of the museum is devoted to interactive listening stations. There are stations where several people can listen to the same track at once, from an overhead speaker. Other stations have two individual over-the-ear pieces magnetized to the wall. You pull that off and put it on your ear, and the listening becomes essentially private and invisible. Many people can then visit the museum and have a sonic experience separate from their peers due to these listening stations. It’s important that the design of sonic curation for presentation is dependent up on technologies that privilege the ear. This helps develop a sensitivity to listening that can be absent in other forms of curation. Here we're a station devoted to the practices of harmony.

13:43 (EM) Friend: So did you hear the, like, it got really dissonant for a second. / Abigail: Ok, yeah. / Friend: It's not really about the rhythm he is using but / Abigail: It is about the dissonance / Friend: Yeah, or the consonance. / Abigail: Right / Friend: Like those chords right there were pretty dissonant and he is back on consonant here... 

14:09 (VO) Abigail Lambke: At all the stations, you flip through a stiff plastic book and select tracks to play. These books help explain the terminology associated with jazz. My friend here is reading terminology suggested by the booklet:

14:27 (EM) Friend: You hear the "swoops" the "bleats" and the "rapidly repeated bebops"? / Abigail: It's like a language I don't understand. Which is good, like, it is good for me to not understand things / Friend: Alright, Coleman Hawkins / Abigail: (repeating) Coleman Hawkins.

14:43 (VO) Abigail Lambke: The designs of the book also gave those who know something about jazz a place to convert others.

14:49 (EM) Friend: Well this is a good tune. This guy is amazing. / Abigail: So, he's on the high hat. And ride cymbal. / Friend: I know this guy too. So this is like a band of major all-stars here / Abigail: It's a supergroup? / Friend: Yeah. 

15:14 (VO) Abigail Lambke: Other stations have additional interactive capacity such as the “How to Listen to Jazz” station that works to teach you what to listen to, or a “Making a Mix” station where you can create your own mix of a song. During our visit to the museum, a few issues of sonic curation were at the forefront of our conversations. Who and what types of jazz were they going to include? What types of recording would they present?

15:41 (EM) Friend: Well it's kinda losing some of its effect on this recording. If you hear it live it sounds better. Or on a better recording. / Abigail: Well, do you think that goes for most of jazz? Hearing it live is ... / Friend: Well not necessarily. I just think for these octaves specifically. I mean whenever you hear things live there's always, I don't know, I'm not sure - more emotional appeal, like it always sounds a little better. Not always better, but... Here is his chord solo / Abigail: Oh man, those sound weird. I mean not like normal guitar playing. 

16:18 (EM) Abigail: Oh, yeah, funky. (Reading) "Electric Jazz organ." (To Friend) Maybe the organ is my favorite jazz instrument. / Friend: It's in a lot of stuff. I'm surprised its only got one page. I mean you hear this all the time. / Abigail: Well, that's one of the things about curation that I kinda want to explore. Like, it is about choosing and choosing is also about not choosing. So, what do you pick? / Friend: This is the kind of instrument that almost anyone can sound good playing. / Abigail: Because it is electric? / Friend: Yeah, and it just kinda has the funk sound to it. Just like whatever you play is going to sound cool. / Abigail: Oh, funky. I do like funk. 

17:02 (VO) Abigail Lambke: When I was speaking with Ralph Caro, I mentioned some of these aspects. Since he was not a curator (indeed, they didn’t have one at the time) and had only been there for 9 weeks, he explained his perspective on difficulties and the ways the museum could improve the experience for patrons.

17:20 (IV) Ralph Caro: The bigger challenge is how do we provide our visually or hearing-impaired patrons the same experience that you and I may have. That's the bigger challenge, and we haven't come to grips with that yet. We have a couple of consultants trying to come up with a solution set but that's the big challenge today.

17:39 (IV) Ralph Caro: All the kids today have smart phones - wouldn’t it be great if we had the little bar code and they could just scan and hear on their own device exactly what the exhibit was saying. That’s the way the kids want to interact with the exhibits. They don't necessarily want to pick up the static headphone, even though it is new, and its magnetic, and all that; they would rather do it on their smart device.

 18:04 (VO) Abigail Lambke: Sonic curation at the American Jazz Museum is concerned with display, presentation, and education, unlike that at the Marr Sound Archives where, remember, they were concerned more directly with collection and preservation. The differing missions, both important, change how the community interacts with a sonic collection. And yet, there are some challenges that both institutions face. After “Swingmatism,” we’ll hear more on how each place balances their mission with their place in Kansas City.

18:38 (CA) Jay McShann "Swingmatism" Instrumental, no lyrics, big band feel.  

18:52 (IV) Ralph Caro: The irony of the exhibit: you don't get the flavor for Kansas City Jazz until the very end of the exhibit when you go into the Blue Room. All of the jazz musicians, the jazz greats will be highlighted in the Blue Room in the photographs that we have in there, and the artifacts that are actually embedded into the tables inside of the Blue Room. We get asked that question all the time: "Why Kansas City? Why jazz?" You get a flavor for it when you see the Signboard Alley, with all the signboards from the various jazz clubs that were in Kansas City in neon, we have those down there to give you a preview of what you will see when you go into the Blue Room. Never mean to to be a working bar, but there was an opportunity to make some additional revenue. You'll see the placard says "Jazz Club." It's to give the visitor an experience of what a jazz club was like in the '30s and '40s.

19:52 (VO) Abigail Lambke: Much of The American Jazz Museum is devoted to Jazz broadly, as Caro says, with the flavor of Kansas City Jazz coming at the end of the exhibit. This balance between relevance to Kansas City and place in the wider community is one The Marr Sound Archives works toward too. Chuck Haddix again, and then Derek Long. 

20:13 (IV) Chuck Haddix: Of course we are significant to Kansas City because that’s where we're located, and one of our original collection development policies was anything recorded in Kansas City we collected. And since then we've broadened the scope of the collection, and we're used by researchers internationally. We're known for our collection of jazz recordings, we also have an outstanding collection of classical and opera and genre music, you know, rock and roll, blues, soul, Americana, bluegrass, that sort of thing. But what really sets us apart I think from other institutions like the peer institutions is our collection of radio programs. We have about 30,000 radio programs on these 16-inch discs and very few historic collections have those kinds of resources and radio in general is one of the things that we collect.

21:01 (IV) Derek Long: We definitely want to make sure we're representing Kansas City and collecting thing that are of cultural significance to Kansas City because we only have so much space and there's other collections around the nation that collect those materials or are representing those communities. Yeah, it needs to be rare and kinda fit the scope of the collection.

21:26 (IV) Derek Long: And part of it is just because if we don't collect it then it could not exist anymore, so it’s about, you know, preserving cultural heritage. You know, it’s like if we don't collect a Beatles record is it still going to exist? But there’s other things. It’s like if we don't preserve this than otherwise it won't exist anymore, if someone doesn't take care of it, so, that's that a lot of it. It might not be things that are considered the most interesting by some people because it's like more unknown things. We can say, this is a piece that we can point to that's like this is a representation of Kansas City history and our cultural heritage, and so for us that’s more important than something that may have been a national phenomenon because it's well preserved by someone else.

22:08 (IV) Derek Long: And we do have Kansas City artists' collections. A lot of jazz musicians have donated their collections here because of Chuck's relationships with them, so, I would say we have more Kansas City jazz musicians’ collections than any other institution, so.

22:26 (IV) Chuck Haddix: But, but we also collect, you know, church music from Kansas City, punk rock groups like Sister Mary Rotten Crotch. We collect today for tomorrow. Some of the rarest most unique material is in our archival collections, like interviews with Jay McShann, Claude Fiddler Williams, recordings of the Women's Jazz Festival here in Kansas City. That's the king of stuff that really, we like to collect.

22:54 (VO) Abigail Lambke: So, while they balance representing Kansas City with other pieces deemed collectable, much of the mission is to collect and preserve pieces that might not have a home elsewhere. Unlike the American Jazz Museum, which works to educate and tell an interesting story about jazz, the Marr Sound Archives collects and curates the unknown and unremarkable. Still, both men noted, despite the best of intentions, gaps remain in the collection. 

23:23 (IV) Derek Long: We don't have much hip hop. We don't have a lot of Kansas City hip hop. We don't have hip hop in general really, we have some, but I would say, yeah, that’s one area where we don't have much. 

23:35 (IV) Derek Long: We don't purchase anything - everything is donated; you’re dependent on what you're given, and what we are given are usually collections when people are, you know, coming to near the end of their life or they've passed away, and so we get collections of, of people who were collecting materials from the '30s to the '80s and so people who are collecting newer materials, some of that stuff haven't started coming our way yet. 

23:58 (IV) Chuck Haddix: I think we could do better with collecting in the Hispanic community. Yeah, and we could go deeper on Kansas City funk there’s a label called Forte that was produced here in Kansas City. Late '60s early '70s. There’s a lot of artists locally that were just not that well documented. But, that's something we are always on the lookout for, but those items are very rare and very valuable, and often with 45s particularly, you know people don't donate them, they sell them.

24:26 (VO) Abigail Lambke: The relationship between the Marr Sound Archives and the public is a complex one. They are dependent upon donations, but also critique what they are collecting. They preserve aspects from Kansas City, but also anything else they deem worthy of preservation. A different complex relationship is present with the American Jazz Museum and Kansas City. They acknowledge Kansas City as an origin point for jazz, but do not want to define themselves as only Kansas City. And yet, they continually work with the Kansas City community for outreach and education.

25:01 (IV) Ralph Caro: Kansas City is, is one of the four leaders relative to the jazz movement. I think it's unique to Kansas City in as much as this is a destination stop. People from around the world come to the American Jazz Museum. It just happens to be located in Kansas City. We have probably 45% of our visitors are international.

25:28 (IV)  Ralph Caro: Best time -  the first Fridays down here. Eleven o'clock, first Friday in the atrium downstairs. It will be packed with kids and their parents. I don't miss it; I go down and I stand on the rail, and I listen to Lisa Henry and her cohorts - there are four of them - and they just get these kids involved and the kids are hanging on every word.

25:49 (SA) Lisa Henry: It's now time to scat, ladies and gentlemen. So listen to me and then you follow. Are you ready Miss Angie? Yes. Ok, here we go! (Scatting: shubby do bop bop schubby do be..)

26:03 (IV) Ralph Caro: And they have fun with it. They teach the kids how to scat, and then the kids come up and then they'll scat. And then: "Does your mom scat around the house?" "No." "Where your mom at?" "She's right over there." "Come on up mom!" To watch these toddlers mesmerized and hooked on every word. Then, we have our Jazz Academy for junior high and high school kids. In fact, they will be playing for the next 12 weeks in the rotunda of City Hall, 30 minutes before City Council meetings. 

26:34 (VO) Abigail Lambke: This type of educational outreach plays a large part in the museum’s mission. It consists, mostly, of crowds listening to performances and having a collective experience of jazz. In contrast, at the Marr Sound Archive, outreach is more individualized, perhaps because it is housed in a university and a digital presence.

26:56 (IV) Chuck Haddix: People come in and listen, or you know, people from all over the world really use the collection. We just have an email this morning - a phone call followed up by an email - of a woman who is in hospice, there's someone's caring for a woman who is in hospice and she was good friends with this, this couple from Moorhead, Minnesota, and they, we have his collection - he was a musician - and she wanted to hear his music again. Lot of individuals come by that have research interests, much like what you're have or they are interested in particular artists or a radio program they'll come in and use the collection.

27:33 (IV) Derek Long: And some people just like to come in look around. (Laughter)

27:36 (IV) Chuck Haddix: Yeah, some people like to look around. Look, I have all my research files from my, from my books, including copies of all of the musical references in the Kansas City Call from 1919-1943. So when someone's doing a little research on Kansas City, particularly on African American history, 18th and Vine, or the music they'll come in and see me and use my vertical clipping files. 

27:57 (IV) Chuck Haddix: We've been successful in creating in collection in different aspects of our community because, everyone knows me. Yeah, I'm been on the radio for a long time, plus ...

28:06 (IV) Derek Long: (interjected) 33 years.

28:09 (IV) Chuck Haddix: ...we are able to gain the trust of the communities, like the LG - LBGTQ community; Stewart is doing a wonderful job collecting in that community. And that's a hard one to build trust with because they have been betrayed so long and oppressed for so long. And dealing with the African American community, I think, if you have a sense of cultural sensitivity about that community it helps a lot too. If you don't go into it to quote "save them" and maybe let them tell their story, and where you're, particularly also when you are dealing with these jazz musicians, like Jay McShann or Claude Fiddler Williams, or Step Buddy Anderson, you have to build trust with the family in order to get those collections. And then that times a certain, like I say, cultural sensitivity that many institutions don't have.

29:01 (CA): Fletcher Henderson and His Orchestra "Queer Notions" Instrumental, no lyrics, minor key.

29:16 (VO) Abigail Lambke: That was Fletcher Henderson and his orchestra's “Queer Notions” signaling another shift in the focus. Haddix has been talking about strategies of collecting being informed by “cultural sensitivity.” That term contains a number of connotations within Kansas City. In many ways, Kansas City is a divided city. The history of slavery, segregation, Tom Pendergast’s political machine, white flight, educational inequality, crime, poverty – all of those and more have perpetuated divisions in the city, often along racial lines. The dividing line in the city has historically been the street Troost. In this next section we’ll hear how the divisions in Kansas City influences sonic curation at both institutions. To begin, Ralph Caro at the American Jazz Museum.

30:12 (IV) Ralph Caro: This is the magnet - the music and barbecue are the magnet to bring people across Troost and bring them into the district. It's unfortunate that one or two outliers creates environments and situations that the perception is it's unsafe. We've asked for more police presence, and that is just cruising the area. The response we get: we are one of the safest districts in the city. So that's why we don't have a great police pre- it is already safe. But people don't know that on the outside. They just hear all of the outliers, and they just paint the picture that it is not safe down here. 

30:57 (IV) Ralph Caro: So one of the things we have done - I’m trying to experiment - we're doing Saturday afternoon matinees from 2:00 to 5:00 for people that are of that ilk that don't believe it's safe, or, a larger portion of people that don't drive at night anymore. They can come down, right now we are featuring "Vinyl on the Vine" with Ruby Grant Hopkins. And Grant is a local radio personality, and more importantly he is a local musical historian. And so what you get on Saturday afternoons is a educational piece. He will play different jazz collections, different artists, and he will give you the history and all the unknown information pertaining to those artists during those peak periods when jazz was really flourishing down here on 18th street. 

31:52 (IV) Ralph Caro: I, I just think we haven't done a good enough job in advertising and promoting the museum. They don't know - once they come - they say - "My God, I didn't know this was..." In fact, we partnered with the Federal Reserve Bank two weeks ago, and they brought in 150 school teachers from both sides of the state line, and the purpose of the field trip was to give them exposure to everything offered down here in the district. They went to the Musician's Foundation, they went to the Black Archives and they toured both the museums here and the Gem Theatre. The purpose was to give them a back drop so as they are planning field trips for their schools they will know because they have gone through the experience. And they had no idea - no idea - that the museum had the type of layout that it had and the educational benefit and value. And these people, these teachers lived here, most of them have been here their entire lives and didn't know we were here. So we've got work to do in the publicity department.

33:00 (VO) Abigail Lambke: So many people living in Kansas City don't know about the American Jazz Museum, or they know but they've have put off going for various reasons. They might be unaware of Kansas City’s sonic history as a focal point in the development of jazz. Those who live west of Troost might be fearful of crossing the historic dividing line. Caro sees it as part of his job to alleviate that fear and promote experience of the museum. And while that is clearly connected to how the museum works as a business, it also has deeper implications for the health of the city. If it is the music and the barbeque that bring people places, why not leverage that for social good? Fear operates in more than one direction, certainly. When speaking with Derek Long at the Marr Sound Archives, he describes how fear can inhibit sonic curation for preservation, too. Derek Long.

34:00 (IV) Derek Long: With some communities like punk community, even sometimes the hip hop community there can be distrust of institutions, and for good reason, I mean, it's part of the culture and just can be just larger just, you know, distrust of institutions and power in general. It hasn't necessarily happened with us, but I’ve heard a lot of archives talk about that, where they're trying to collect in a community that is resistant and then it's like they don't want to participate and they don't because they're like "you're going to take and appropriate like this culture" type of thing. Where they want to keep control over it. And we haven't had that like first-hand experience or anything, but that is something that like on a larger scale, when you are talking about being representative and bringing all cultures together in a community there's, that's just one aspect where you can have some tension. 

34:58 (VO) Abigail Lambke: Tension and distrust – even as Derek Long states it hasn’t worked against the Marr Sound Archives, I can’t help but consider these ideas of tension and distrust, and fear, as indicative of Kansas City and the background when we speak of the Kansas City community. That's been compounded by the intersection of geography and transportation in the area. In reference to the American Jazz Museum, one reason people might not visit is how the district is positioned separate from other city districts. So many of the other districts in Kansas City - Westport, the Plaza, Crossroads - they're along Main street and Broadway, they're simple to navigate, and they're oriented mostly north and south. 18th and Vine, where the American Jazz Museum is, is east, and across Troost. Ralph Caro here will talk about the relationship between 18th and Vine and the Crossroads where the bulk of the monthly First Friday festival occurs.

35:56 (IV) Ralph Caro: There is not a connecter yet. There needs to be a little bit more development along the corridor to actually connect the two but until then I’m recommending, or suggesting, that we have a trolley of some sort that can bring people back and forth, back and forth all evening long so they can take part in the activities down here as they do down in the Crossroads district. 

36:21 (IV) Ralph Caro: If transportation were similar to the streetcar downtown that you knew ran on a cycle you could get on and get off, come in, listen to some music, go back out get back on, I mean that would be the ideal solution would be to have a streetcar as opposed to maybe a trolley, but we'll take a trolley, if we can get it. 

36:41 (IV) Ralph Caro: I think we're on the cusp of something great happening down here with the redevelopment. I just encourage everyone to come on down to the Vine and give us a chance. Its a new and improved all the exhibits downstairs are in fine tip-top working order, they've been upgraded, many of them technology wise have been upgraded, and it is a good experience, a good wholesome family experience. 

37:04 (VO) Abigail Lambke: And in that, I hear Caro speaking to the detractors. People worry that it is a dangerous area, not safe for families, not safe for children. While at the Marr Sound Archives, I took advantage of Chuck Haddix’s vertical clipping file on the American Jazz Museum. Articles in Kansas City area periodicals question whether the city should spend money, or further money on the museum (Turque, et al; "KC's American Jazz Museum is Struggling"). Visitors complain that the exhibits don’t work, they're worried about the area, and that the city shouldn’t fund the museum (Turque, et al). Ralph Caro:

37:38 (IV) Ralph Caro: One, one of the things is that this is a city facility. The building is owned by the city, the artifacts are owned by the city, and that's why we're in the city budget. I think the goal of every Executive Director here is to become self-sufficient. The challenge is how do you become self-sufficient when you have an exhibit that we have which is a permanent exhibit, and I think the key to that is to add - supplement the permanent exhibit with traveling exhibits, so that you have something new and fresh to bring in, that would make someone who's been here last week want to come back again next week. I think you have to upgrade those exhibits on a regular basis. And right now space is so limited here, that it's going to be a real real challenge. I think it's doable, very much, or else I wouldn't be here. 

38:40 (VO) Abigail Lambke: Is he defensive? Maybe. But he's working an uphill battle. You might wonder, why am I speaking with the Interim Executive Director and not the curator, if I'm going a piece on sonic curation. Because there isn’t a curator.

38:54 (IV) Ralph Caro: I think we first off have to get a curator and understand what it is we have and once we understand what artifacts we have then we can program the facility around those, as opposed to building the facilities and then trying to fill it with artifacts. 

39:11 (VO) Abigail Lambke: Some of the difficulties at the American Jazz Museum are certainly tied to previous mismanagement. But others, I think, are tied to these ongoing divisions in the city that are my focus here. They are not new, and they are difficult to bridge. Divisions were present when Kansas City was founded in 1850, they continued through the Civil War, Reconstruction, they were exacerbated by the Pendergast machine in the early 20th century, they continued through the Civil Rights Movement, the 1968 Riots, into today. When the American Jazz Museum was first conceived, very little was open at 18th and Vine, with only the historically black newspaper The Call operating on the street. The Kansas City Star called the district “historically important but long abandoned” (Weber). Some in Kansas City argue that financially supporting the district while not improving the lives of those who live around it – say through education and opportunity – is not doing enough. Others argue that bringing commerce and foot traffic back across Troost and celebrating the history district is a step to unite the city. What better way to do that than through jazz? As a genre, jazz – its history, appropriation, how people acknowledge it or ignore it – jazz demonstrate those divisions sonically. 

40:39 (CA) Billie Holliday and Her Orchestra "Long Gone"

40:52 (VO) I’ll have more on that in Track 3 Resonance. Stay tuned. Billie Holiday will play us out now, with “Long Gone”

41:07 (CA) "Long Gone" Lyrics: Talk to me baby, tell me what's the matter now./ Tell me baby, what's the matter now? / Are you trying to quit me baby, but you don't know how.