A pillar of Kansas City's jazz scene, Molly Hammer passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 24, after years with metastatic breast cancer.
Working for more than a decade, Hammer was one of KC's most distinguished jazz vocalists. In addition to performing the National Anthem at both Arrowhead and Kauffman Stadiums, winning a Pitch Music Award, singing at prestigious venues like the Kauffman Center and the Folly, she could regularly be heard in local jazz clubs and Unity churches.
But exceeding even her radiant voice was Hammer's resilience and generous spirit — one that kept her singing for many years while undergoing treatment, and one that kept her community inspired. Throughout this journey, she advocated strongly for breast cancer awareness and research.
Another one of her goals was to support the city's music scene. Hammer recently chose to donate the ongoing proceeds of her recordings to Midwest Music Foundation. All of her albums — 2020's "I'm Feeling Mellow," plus "Out Of This World" and "Live At Green Lady Lounge," can be found at mollyhammer.com.
The video below is a gorgeous cover of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now," featuring Hammer on vocals with the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, recorded at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.