Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Brandt's schedules Whalum birthday bash,
plus gigs for saxophonist Bruce Menefield

Jay Brandt, founder and now impresario emeritus of Brandt's Cafe and Red Carpet Lounge, emails with word of a couple of jazz-related special events at the club next month:

On Sunday, September 7, Brandt's will host a 80th birthday celebration for veteran St. Louis jazz pianist, singer and saxophonist Hugh "Peanuts" Whalum (pictured) "complete with cake, balloons and, of course...jazz!!" The event will take place from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., with a $10 donation requested for the Peanuts Whalum Scholarship Fund for aspiring St. Louis musicians.

Whalum's nephew, the well-known smooth jazz saxophonist Kirk Whalum, will be on hand, as well as "many musicians that Peanuts has played with over his 50 years of playing in St. Louis," writes Brandt, noting that "at 80, "Peanuts" is still keeping up an active touring program: he'll be at Cincinnati's Blue Wisp Jazz Club on Sept 19 & 20, in LA with nephew Kirk Whalum on Sept 26 and on the Smooth Jazz Cruise hosted by Wayman Tisdale from January 18 - 25 with Rufus, Chaka Khan and over 20 other jazz greats."

In other news, Brandt's will present Bruce Menefield, a jazz saxophonist based in Cincinnati, for a two-night stand in September. Menefield will perform on Friday, September 26 with St. Louis' own Jeff Anderson on bass and James Jackson on drums, and on Saturday, September 27 with guitarist Dave Black and Jackson on drums. A mainstay on the Cincinnati jazz scene as a player, concert producer and promoter, Menefield has recorded a self-released CD, My Steps, and has performed with many well-known jazz musicians including Billy Harper, Clark Terry, Bennie Maupin, Ronnie Laws and John Blake.

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