Cultural Shorts

Discussions about the artistic impulse and creative drive, these interviews and features bring a local focus on the global art community of artists, authors and musicians.

Jaclyn Cage

Cartwheel, led by guitarist and vocalist Kristyn Chapman, will celebrate the release of its debut recording, Best Days, on Friday, Feb. 15, at Wave on a bill with Old News, Mess and Pigments. It is an all-ages event.

Joining Chapman on the release are drummer Will Erickson and bassist Riley Day. Chapman recently visited the KMUW studios to discuss the origins of both her band and Best Days.

You've got this new record, which is something you've been working on for quite a while. Where did this whole thing start?

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Corb Lund arrives in Wichita on Thursday, Feb. 14 for a performance at Wave. The Canadian musician has been releasing quality Western-based music since the mid-1990s. Along the way, he has earned acclaim for his deep-reaching narratives and humorous wordplay. Albums such as Five Dollar Bill, Cabin Fever and Things That Can't Be Undone remain among his most popular.

What were the origins of the No Rest For The West tour?

Carla Eckels/KMUW

Singer/songwriter and guitarist Raul Midon has made a big splash in the music industry.

The artist, who has been blind since shortly after birth, composes most of his own music, and produces and engineers all of his own albums in the studio he had built in his home.

"I'm a control freak," he says with a laugh. "I readily admit that."

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Having made his mark on both America's Got Talent and America's Got Talent: Champions, Piff The Magic Dragon has become one of the hottest acts in Las Vegas, with a residency at the Flamingo Casino at the newly renamed Piff The Magic Dragon Theatre. The run has recently been extended due to popular demand.

That hasn't slowed the dragon down. Boasting a show that is "50 percent magic, 50 percent comedy and 100 percent dragon," Piff is now embarking on a tour of the U.S. and Canada, dubbed The Lucky Dragon.

Carla Eckels / KMUW

Four young orchestra students, hand-picked by Wichita's North High School, are tuning up their classical instruments to play in one of the last places you'd expect to see a violin: Beatles vs. Stones, A Musical Showdown. The touring "battle of the bands" concert on Tuesday in downtown Wichita will feature familiar songs from two mega-star English rock bands.

"It's kind of like the concert that never was," says North High band and orchestra director Stephanie Byers, who has been teaching students for nearly 30 years. "We never ever saw the Beatles and the Rolling Stones in the same venue."

Max Crace

Released in 1990, Ah Via Musicom served as Texas guitarist Eric Johnson's breakthrough album, spawning four singles, three of which became inescapable on rock radio in subsequent years. The tune "Cliffs of Dover" earned Johnson a Grammy for Best Rock Instrumental Performance in 1992. Johnson toured incessantly behind the recording and landed a coveted spot opening for legendary Canadian band Rush during the touring cycle.

James Coreas

Now in his mid-20s, Oklahoma native Parker Millsap has four albums to his credit, including the acclaimed 2016 release, The Very Last Day, and his latest, Other Arrangements. Blending elements of traditional American songwriting with soul, gospel and garage rock, Millsap's music remains incredibly cohesive despite the disparate styles he draws from.

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Between 2005 and 2015, Abandon Kansas recorded a series of acclaimed EPs and LPs while maintaining a nonstop touring schedule. The group quietly folded the same year it released its third full-length album, alligator, as the members pursued a variety of other musical and personal pursuits.

Abandon Kansas will play its first reunion show on Friday, Dec. 28, at Wave on a bill that also includes Old News, Me Like Bees and Faintheart. The show is open to all ages and begins at 5 p.m.

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The Pre-Existing Conniptions will perform at the Ellis Street Moto, 310 S. Ellis, on Friday, Dec. 21, on a bill that includes High Plains Drifter and Blood Tide. The bill also will feature a solo set from Conniptions cellist/vocalist Roni Lowry Worcester. The Pre-Existing Conniptions is rounded out by Evan Ogborn (banjo, vocals), Alana Johns (bass) and Julian Urrego (drums).

How did The Pre-Existing Conniptions first come into being?

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Veteran Celtic music act Cherish The Ladies brings its Christmas show to Wichita's Orpheum Theatre Sunday, Dec. 16. The group has recorded three holiday LPs to date, the latest being Christmas In Ireland. The evening features traditional Christmas songs such as "Silent Night" and "O Come All Ye Faithful" in unique arrangements.