These have been, without a doubt, extremely difficult and trying times. However, the spirit of Kansas City was never dormant. Music is that spirit and Jazz is its name. Not being able to play gigs in the many local venues because of the pandemic, musicians found ways to still keep that spirit alive. They learned to be resilient. They had to be creative. They found new ways to continue expressing themselves. They organized ‘porch concerts’ and fundraisers to earn a living and help fellow musicians. They collaborated virtually through ‘remote’ jam sessions conducted over the internet. They kept playing meanwhile learning many new things about themselves and finding ways to connect in ways they never knew they could.
I want to celebrate Kansas City’s jazz with a colorful and playful design that will be enjoyed by Kansas City locals as well as out-of-town visitors. The KC Streetcar is the perfect vehicle to keep the spirit of Kansas City Jazz moving around the streets of this vibrant city. It will be a reminder to everyone that, no matter how hard the times may get, that resilient spirit that kept us moving through a difficult year is very much still alive.
Hector is a local artist and illustrator. He worked for Hallmark Cards for many years as an artist and store merchandising designer. As a freelance illustrator, Hector has exhibited his “Faces of Kansas City Jazz” caricature collections in Kansas City jazz venues such as the Folly Theater and the Gem Theater during the 2017 and 2018 Charlie Parker Birthday Celebration.