With Independence Day falling on Friday, there are plenty of non-musical distractions to be had over the next few days, and the most prominent jazz venue in town, Jazz at the Bistro, is taking a break in its summer schedule for the holiday weekend. Nevertheless, there are several noteworthy shows of potential interest to jazz fans happening around town.
Tonight, the jazz-fusion/jam/world music ensemble Garaj Mahal, featuring guitarist Fareed Haque, comes to town to perform at Lucas School House, while singer Anita Rosamond will do a free concert as part of the Whitaker Music Festival at Missouri Botanical Garden. Look for Rosamond to do at least few selections from her new live album, backed by a band that includes Bill Elrod on saxophone and EWI, Ron Carr on drums, Carl Casperson on bass, Mike Carosello on keyboards and Grant Krener on guitar, plus three backup singers.
On Thursday, there's another free concert, as perennial local favorite and tenor sax titan Willie Akins opens this week's Whitaker Urban Evenings show for singer Erin Bode at St. Louis Place Park. Bode also has a new CD, The Little Garden, and perhaps if the fates align, Akins will sit in with her for a tune or two, adding his take on some of that saxophonic flavor that was provided the recording by John Ellis.
On Sunday, the New Orleans-based funk band Bonerama (pictured), which features a front line of four trombone players, will perform at the Broadway Oyster Bar, while just up the block, BB's Jazz Blues and Soups will feature two bands, with Good 4 the Soul taking the early slot and Rosamond and band performing from 9:30 until closing.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Tuesday the veteran singer, pianist and saxophonist Hugh "Peanuts" Whalum will perform at Brandt's, while up-and-coming saxophonist Bennett Wood takes the stage for a no-cover-charge show at The Gramophone.
For more St. Louis jazz-related events this weekend and beyond, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar.
(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.)