Hello Atelier 036

The McFadden Brothers

February 01, 2021

Ronald and Lonnie McFadden have been performing on stage their whole lives. Listen in as they tell us about their musical heritage and the challenges of making a living as entertainers.

Hello Atelier 036

Ronald and Lonnie McFadden

I discovered the McFadden Brothers through my love of tap dancing. I had heard of their tap and jazz performances and had long looked forward to seeing their performance. When I finally got to see them take the stage in their black tuxedos, I could immediately see that these men weren’t just dancers, nor were they just musicians – they were entertainers. I was struck at the ease with which they worked through their numbers, a set that included classic jazz standards but performed in such a modern way that the high school kid in front of us started singing along.

While we saw the McFadden brothers perform at a large venue, I love watching a jazz performance in a more intimate space. There is something about the atmosphere of sitting in a dark club, sipping an Old Fashioned, and letting the music wash over you that creates a timeless experience – it could be 2021 or it could be 1921. Our guest Lonnie McFadden recently opened his own music venue in downtown Kansas City, Lonnie’s Reno Club. Perhaps he will be ushering in a new jazz age for a still new century.

Listen in as we talk about how they learned to tap from their father, performing around the world, and the challenges of making a living as entertainers.

In this episode:

  • Lonnie’s Reno Club: Visit Lonnie’s very own jazz club in Kansas City, Lonnie’s Reno Club!
  • The McFadden Brothers Performance: Watch the brothers perform for Jamdemic – a variety show online filmed at the famous Gem Theater.
  • Lonnie McFadden: Keep up on Lonnie’s performance dates and shop his albums.
  • Jazz in KC: Coming to Kansas City? Check out the jazz calendar to catch a show!

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