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Harmony Beyond Music

A Love Story With a Twist

Marvin and Ann Hunt’s love story weaves together with strands of music, passion, and the serene beauty of rural life. It began decades ago when both were creating continuing education programs. Ann served as a professor at Washburn University for 16 years in the Department of Music, serving as Co-Chair her final year at the university. Marvin was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame in 2019. But the couple’s passion for music dates back long before they met.

Marvin was inspired by the Beatles as a child. He created cardboard guitars and asked his classmates to pretend to be the band with him. He eventually took part in the real thing, playing actual instruments in school bands. Meanwhile, Ann’s great aunt played records she could sing along to when she was just six years old. She continued to sing in school choirs growing up. Their early starts set the tone for their shared musical journey and lifelong partnership.

Marvin and Ann are part of a five-piece band called The House Jumpers. Amid the challenges of the pandemic in 2020, they faced difficulties booking the band because of changes to venue capacity rules. They used the challenge as an opportunity.

“We decided to launch our duo, With a Twist,” Marvin explains, “and to work up music, which we had thought about for years, such as great American songbook material from the 1950s.”

With a Twist plays primarily three styles: the “greatest American music” (e.g. Diana Washington, Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole), exotica/Latinesque, and originals that include R&B and country.

Beyond the stage and their recording studio, the Hunts’ love story intertwines with the couple’s shared dreams, including living on a rural property. Fifteen years ago, they turned that dream into a reality, finding their perfect home in the country. Their focus has been on plant life and observing the various birds and animals who visit.

“We plant several gardens and really enjoy watching wildlife every day,” Ann says of their land. “Our goal is to continue encouraging native grasses and vegetation. For example, we’ve planted over forty hardwood trees and expanded our fruit orchard.”

The Hunts have filled the inside of their home with things they love as well. They record musical projects and welcome other regional artists to their home recording studio, which has been the birthplace of seven released CDs. Marvin’s artistic pursuits have expanded beyond music to painting, primarily focusing on rural scenery. His recent first art showing marked a new chapter in his creative journey, showcasing his talent with oils.

“We support each other’s individual interests,” they say of their connection. “One of the important things for us is to nurture mutual friends with whom we regularly spend time, make music, and enjoy our homes.”

Central to their bond as a couple is their genuine love and appreciation for each other. For Marvin and Ann, activities like gardening and daily walks are not just pastimes; they are rituals that bring them closer together.

For young couples aspiring to blend their personal and professional lives, the Hunts offer sage advice: “Find your mutual passions. Be patient and loving. Work diligently towards goals. Build in time for yourselves outside of work and demanding schedules.”

Looking ahead to their musical odyssey, With a Twist was recently accepted on the Kansas Touring Artists roster, which they hope will help them expand into performing in other communities, especially smaller towns that want to increase their arts activities.

Marvin and Ann’s love story is composed of shared passions, dedication to the land, and a commitment to creating beautiful music together. As they continue to inspire through their melodies, their journey stands as a testament to the enduring power of love and the pursuit of dreams.

Follow With a Twist on Facebook @WithaTwistDuo or visit their website WithaTwistMusic.com. See them in person at Classic Bean, 2125 SW Fairlawn Rd., on February 23 and at Compass Point, 800 N Kansas Ave., on March 8.

The Hunts’ love story intertwines with the couple’s shared dreams, including living on a rural property.

Central to their bond as a couple is their genuine love and appreciation for each other.

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