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Keeping it Local

Musicians making a difference in the community.

Whether serenading students into the school building, teaching in his music classroom, using his DJ skills at school functions, or playing with coworkers for Lee’s Summit school district events, Matt Ketteman infuses joy and fun into each and every setting. It came as no surprise that he was selected as LSR7’s Teacher of the Year in 2020 and became a finalist for the Missouri Teacher of the Year. What is a bit surprising is how he manages to juggle all the responsibilities of teaching and at the same time coordinate multiple musical performances with his band, The Local.

When Matt’s friend and coworker, Steve Lanier, asked Matt if he knew of any bands that played for free, his answer was unfortunately no. Steve had a daughter who was raising money for a mission trip and wanted to have a fun event to help with costs involved in the journey. They really wanted to have live music, but the expense would eat up too much of the proceeds.

Matt and his wife Kim, the attendance secretary at Longview Farm Elementary, started thinking about how they could help with the project. Knowing many fundraising events incur expenses that cut into monies received, they offered to get some fellow musicians together and play for free.

When fellow friends and musicians were asked if they wanted to join them in helping out for a good cause the answer was a resounding yes. One of the fliers for an upcoming event stated that the “local band in the area” would be playing. The group all agreed they liked the sound of that and hence, The Local was born!

This was a perfect solution for Matt and Kim…an outlet for their love of bringing music to people without taking too much time away from family. Currently Matt and Kim are lead singers with Matt playing rhythm guitar. Chase Peterson plays lead guitar, Luke McDuff is the bass player, Brandon Johnson is the drummer and Rob Ely plays keyboards and synthesizer.

After that first gig helping out a friend, they realized the blessings they received playing for free far outweighed any monetary compensation. Matt believes music should be experienced by as many people as possible. He says “There is something about listening and watching musicians play live that alleviates everyday stresses and worries. It can also transport an event and take it to another level. By taking away the hurdle of cost that would prohibit an organization to have live music, more people can experience the fun and entertainment live music brings.”

Since the band has come together they have played for several charities and causes. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation is near and dear to their hearts since their daughter Claire has been diagnosed with Type I diabetes. This year Claire got on stage and sang with them! They have also helped in fundraising efforts for the Center for the Developmentally Disabled, Wings for Water, Mantels and Martinis, Crank Out Hunger, and youth mission trips for Deerbrook Covenant Church. They also recently performed at Lee's Summit's Oktoberfest and the Gladfest in Gladstone, MO. They can play just about any style from MOTOWN and The Beatles to current tunes. Matt also volunteers his DJ skills when the need arises.

Matt is owner/operator of the LLC simplesoundskc.com which specializes in creating live music experiences throughout the KC metro area. They currently offer three different group samplings to fit any occasion: The Local, DJ services, and the piano/vocal duo of Rob and Kim.

Matt says he enjoys teaching music to elementary students, but he also enjoys  being able to share his craft with the public.  Matt and Kim love having a ‘hobby’ they can do together and say sharing their vocal talents to help support organizations and events doing good in the community is fulfilling .

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For more information on the Kettemans and The Local visit their website SImpleSoundsKC.com

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