Category Archives: Newsletter


Kelle Brings the Jolly to Origins Jazz Series

It was the middle of her set at Lexington’s Tee Dee’s music club. Jazz vocalist Jessie Laine Powell was, as usual, holding the room in the palm of her hand, but she was fighting off a cold and needed a brief break to let her voice recover. Over to stage right stood a woman Jessie had just met earlier in the day as a fellow panelist at a Women in Jazz discussion hosted by the Origins Jazz Series at the Lyric Theater. She said she could sing. And she had brought along a ukelele. Jessie invited her up to the mic to spell her for a song. We, in the audience, had no idea what to expect.

Kelle Jolly

Then, something like this happened…

Kelle Jolly performing at the 47th Jubilee Festival

Kelle Jolly brought the house to its feet with a performance of Wild Women Don’t Have the Blues and everyone hoped the Origins folks would book her for a show of her own.

They did. And it’s coming. January 26 at Tee Dee’s (info & tickets here).

It turns out that Kelle Jolly has serious Soul Jazz credentials of her own. She is into her fifth year as host of Jazz Jam with Kelle Jolly on Knoxville public radio station WUOT. There are plans for a tv taping in April to celebrate. And she participates in conferences and gatherings around the country that focus on art, rural/urban arts and community building.

“A couple of years ago, I would host singer jam sessions. I would hire the rhythm section. Singers would come with charts and sing,” Kelle told me in a text exchange. “Some went from doing the jams to performing locally.”

Kelle records and sings with her husband, saxophonist Will Boyd. He’ll join her onstage at Tee Dee’s on the 26th along with drummer Kenneth Brown, David Becher on bass and keyboardist Jason Day.

Will Boyd

“Our set will include freedom songs, spirituals, original songs from the album Will Boyd Live at the Red Piano Lounge, and jazz standards,” Jolly said. “We play traditional African American music spirituals, jazz, blues, and soul. Our set is about freedom. Jazz is freedom.”

Yes, indeed it is.


So much about ourselves can be discovered by exploring the history of a place. That certainly is true of an 8-mile stretch of a beloved creek that winds its way through part of central Kentucky. From the WEKU current affairs program Eastern Standard, listen to Tom Martin’s conversation with Richard Taylor, author of Elkhorn: Evolution of a Kentucky Landscape.

Click to listen


UMRadio Debuts on Eastern Standard

UnderMain joins forces with WEKU’s weekly current affairs program Eastern Standard to bring you regular coverage of the arts in central and eastern Kentucky. You can listen to our first contribution to the show on this week’s edition (88.9 WEKU at 11 am / 7 pm Thursdays, 6 pm Sundays. You can live stream Eastern Standard from or, download the WEKU app from your device app store and listen live, or find our podcast on NPR One, iTunes, Google Play or Stitcher.)

Here’s a sneak preview!


Arts Tasting Menu

A handcut tasting of cultural delicacies from Lexington, the region, and beyond.

Welcome to 2019, art fiends! While 2018 might have been, ahem, disturbing in so many ways, it was actually a pretty great year for the local and regional art scene. The quality and depth of arts and cultural opportunities at galleries, museums, venues, and alternative spaces has continued to increase in Lexington and across the region. 2019 starts off with a bang in Lexington with the first LexArts Hop on January 18, from 5-9pm.  Here are a couple of stops you should consider while you are hopping around.


Fired and Inspired. LexArts Gallery, Lexington. Thru February 23rd.

Let’s start at LexArts world headquarters. Some of Lexington’s most accomplished ceramic artists get together for an exhibition that is an homage to their mentors in the LexArts Gallery in ArtsPlace.


Four New Exhibitions: Wainscott, Deaton, Salley, Aurora. Lexington Art League, Loudoun House, Lexington. Opens January 18.

Big changes are happening at the Lexington Art League, including rejoining LexArts Hop as a venue and aligning their calendar with the gallery hop schedule. A renewed focus and commitment to local and regional artists has yielded an approach to programming that utilizes the Loudoun House galleries to allow for many more, rotating, smaller-scale solo and group exhibitions. You can read more about these and other changes and plans on the League’s website.

2019 kicks off with three solo exhibitions of local artists, Clay Wainscott, Benjamin Salley, and Susan Deaton. Wainscott is the first artist featured in the League’s new Signature Series of exhibitions for established artists and a catalogue has been produced for his show. The fourth show opening is Aurora, a group show of local and regional artists curated by Samantha Simpson, Director of Art Galleries at Georgetown College.


You & Me: Pairing Photography With Other Artistic Mediums. M.S. Rezny Studio & Gallery, Lexington. Thru February 16th.

Mary Rezny continues to curate innovative group exhibitions at her gallery on Manchester Street in Lexington’s Distillery District. The current exhibition pairs her photography with the sculpture by Stacey Chinn, paintings by Marco Logsdon, works in fiber by Arturo Sandoval, and drawings by Karen Spears.