A Musical Life

KMUW's Jedd Beaudoin interviews Wichitans who live a musical life... as a full-time vocation or a part-time passion.

A Musical Life is also available through Apple Podcasts.

Ways to Connect

Matthew Clagg

Yasmin Nur is a Wichita-based singer-songwriter who is currently working on new material for release in early 2019. Here, she discusses the origins of her particular brand of rock ‘n’ roll.

Paula Moore

John Grant is a Wichita-based musician whose credits include work with Ulu, Local Band, Softie and The Giant Thriller.

“I’ve loved music my whole life. It’s been one of those driving forces. It helps me connect with people. I’m not too social but I make a lot of connections through music.

Jonathan Eaton. That guy does something to my heart in the music that he writes. After hearing it 1000 times you would think you’d get totally sick of it but I’m still at the point where all the songs we wrote maybe 20 years ago are fresh and relevant today.

Courtesy Ryan McGinnis

Ryan McGinnis is a North Carolinian transplanted to Wichita, where he leads The McGinnis Project. The band will release its album, Big Night Sky, later this year.

Pete Studtmann is a Wichita-based bassist with a variety of credits, including stints in bands such as Lather and, most recently, False Flag ICT.

Ryan Benton is the primary composer in the band Sunshine Dreamers. The band’s latest album is Stand Still.

Trevor Stewart is a frequent performer in Wichita. His latest project is a collection called In The Hearts of Others and features Andrew Feldman and Mark Thorstenberg. Stewart’s primary instrument is the Chapman Stick.

“A Chapman Stick is an instrument that comes from California, invented in the late ‘60s. You play it just by tapping the strings. You don’t have to strum or pick the strings. You just tap right on ‘em. It has two six-string guitars on one big fretboard. There’s no body like on an electric guitar.

courtesy photo

Alex Thomas is the former vocalist of the band Ophil and current vocalist of Monterey Jack. Additionally, he is owner of Lucky’s Everyday, co-owner of Kirby’s Beer Store and Barleycorn’s as well as co-owner and operator of The Cotillion Ballroom.

courtesy: Jack Chase

Jack Chase is a carpenter, luthier, guitarist, mandolinist, budding vibraphonist and public radio enthusiast who lives in Wichita, Kansas.

“I always wanted to tear stuff apart, when I was a kid, and try to make it better. I rarely made it better but I did tear a lot of stuff apart. At some point, I started thinking, ‘Maybe I should learn how to build a guitar.’

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

I was born to play music that heals and soothes people. Took me a while to come to that irrevocable conclusion but I’m really blessed.

Billy Carr is a Wichita-based musician who has played drums in a number of bands including the country music band Sunshine Trucking. He is also the singer-songwriter behind the project Big Plans For Tomorrow.

“In the apartment days of my twenties, which were not very good days for being a drummer, I went to a pawn shop and bought a cheap acoustic just so I had something around the house to work on. Then I slowly started upgrading my equipment and slowly getting more involved in songwriting.