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Wichita band to know: The Jack Korbel Confluence

Underground Press: The Jack Korbel Confluence

Jack Korbel and Randy Zellers perform a set at the Eagle as part of the Jack Korbel Confluence, which plays in Wichita on Saturday.
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Jack Korbel and Randy Zellers perform a set at the Eagle as part of the Jack Korbel Confluence, which plays in Wichita on Saturday.

Jack Korbel understands the power of language.

As lyricist and songwriter for the Jack Korbel Confluence, he tells stories with folk songs.

For example, his song, “Midwest Winter Sky” tells the story of a woman deploying overseas and leaving her children behind:

Tomorrow at the airport, we mustn’t shed a tear.

We’ll present a strong façade to ease our children’s anxious hearts.

For to cry in front of two small boys will just confirm their fears,

so the rain from Cleveland’s winter clouds must substitute for tears.”

“Language is one of the chief things that makes us human, and I love communication – I think it’s a tremendous gift that we have,” Korbel said. “I love engaging in language, whether it’s telling stories through song lyrics, having a conversation with someone, or at this point, as a budding speech language pathologist, helping someone to reach their highest communicative potential.”

Language is one of the chief things that makes us human.

Jack Korbel

Korbel performs his songs with a rotating cast of musicians collectively known as the Jack Korbel Confluence.

On Saturday, that cast will include well-known jazz musicians Randy Zellers, Steve Hatfield and Josh Pickenpaugh (former KMUW music commentator and 15-year cruise ship band veteran).

Korbel said that while the audience for his brand of narrative-driven, introspective folk songs may be small, he finds the work fulfilling.

“I find that the people that are attracted to my music are usually readers,” he said. “They’re people who think pretty deeply about things, and they tend to be also drawn to music that has a certain level of lyrical quality.”

Korbel has released two albums, the last of which came out in 2014. He said he is currently working on new material for another album.

You can hear some of that material at his show on Saturday at The Ladder, 2836 E. Douglas, and until then, you can catch a live set from the Jack Korbel Confluence here on Underground Press.

Matt Riedl: 316-268-6660, @RiedlMatt

The Jack Korbel Confluence

When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12.

Where: The Ladder, 2836 E. Douglas (directly west of Eighth Day Books, behind Hannah Banana)

Admission: $5

Details: Lil’ Bit Gourmet Burgers food truck will be on site. For more information on the Jack Korbel Influence, visit www.jackkorbel.com.

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