Kansas City is one of the birthplaces of jazz, and the New York Times recognized Queen Bey as one of the best known jazz artists from Kansas City, along with Charlie Parker, Count Basie, and Max Roach.

Queen Bey was the first jazz artist to receive the coveted Governor's Arts Award, given to her in recognition of her efforts in promoting the heritage of jazz and the blues. In 1999, Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes proclaimed Queen Bey as the "National Jazz Ambassador."


Performing with one of Kansas City's most dynamic quartets, Ms. Bey "epitomizes the true jazz singer, in that she comes from a vocal tradition that is rooted in older African American music such as blues, spirituals, and gospel. You can hear her command and understanding of these powerful singing traditions when she performs. Her vocal stylings are outstanding and she is a contemporary master continuing the tradition of great singers like Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, and Dinah Washington."

Dr. Leonard Brown
African American Studies
Northeastern University Boston

Queen Bey has served as Kansas City's Ambassador of Jazz, performing in Costa Rica, Uruguay, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, Argentina, Holland, Belgium, Ethiopia, and France. In 2000, she represented the United States at the World Expo in Hanover, Germany.

Her experiences working with Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday are revealed in many of her original works including "Backstage With Dinah" and "Live From The Orchid Room."