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 iTunes.

Zach Shoffner has played in Wichita bands for over a decade now. He is currently lead guitarist with the group The Candy Lords and a founding member of the group Keen Kutter, with his fiancée, Britt Boman.


John Salem has performed music in a variety of settings for several decades now. He currently performs with the Macy Brothers Band, the Westerman Brothers Band, The Boomers and various pick up gigs. His songs have been recorded by Rudy Love, The Gap Band (“I Miss You Most of All At Christmas”) and others. He also appeared on Tracy Nelson’s Homemade Songs LP. You can hear a selection from that record in this piece.

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Jordan Dee Minnis is a Wichita based singer-songwriter and Wichita State University student. You can hear her perform at a variety of Wichita venues.

Carrie Rengers

Joe Stumpe is a Wichita-based singer-songwriter who has recently released the CD Jump The Track under his own name. He is also a member of the band Fly By Night and a journalist with more than 30 years of experience.

“I studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and have been a working journalist since 1983 in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and here.

Tricia Demmers

Jason Teubner has performed in a variety of Wichita bands for over a decade now, including Ophil and, more recently, The Great Plains, with his wife, Maria Elena. Here, he discusses one of his more unlikely—but fulfilling musical projects.

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Lily Dooman is a singer-songwriter based in Wichita. She recently issued a self-titled solo EP and is a member of the newly-formed band Riverbirds.

“I started by going out to open mics and building a set from there. If I wrote a song I’d play it this week; if I wrote a couple more songs I’d play them the next week.

Emily Hill is lead guitarist in the band Stand Up. She is completing her final year at Wilbur Middle School in Wichita. Stand Up is working on its first EP. Here, Hill recalls the band’s first public gig.

“We played formal at our school. That was a big deal for us. That was the first gig that we ever played. We were just used to playing in our garage for my mom. We got to play in front of all of our grade.

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William Flynn is assistant professor of jazz guitar at Wichita State University. He is involved in a variety of jazz-based musical ensembles including Driver, Friendly Skeleton, and The Songbook Project.

“One analogy that’s used a lot in jazz improvisation education is the language analogy. It’s kind of overused but it’s overused because it’s such a good analogy to make.

Michael Malcolm

Nikki Sample is a solo singer-songwriter and lead vocalist of the Wichita band Big Red Horse. She lives in Wichita with her husband, Ryan.

Connor Hays

Michael J. Engdahl is a guitarist, composer, and teacher based out of Wichita, KS. He plays in the local alt-rock band Coriander, the modern jazz quartet First To Leave, and leads his own trio, ME3. A recent graduate of Wichita State with a B.M. in Jazz Studies, Michael teaches at Senseney Music and has been a part of the local music scene for many years. His most recent recording, Live! At Miller Concert Hall debuts original compositions in the jazz idiom. Michael is looking forward to recording, performing, and touring with all his projects in 2015.