Light Rain


Band to open jazz series

By The Mercury

TOPEKA—The Topeka Jazz Workshop Band will open Topeka Jazz Workshop Inc.’s 43rd concert season on Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center, 420 SE 6th Street, Topeka.

This will be the first of 11 concerts offered between August and May.  Admission is by season membership—$100 per adult for all 11 concerts. ($45 for students under 21).  Adults who purchase their tickets on or before Sunday will receive two guest coupons.  Thereafter, guest coupons will only be given to   premium level members.  Complete ticket information can be found on or by   contacting Executive Director Marcene Grimes at or 785-379-5169.

  The TJW Band is under the direction of Ryan Simpson, who has been playing and teaching jazz in northeast Kansas for almost 20 years.  He was a recipient of TJW Inc. scholarships in 1992 and 1993.  After graduating from Washburn in 1997 he taught band in grades 5-12 in Rossville before moving to his current position as director of bands at Seaman Middle School. 

In addition to directing the TJW Band,  Simpson is director of the TJW Youth program, which exposes students from all around NE Kansas to jazz history, styles and performances.

Guest artist will be vocalist Shay Estes from Kansas City. Estes has a varied performance background with roots that reach from musical theater, modern dance and country music to burlesque, jazz and experimental performance art. 

She can be found singing regularly in Kansas City’s best jazz clubs such as Jardines and The Blue Room.  She performs frequently with pianist Mark Lowrey, the People’s Liberation Big Band of Greater Kansas City, Barclay Martin Ensemble, Matt Otto’s Folk Jazz, and Mark Southerland’s Snuff Jazz.

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