Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Jazz this week: Revisiting Louis Armstrong's early works, Julian Vaughn, a celebration of John Coltrane, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis includes events celebrating the music of two of the most important improvisers in jazz, an evening of smooth jazz in a historic concert venue, and more.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, April 17
Jazz St. Louis ends their "Whitaker Jazz Speaks" series for the 2018-19 season with a program about Louis Armstrong's Hot 5 and Hot 7, featuring a talk by noted Armstrong expert Ricky Riccardi followed by a live performance of some of the music recorded by the trumpeter's early groups.

Also on Wednesday, the Route 66 Jazz Orchestra performs at the Ozark Theatre, and Cabaret Project of St. Louis presents their monthly "Singers Open Mic" , relocated for this month only from Sophie's Artists Lounge to The Dark Room.

Thursday, April 18
The Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University wraps up for the semester with a free concert featuring Wash U jazz performance students playing the music of Charlie Parker, Wayne Shorter, Miles Davis, Bill Evans and more.

Elsewhere around town, singer Erin Bode returns to Cyrano's, and saxophonist Andy Ament leads a trio at The Pat Connolly Tavern.

Friday, April 19
Bassist Julian Vaughn (pictured, top left) headlines a concert of smooth jazz at The Sheldon, with saxophonist Phil Denny and keyboardist Mark Harris II also on the bill.

Also on Friday, saxophonist Freddie Washington (pictured, bottom left) and pianist Adam Maness' trio will be "Celebrating Coltrane" for the first of two nights at Jazz St. Louis; and saxophonist Dave Stone plays the final gig of his long-running residency at Mangia Italiano before his upcoming move to Oregon.

Saturday, April 20
Keyboardist Mo Egeston and friends play the late show at The Dark Room.

Sunday, April 21
Miss Jubilee performs for brunch at Evangeline's, while singer and guitarist Tommy Halloran returns to The Dark Room.

Monday, April 22
The Webster University Jazz Singers, directed by Debby Lennon, will perform in their final concert of the semester at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster campus.

Tuesday, April 23
Dizzy Atmosphere plays vintage swing and Gypsy jazz at Evangeline's.

For more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, which can be found on the left sidebar of the site or by clicking here. You also can keep up with all the latest news by following St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at or clicking the "Like" icon on the StLJN Facebook page.

(If you have calendar items, band schedule information, news tips, links, or anything else you think may be of interest to StLJN's readers, please email the information to stljazznotes (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you have photos, MP3s or other digital files, please send links, not attachments.)

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Sunday Session: April 14, 2019

Amina Claudine Myers
Here's a roundup of various music-related items of interest that have shown up in one of StLJN's various inboxes or feeds over the past week:

* Nenette Evans: My Life With Bill (
* The Eclectic Mr. Klein (Jazz Times)
* Harold Danko: His Own Sound, His Own Time (
* ECM @ 50 (* “The most in depth concert in over 35 years”: Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck to reunite on stage (
* Ed Palermo Enjoys a ‘Lousy Day’ with New Album (DownBeat)
* Alan Lomax’s Massive Music Archive Is Online: Features 17,000 Historic Blues & Folk Recordings (
* Interview: Pianist Amina Claudine Myers (
* Knocking on doors in search of Philadelphia’s jazz history (WHYY)
* Jazz Heavyweights Herbie Hancock And Kamasi Washington Announce Joint Tour (NPR)
* Keystone Korner Club Revived in Baltimore (Jazz Times)
* Emmet Cohen Wins American Pianists Association Competition (DownBeat)
* Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks Dig Deep (DownBeat)
* George Benson talks back (Offbeat)
* Inside the Barry Harris Method (Jazz Times)
* Ambient in Outer Space: Seven Artists Exploring the Final Frontier (
* Works of Wadada Leo Smith Celebrated at Third CREATE Festival (DownBeat)
* Four-year legal battle over estate of legendary blues musician Muddy Waters continues in DuPage courtroom (Chicago Tribune)
* AIM’s Gee Davy on the future of generative Artificial Intelligence in music (
* Angel of Harlem: How a patron saint to a forgotten generation of musicians came to face her greatest challenge yet (ABC News)
* Space for the Wrong: An Interview with Frederic Rzewski (
* Jazzman Dave Douglas finds inspiration in Dizzy Gillespie (Houston Chronicle)
* Hi-Fi Cocktail Bars Aren’t Just for Tokyo Anymore (
* Holographic Frank Zappa Plays Guitar Solo in New Tour Promo (Rolling Stone)
* Berklee's Institute Of Jazz And Gender Justice Aims To Combat Sexism In Jazz (WBUR)
* The Songsmiths of Sesame Street (The Atlantic)
* Spotify, the Decline of Playlists and the Rise of Podcasts (Music Industry Blog)

Saturday, April 13, 2019

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
The percussive prowess of Pedrito Martinez

This week, let's take a look at some videos featuring percussionist and vocalist Pedrito Martinez, who's coming to St. Louis to perform Wednesday, April 24 through Sunday, April 28 at Jazz St. Louis.

Martinez, 45, was born and raised in Havana, Cuba, where he learned to play popular Cuban styles as well as Afro-Cuban folkloric and religious music on a variety of percussion instruments. He came to the U.S. from Havana in 1998, and over the past 20 years has compiled an extensive resume of credits with well-known musicians in several genres.

In all, Martinez has contributed to more than 50 recordings as well as live performances by jazz musicians including Wynton Marsalis, Paquito D'Rivera, Steve Turre, Bill Summers, Cassandra Wilson, Joe Lovano, Brian Lynch, Stefon Harris, Jane Bunnett, Eliane Elias, Stefon Harris, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Conrad Herwig, Eddie Palmieri, Esperanza Spalding, and Los Hombres Calientes.

He's also lent his talents to rock and pop performers including Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, James Taylor, Sting, Angélique Kidjo, Edie Brickell, Rubén Blades, and Elton John. Before starting his own group, Martinez was a founding member of the band Yerba Buena, which released albums in 2003 and 2005, and he's also is a member of Jazz at Lincoln Center's Nuevo Jazz Latino program.

More recently, Martinez earlier this year teamed up with pianist and fellow Cuban Alfredo Rodriguez on an album called Duologue, a collaboration that actually got started here in St. Louis when the two played a duo gig in February 2017 at Jazz St. Louis. That was Martinez's second gig at the Bistro, having previously brought his group here for a two-night stand in May 2015.

The Pedrito Martinez Group, which began in in 2005, has put out two albums to date, releasing their first recording in 2013, and the follow-up Habana Dreams in 2016. Along with Martinez on percussion and lead vocals, the group includes Sebastian Natal on bass and vocals, Jhair Sala on percussion and vocals, and Issac Delgado Jr. on keyboards and vocals.

You can see and hear them in action in the first video up above, an NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert recorded just a couple of months ago.

After the jump, you can see and hear three selections recorded in 2018 at Galeria Cafe Libro in Bogota, Colombia: "La Luna," "Amor de Mi Vida" and "Yo Si Quiero Estar Contigo."

Next up is a video performance of "Recuerdos," recorded in August 2018 at a gig in Bologna, Italia.

Finally, you can get a close-up look at some of Martinez' techniques via a brief instructional video released earlier this year by The Drum Channel.

For more about Pedro Martinez, read his 2016 interviews with and Billboard.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

Friday, April 12, 2019

Sheldon Concert Hall announces
schedule for 2019-20 season

The Sheldon Concert Hall's just-announced 2019-20 season will include four concerts featuring touring artists in a newly renamed "Rhythm and Jazz" series, plus various local jazz performers as part of its mid-week "coffee concerts" and Saturday matinee series.

Singer Cécile McLorin Salvant (pictured) will be the first jazz artist to perform next year, kicking off the series with a concert on Saturday, October 5.

Salvant will be followed by the NYC-based band Mwenso & the Shakes with guest singers Brianna Thomas and Vuyo Sotashe and dancer Michela Marino Lerman on Saturday, November 9.

Though perhaps not as well-known as many of the other acts booked for next year, the Shakes have earned a following in New York with late night sessions at Dizzy's in Jazz at Lincoln Center featuring a mix of jazz, blues, R&B, and other genres.

After that, the new year will bring pianist Christian Sands’ trio in a tribute to Errol Garner on Saturday, February, followed by the SFJAZZ Collective, who will perform on Saturday, March 14 with a program drawing on music from two albums released 50 years ago, Miles Davis' In a Silent Way and Sly and the Family Stone's Stand.

The current edition of the Collective's ever-evolving lineup includes trumpeter Etienne Charles, tenor saxophonist David Sanchez, vibraphonist Warren Wolf, pianist Edward Simon, guitarist Adam Rogers, bassist Matt Brewer, and drummer Obed Calvaire, plus vocalist Martin Luther McCoy.

The Sheldon's mid-morning "coffee concerts" for the 2019-20 season will include singer Kim Fuller and pianist Carolbeth True on Tuesday, October 5 and Wednesday October 17; guitarist and singer Tommy Halloran’s Guerilla Swing on Tuesday, November 12 and Wednesday, November 13; pianist Adam Maness' trio doing a tribute to Dave Brubeck on Tuesday, January 28 and Wednesday, January 29; and non-subscription performances by Miss Jubilee on Tuesday, April 21 and Wednesday, April 22.

The Saturday matinee series will offer performances by singer Feyza Eren in a Valentine's Day themed show on Saturday, February 13, and The 442s on Saturday, May 9.

Finally, programs designated as "special concerts" will include the annual Friends of the Sheldon Benefit, which will feature trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and singer Jane Monheit on Saturday, October 26; and a performance by The 442s on Wednesday, October 30.

Subscription tickets for the Sheldon's various 2019-20 series will go on sale next month, with single tickets for most concerts available starting at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, August 10 via Metrotix.

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

Here's StLJN's latest wrap-up of assorted links and short news items of local interest:

* Trumpeter Keyon Harrold was among the featured performers at "A Great Night in Harlem," held recently at the Apollo Theater to honor singers Harry Belafonte and Tony Bennett and to raise funds for the Jazz Foundation of America. DownBeat's article about the evening includes a quote from Harrold, who, along with fellow trumpeter Wallace Roney, performed "Grazing In The Grass" as a tribute to the late Hugh Masekela.

* Harrold also has been tapped as a member of New Masters, “a rotating ensemble of today’s leading, up-and-coming and established jazz musicians” assembled by Sony Music Masterworks to record jazz interpretations of contemporary hits "originally performed by the likes of Cardi B, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and SZA."

The group, which also includes pianist Sullivan Fortner, drummer Eric Harland, guitarist Gilad Hekselman, bassist Burniss Earl Travis, saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins and percussionist Bashiri Johnson, will release their debut album ReWORKS Volume 1 on Friday, July 12.

* "Why Jazz Still Matters" is the title of an article in the spring 2019 issue of Daedalus magazine co-authored by Washington University professor Gerald Early with Ingrid Monson, professor of African American Music at Harvard University.

* Seven musicians who worked with Miles Davis during the trumpeter's electric period, including bassist Michael Henderson, saxophonists Dave Liebman and Gary Bartz, and drummer Lenny White, talked about their experiences at a Jazz Congress conference panel this past January in NYC, which now has been transcribed for an article in Jazz Times.

* In more Davis news, the trumpeter's landmark album Birth of the Cool will be re-released in a deluxe 70th anniversary edition (pictured) on Friday, May 17. The vinyl and digital set will include the complete studio and live recordings made in 1949-50 by Davis' nine-piece ensemble.

* Lastly, in a story published on April 1 by the Alton-area weekly Riverbender, Davis' ghost is credited with saving the lives of three area residents in separate incidents.

* Trumpeter Clark Terry's mentoring of young musicians, particularly pianist Justin Kauflin, is the subject of a recent article in Vail Daily.

* In an article in the Edwardsville Intelligencer, vibraphonist Lee Roth credits the sounds of radio station WSIE with helping him recover from recent brain surgery.

* Jazz St. Louis, The Dark Room and Broadway Oyster Bar are among the spots mentioned in a Post-Dispatch feature about local venues offering "dinner and a show."

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Whitaker Music Festival, U City Jazz Fest announce 2019 lineups

There's news this week on the lineups for two summer festivals of interest to StLJN readers.

The 2019 Whitaker Music Festival will start its season at the Missouri Botanical Garden at 8:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 29 with Americana band Old Souls Revival.

For jazz fans, though, the action really begins the following week, when trumpeter Terence Blanchard (pictured) performs on Wednesday, June 5. Blanchard has been a frequent visitor here in recent months as Opera Theatre of St. Louis prepares to premiere his second opera, Fire Shut Up In My Bones, as part of their 2019 season.

Other jazz or jazz-adjacent performers appearing this year will include Tonina Saputo (June 12), Mardra and Reggie Thomas (July 3), and Annie and The Fur Trappers (July 17). All the concerts are free and open to the public, and you can see the complete schedule on the Missouri Botanical Garden website.

The 2019 U City Jazz Festival will take place on Saturday, June 8 at Heman Park in University City, starting at 1:00 p.m. and continuing throughout the afternoon and evening. This year's festival will feature a headlining performance from Fusion Warriors, led by bassist Darrell Mixon, paying tribute to Stanley Clarke.

Other bands and musicians scheduled to perform include Bach to the Future with guitarist Dave Black and violinist Tracy Silverman, singer Joe Mancuso, Soul Cafe, keyboardist Mo Egeston's All-Stars, drummer Maurice Carnes and the Avant Gardians, and Morphelonious. The event is free and open to the public.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Jazz this week: Brad Mehldau Trio, Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival, Victor Wooten, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis includes the long-awaited return of a critically acclaimed pianist; an all-woman big band headlining a local festival; a couple of free events examining the music of John Coltrane; and more. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, April 10
Pianist Brad Mehldau returns to St. Louis for the first time since 2011 for the start of a five-night engagement at Jazz St. Louis.

Though Mehldau has a new album of electric music recorded in collaboration with drummer Mark Guiliana coming out next month, this gig will be with his long-running acoustic trio (pictured, top left), which includes drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier.

Their most recent recording is Seymour Reads the Constitution!, which came out in 2018, and given how long it's been since Mehldau's last appearance here, it seems likely that this week's run at the Bistro will feature some of that material, as well as selections from 2016's Blues and Ballads.

Also on Wednesday, writer Ashley Kahn will give a presentation for Jazz St. Louis' "Whitaker Jazz Speaks" series on "A Love Supreme: The Music and Message in John Coltrane's Magnum Opus."  The free event will take place at the St Louis Public Library's Schlafly Branch in the Central West End.

Thursday, April 11
There's more Coltrane content on tap for Thursday night, as the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University will present a free concert featuring saxophonist Paul DeMarinis playing a program of the saxophonist's compositions. DeMarinis will be joined by pianist Nick Schlueter, bassist Jeff Anderson, and drummer Steve Davis, with Ashley Kahn also on hand to deliver some pre-concert remarks.

Also on Thursday, singer Erin Bode will celebrate the release on vinyl of her 2016 album Here and Now with a performance at the Sheldon Concert Hall; and guitarist Dave Black and friends return to The Pat Connolly Tavern.

Friday, April 12
The 2019 Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival will present the DIVA Jazz Orchestra (pictured, center left) in concert at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

The NYC-based, all-woman big band led by drummer Sherri Maricle last year celebrated their 25th anniversary with an album featuring all-original compositions and arrangements by members of the group.

For more about that, plus some videos of DIVA in action, as well as videos of musicians who will be featured in Saturday's GSLJF concert, check out this post from last Saturday.

Also on Friday, Second Generation Swing Band plays for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom, and singer Anita Jackson returns to The Dark Room.

Saturday, April 13
The 2019 Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival's final concert at the Touhill Performing Arts Center will be a tribute to UMSL jazz studies director Jim Widner featuring the "Ultimate Jazz All-Stars," an ad hoc group assembled for the occasion by drummer and producer Gregg Field and featuring musicians such as saxophonist Tom Scott, trumpeter Scotty Barnhart, pianist, saxophonist and arranger/composer Gordon Goodwin, bassist Carlitos del Puerto, pianist Shelly Berg, and more.

Also on Saturday, the Midwest Jazz-tette plays West Coast "cool" jazz at Evangeline's.

Sunday, April 14
The St. Louis Jazz Club presents the St. Louis Stompers playing traditional jazz in a matinee at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel St. Louis - Westport

Then on Sunday evening, multi-instrumentalist Sandy Weltman and pianist Carolbeth True will revisit some of the music from their 1998 album New World Harmonica Jazz at the house concert venue Judson House.

Monday, April 15
Students and faculty of Webster University will perform the music of Cole Porter at the annual "Shepard/Davis Scholarship Concert" at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster campus.

Tuesday, April 16
Bassist Victor Wooten (pictured, bottom left) returns with the Wooten Band for a show at Old Rock House. Along with the leader, the Wooten Band includes his brothers Regi and Joseph Wooten on guitars and keyboards and Derico Watson on drums.

The show also will feature the "Wooten Woods Experience," which involves an audience participation segment; guest musicians/educators drawn from a roster including bassist Steve Bailey and saxophonists Bob Franceschini and Bob Hemenger; and "a select group of students from his music and nature camps, an immersive educational program focusing on the relationship between music, nature, and life."

For more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, which can be found on the left sidebar of the site or by clicking here. You also can keep up with all the latest news by following St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at or clicking the "Like" icon on the StLJN Facebook page.

(If you have calendar items, band schedule information, news tips, links, or anything else you think may be of interest to StLJN's readers, please email the information to stljazznotes (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you have photos, MP3s or other digital files, please send links, not attachments.)

Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Moon Hooch returning to perform
Tuesday, July 9 at Old Rock House

The saxophones-and-drums trio Moon Hooch is coming back to St. Louis to perform at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 9 at the Old Rock House.

Starting in 2010 as buskers playing for tips in the New York City subway, Moon Hooch (pictured) has become an international touring attraction since putting out their first album in 2013, playing major venues and festivals around the world.

They last played in St. Louis in October 2018, while touring to promote a series of three singles released last year on their own Hornblow Recordings label.

Other recent recordings have included 2018's Bandcamp-only digital release Cave Sessions, and earlier this year, a cover of pop singer Ariana Grande's song "God is a Woman."

Tickets for Moon Hooch at the Old Rock House are $15 in advance, $17 day of show, and are on sale now via the ORH box office and all Metrotix outlets.