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Art Ensemble plans a reunion of talents

(Joe Klopus, The Kansas City Star) Ten years ago, almost to the day, a new band pumped some creative life into our town’s music scene.

The Westport Art Ensemble helped make it clear that Kansas City jazz would not be relegated to the past and would not be content with rehashing the same set of songs that musicians had been playing for decades.

Of course, others had been delivering that message for years already.

But in that moment 10 years ago, the message seemed to come most clearly through the Westport Art Ensemble. They were the right band at the right time, and they played some memorable shows before packed houses.

Four of the original members — all but guitarist Jake Blanton, who has other commitments — are staging a reunion concert on Saturday in the spot where the band played its first official show in November 2001, the Westport Coffee House Theatre.