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BTA at 90: A Celebration Entertainment
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Long before Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, there was Mark Russell, who dared to joke and sing of the often-absurd political process. He started in a little piano bar on Capitol Hill — right across from the lawmakers themselves. As he puts it, "I started at the bottom and managed to work my way down." He began knowing little about politics, but was an immediate hit because he could find humor in anything.

Russell spent 30 years on public television as host of the "Mark Russell Comedy Specials." During those same years, he wrote a syndicated column and recorded CDs, tapes and videos. The rest of the time Russell was on the road performing at colleges, conventions and in theaters.

Today, while no longer writing a column, he continues to write, frequently updates his website and even, on occasion, tweets. Russell continues to be in demand both as a performer and as an emcee for numerous charitable evenings.

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Gregory Hyde is a Chicago, Illinois-based singer/songwriter who has toured the United States, opening shows for acts like Jim Gaffigan, 10,000 Maniacs, Sister Hazel, The Smithereens and many others. His blend of modern rock and southern pop stylings have garnered comparisons to a broad array of artists such as the Foo Fighters, The Eagles, Weezer and Paul McCartney. He's won a Billboard Music World Songwriting Competition award for the Rock category and plays more than 200 solo acoustic shows and private events each year.

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The Kansas City Lights Jazz Trio is part of Kansas City's premier jazz group, the Kansas City Lights Jazz Combo. The group performs elegant jazz standards, rhythm-and-blues favorites and, if guests get the urge to dance, some hits from the Motown era or familiar pop hits from the 1950s through the 2000s.

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