Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Jazz this week: Roosevelt Collier, Pharez Whitted, Liberty Jazz Band, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis features noteworthy performances in a veritable smorgasbord of sub-genres, from cabaret and jazz-inflected opera to vintage swing, post-bop, "sacred steel," Latin music, and more.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, June 19
Cabaret Project of St. Louis will present their "Singers Open Mic" this month at an alternate location, The Dark Room.

Elsewhere around town, the world premiere production of trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard's opera Fire Shut Up In My Bones continues at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, with a performance on Wednesday and four more scheduled before OTSL's season ends on Sunday, June 30.

Thursday, June 20
The Sheldon Concert Hall this week is hosting a two-day conference of Midwest talent buyers, and in conjunction with that, on Thursday night they're presenting a "Saint Louis Music Showcase" featuring pianist Peter Martin's trio, The 442s, and singer Brian Owens, which is free and open to the general public.

Also on Thursday, the Route 66 Jazz Orchestra returns to Jazz St. Louis; pianist Jim Hegarty leads a trio at Evangeline's; and out in St. Charles County, guitarist Randy Bahr and saxophonist Larry Johnson will play duets at the Rendezvous Cafe & Wine Bar in O'Fallon.

Friday, June 21
Steel guitarist Roosevelt Collier (pictured, top left) performs for the first of two nights at Jazz St. Louis. After developing his "sacred steel" chops playing in church with a family band, the Florida native in recent years has become a popular touring act among secular audiences, thanks to an explosive style mashing up gospel, blues, funk and rock.

You can find out more Collier and see some videos from recent performances in this post from last Saturday.

Also on Friday, Chicago-based trumpeter Pharez Whitted (pictured, bottom left) comes to southern Illinois for a performance with his post-bop quintet at Panorama Banquet Center in Belleville; and The Gaslight Squares will be joined by guest pianist Kris Tokarski for a tribute to Jelly Roll Morton at The Focal Point.

(Tokarski also is playing a solo show on Sunday afternoon at the Opera House of Pacific.)

Elsewhere around town, Miss Jubilee will perform in a free outdoor concert at Eckert's in Belleville, and keyboardist Mark Harris II plays the late show at The Dark Room.

Saturday, June 22
On Saturday afternoon, singer Wendy Gordon and friends will present a matinee at Hwy 67 BBQ.

Saturday also is the first of two days of "Fiesta in Florissant," a free event presented by the Hispanic Festival of St. Louis at Knights of Columbus Park, featuring live music including Chicago Latin Groove and Ritmo Tropical on Saturday and Tropical Mood on Sunday.

Elsewhere around town, bassist Glen Smith, guitarist Eric Slaughter, and singer Robert Nelson perform at Evangeline's; bassist Ben Wheeler leads a duo at The Dark Room; and Joe Park and the Hot Club of St. Louis will play a house concert at the home of singer/guitarist Tommy Halloran.

Sunday, June 23
Dizzy Atmosphere plays vintage swing and Gypsy jazz for brunch at The Dark Room, and the St. Louis Jazz Club presents the Liberty Jazz Band from Mexico, MO playing traditional jazz and swing at the Moolah Shrine Center.

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, June 16, 2019

Sunday Session: June 16, 2019

George Benson
Here's this week's roundup of various music-related items of interest:

* Anthony Davis Builds Operas From Headlines (San Francisco Classical Voice)
* Sweet Charity: Herb Alpert Foundation Celebrates 25th Anniversary (Jazz Times)
* 30th Century Music Now: Mick Houghton Remembers Sun Ra (The Quietus)
* Wonderland Lost (
* Music Is YouTube's Most Profitable Category, 'Crucial' to Bottom Line: Study (Billboard)
* Final Bow For The Night Tripper – A Tribute to Dr John (Jazzwise)
* Esperanza Spalding Knows Music Can Heal. Now She Wants to Prove It With Science (The Daily Beast)
* Bright Moments with Gary Bartz (Jazz Times)
* State Department ‘extreme vetting’ says no to traveling musicians (San Francisco Chronicle)
* They Introduced the World to Songs of Slavery. It Almost Broke Them (
* Jeremy Pelt: Sound Sculptor, Museumgoer (DownBeat)
* The Hippies Were Right: It's All about Vibrations, Man! (Scientific American)
* Bret Primack on Jazz Video and the Ira Gitler Documentary (
* Cuba: While The Politicians Argued, The Musicians Jammed (NPR)
* Dr. John Knew the End Was Near. He Recorded One Final Album (Rolling Stone)
* Recordings by Nirvana, Janet Jackson, Eminem, Nine Inch Nails, Chuck Berry, and More Destroyed in 2008 Fire (SPIN)
* Big Mood Machine (
* A Long Tail: Don Cherry's Brown Rice Reviewed (The Quietus)
* Melissa Aldana’s Indisputable Command (DownBeat)
* Music of a Sustainable Future: A Conversation with Linda May Han Oh and Fabian Almazan (
* Mac’s Wild Years (
* Our brains appear uniquely tuned for musical pitch (
* New Documentary 'Blue Note: Beyond The Notes' Surpasses Its Purpose (NPR)
* Jazz Drum Great Andrew Cyrille Revels in Collaboration at Lifetime Achievement Show (Rolling Stone)
* Why It’s Finally Time to Get Rid of Music Charts (
* Herbie Hancock plays jazz for a more peaceful world (
* An oral history of the Fender Stratocaster (
* George Benson Salutes Rock Pioneers Chuck Berry, Fats Domino (DownBeat)
* Everything You Know Is Wrong: Rock & Roll Was Invented In Wildwood, New Jersey! (
* What Was The First Rock & Roll Record? Deke Dickerson Says It’s ‘Rock Around The Clock’ (
* Terence Blanchard Named First Kenny Burrell Chair at UCLA (Jazz Times)
* The Chaotic Magic of Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue (The New Yorker)

Saturday, June 15, 2019

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Introducing Roosevelt Collier

This week, let's get acquainted via video with steel guitarist Roosevelt Collier, who's coming to St. Louis to perform his first headlining shows here next Friday, June 21 and Saturday, June 22 at Jazz St. Louis.

Collier grew up in Perrine, Florida, near Miami, and began playing music in the House of God Church in his hometown. He developed his “sacred steel” guitar chops performing with the Lee Boys, a family band made up of his uncles and cousins, and later began performing more secular gigs on his own in the early 2000s.

His debut album as a solo artist, Exit 16, was produced by Michael League, bassist and bandleader for Snarky Puppy, and was released last year. Collier also has become an in-demand performer in the jam-band world and on the summer festival circuit, performing alongside artists including the Allman Brothers Band, the String Cheese Incident, Buddy Guy, Umphrey's McGee, Los Lobos, Robert Randolph, the Tedeschi-Trucks Band, and the Del McCoury Band.

Collier's music is described as a "mixture of blues, gospel, rock, and funk," and as such, it's louder and more aggressive than many of the artists who have appeared on the Bistro stage, even drawing occasional comparisons to Jimi Hendrix. You can get a pretty good idea of what his performances here may be like by checking out the first video up above, a complete show recorded live in April of this year at Ronnie Scott's in London.

After the jump, you can see the official live-in-the-studio music videos for two tracks from Exit 16, "Supernatural Encounters" and "Happy Feet," which were released in February 2018 to promote the release of the album.

Next, there are two more songs from the album, "That Could've Been Bad" and the title track, as recorded in May 2018 at Paste Studios in New York City.

The final video is another complete set, captured in February of this year at a venue called the Public House in Crested Butte, Colorado.

For more about Roosevelt Collier, read his Q&A with DC Music Review from 2018 and his 2016 interview with Live Music Daily.

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

Friday, June 14, 2019

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* The Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis has announced the winners of its 2020 St. Louis Arts Awards, and among the honorees will be pianist Adam Maness (pictured), who will receive the Arts Collaborator award at a banquet and ceremony to be held on January 27, 2020 at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel.

* The Miles Davis Jazz Festival, held last Saturday at the Jacoby Arts Center in Alton, was the subject of a feature story in the Edwardsville Intelligencer.

* Stanley Nelson Jr., the director of the new Miles Davis documentary Birth of the Cool, was interviewed about the film by Jazz Times.

* Meanwhile, combination listening sessions and panel discussions on the new reissue of Davis' Complete Birth of the Cool, which was released last Friday, were presented in New York City and Los Angeles.

* Lastly, after putting out excerpts on a four-song EP for this year's Record Store Day, the Miles Davis estate and Rhino/Warner Records will release the full version of the trumpeter's "lost" album Rubberband, recorded in the mid-80s and then shelved in favor of what would become the album Tutu. The vinyl LP includes 11 tracks, which were completed by the original producers and Davis’ nephew Vince Wilburn Jr, with new vocals added by Lalah Hathaway and Ledisi.

* Fire Shut Up In My Bones, the new opera by trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard that premieres tonight at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, was previewed by Sarah Bryan Miller of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Kenya Vaughn of the St. Louis American.

* Pianist and former St. Louisan Tom McDermott wrote about the music of the late Dr. John for The Daily Beast.

* Former Jazz St. Louis education director Phil Dunlap, who left the organization last month to take a job as director of the cultural division of Broward County, FL, was profiled in the south Florida publication Art Hive.

* Snarky Puppy's performance last month at the Atomic Cowboy Pavilion was reviewed by KDHX's Joseph Ferber.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Jazz this week: The Bosman Twins, Nick Colionne, Chesterfield Jazz Festival, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis puts local talent in the spotlight, with homegrown performers and returning expats headlining a diverse schedule of shows at a variety of venues. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, June 12
Singer and multi-instrumentalist Tonina Saputo performs in a free concert for the Whitaker Music Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Update, 3:30 p.m., 6/12/19: The concert by Tonina Saputo at Missouri Botanical Garden has been postponed due to the possibility of bad weather, and has been rescheduled for Wednesday, August 9.

Also on Wednesday, Next to Normal: The Thelonious Monk Story, a play with music starring pianist Philip Graves in the title role, is presented with free admission for the first of two nights at Jazz St. Louis.

Thursday, June 13
Guitarist Mark Tonelli, an assistant professor of music at Millikin University in Decatur, IL, visits to lead his trio in a show at The Dark Room.

Also on Thursday, Miss Jubilee performs at Joe's Cafe; singer Cheri Evans and CEEJazzSoul return to the Chase Club; and guitarist Dave Black and friends play at The Pat Connolly Tavern.

Friday, June 14
Multi-instrumentalists The Bosman Twins (pictured, top left) perform for the first of three nights, continuing through Sunday at Jazz St. Louis.

Also on Friday, the Gateway City Big Band plays for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom; singer Erin Bode interprets material from the Great American Songbook in a concert at the Wildey Theatre
in Edwardsville; and singer Anita Jackson performs the late show at The Dark Room.

Saturday, June 15
The Chesterfield Wine & Jazz Festival runs from mid-afternoon through the evening at Chesterfield Amphitheater, featuring music from drummer Dave Weckl and his band, featuring St. Louisans TOm Kennedy on bass and Jay Oliver on keyboards, plus Bach to the Future with saxophonist Eric Marienthal and guitarist Dave Black, singer Kim Fuller, the Steve Davis Band with singer Feyza Eren, and Tracer.

You can see some recent videos featuring headliner and St. Charles native Dave Weckl (pictured, bottom left) in this post from last Saturday.

Also on Saturday, guitarist Nick Colionne with special guest, singer and St. Louis native Lynne Fiddmont, performs in the "Eta Boule Foundation Salute to Fathers & Mentors" at the Sheldon Concert Hall; and trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard's latest opera, Fire Shut Up In My Bones, has its world premiere at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, with five more performances scheduled this month.

Sunday, June 16
Possibilities for jazz brunch this Father's Day include pianist Adam Maness playing solo at Thurman's in Shaw, and singer/guitarist Tommy Halloran and band at The Dark Room.

Then on Sunday evening, singer Feyza Eren and her quartet perform at the house-concert venue Judson House.

Monday, June 17
Keyboardist Ryan Marquez brings his trio to The Dark Room.

Tuesday, June 18
Pianist Carolbeth True and Two Times True plus guest vocalist Kim Fuller perform at the Gaslight Theater.

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, June 09, 2019

Sunday Session: June 9, 2019

Mac "Dr. John" Rebennack
Here's this week's roundup of various music-related items of interest, drawn from StLJN's inboxes, newsfeeds, and assorted other sources:

* Joey DeFrancesco: From Musical Prodigy to Jazz Icon (
* John Coltrane Wanted To Be A Saint. The Coltrane Church Honors His Religious Legacy (
* John Coltrane at the Age of 32 (DownBeat)
* For jazz man, nine years of practice led to one electric, life-changing moment (Newport News Daily Press)
* Weasel Walter on Getting The Flying Luttenbachers Together Again (DownBeat)
* Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes Coming to U.S. Theaters (Jazz Times)
* Sheet Happens: One of Music's Oldest Businesses Is Growing in the Digital Age (Billboard)
* Carlos Santana Reflects On 50 Years Of Making Music And His New Africa Speaks (
* The Enduring Passion of Leo Feigin, Leo Records Founder (DownBeat)
* Branford Marsalis: Listening with Sonic Ears (Stereophile)
* Effort underway to restore iconic Detroit club that once hosted jazz legends like Miles Davis (
* Singer Sheila Jordan going strong at 90 (Chicago Tribune)
* Branford Marsalis’ Secret (Jazz Times)
* ‘Creativity is a muscle. It must be worked out. It must be pushed.’ (
* Lawrence “Lo” Leathers 1981-2019 (Jazz Times)
* Planned demolition of Cab Calloway's former Baltimore home stirs conservation critiques (Baltimore Sun)
* Searching For Disco's Cro-Magnon (NPR)
* Brian Wilson Postpones Tour, Citing “Mental Insecurity” (
* Several Directions at Once: Listening With Myra Melford, Before a Residency at The Stone (WBGO)
* CD Baby Guest Post: The 5 Most Important Things to Know about Music Distribution in the Streaming Era (
* Exclusive: Chick Corea Revisits His Own Past with His Spanish Heart Band on “My Spanish Heart” (Paste)
* Dr. John, iconic New Orleans musician, has died at age 77 (New Orleans Advocate)
* Remembering Dr. John (Keyboard)
* Singer-songwriter Todd Rundgren shares his journey Sunday in Great Barrington (Berkshire Eagle)
* 'We fell like cosmic rain': how the Mystery of the Bulgarian Voices became global stars (The Guardian)
* The Man Who Made His Computer Sing: Max Mathews & the Invention of Digital Music (
* Joshua Redman Finds ‘Founts of Inspiration’ (DownBeat)
* Videos: Those times Dr. John lit it up (Offbeat)
* How the Moers Festival became a celebration of avant-garde change (

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Charlie Hunter Trio with Lucy Woodward to perform Sunday, July 28 at Off Broadway

Guitarist Charlie Hunter and his trio, featuring vocalist Lucy Woodward and drummer Keita Ogawa, are returning to St. Louis to perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, July 28 at Off Broadway.

Hunter, who's known for using his seven-string guitar to play bass lines, accompaniment, and leads more or less simultaneously, first connected with Woodward last year, when she joined him for a tour originally booked with Mexican singer-songwriter Silvana Estrada, whose visa application was denied at the last minute by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Woodward has released four albums as a solo artist, has sung live with with Pink Martini and the WDR Big Band, and done background vocals for pop singers including Rod Stewart, Celine Dion, and Barbra Streisand.

In April, Hunter and Woodward (pictured) released their first collaborative album Music!Music!Music!, which includes their interpretations of songs from a variety of artists, ranging from Blind Willie Johnson and Bessie Smith to Nina Simone and Terence Trent D’Arby.

Tickets for the Charlie Hunter Trio at Off Broadway are $20 in advance, $25 day of show and are on sale now.

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Dave Weckl to headline Chesterfield Jazz Fest

This week, StLJN's video spotlight shines on drummer Dave Weckl, who will be back home to perform next Saturday, June 15 as the headlining act at the Chesterfield Wine & Jazz Festival.

A native of St. Charles, Weckl undoubtedly is one of the most successful working jazz musicians from this area, first gaining international attention working in the 1980s with keyboardist Chick Corea, and subsequently parlaying that exposure into a busy career as both a bandleader and a first-call collaborator and session player.

For his St. Louis show, his band will feature a couple of musical friends who also are St. Louis natives, bassist Tom Kennedy and keyboardist Jay Oliver, as well as saxophonist Gary Meek, another longtime musical associate, and guitarist Buzz Feiten, who's had a diverse career stretching back nearly 50 years with the Butterfield Blues Band, the Rascals, the Larson-Feiten Band with keyboardist Neil Larsen, and more.

Though there seems to be no video footage online featuring this particular lineup, there's certainly no shortage of clips featuring Weckl playing with various ensembles, and so for those looking for a idea of what he's been doing lately, here's a collection of a half-dozen recent performances for your listening and viewing enjoyment.

There's a very recent and complete show in the first video embed up above, recorded on April 4 of this year at New Morning in Paris, France and featuring Weckl as the nominal leader of a group with Kennedy, guitarist Mike Stern, and saxophonist Bob Franceschini.

After the jump, you can see some footage from earlier this year of Weckl and Kennedy jamming at Colos-Saal, a music club in Aschaffenburg, Germany. That's followed by a Weckl solo performance, recorded at the 2019 NAMM show in Los Angeles.

The remaining videos show recent performances by Weckl in three different musical settings: with keyboardist Steve Weingart and bassist Benjamin Shepherd performing Weingart's composition "Village" at the 2018 Hollywood Drum Show in Los Angeles, California; in the studio with keyboard player Oz Ezzeldin playing "'Dis Kinda Place," in a clip released in March 2019 as a promo for Weckl's online school; and with La Escuela de Música y Audio Fernando Sor performing "Nothing Personal" in October 2018 in Bogotá, Colombia.

For more about Dave Weckl and what he's been up to recently, read his 2018 interview with, and watch him in an episode of "Yamaha Drummers Talk" from December 2018 and in a video interview on the topic of "Mindset For Success" from March 2019.

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