Thursday, August 14, 2008

Jazz this week: Ptah Williams, Erin Bode,
the St. Louis Cabaret Conference, and more

It's mid-August - usually one of the slowest times of the year for live jazz in St. Louis - and yr. humble editor has impending deadlines for paying work, plus a wicked head cold. However, there are still some events this week to tell you about, and so that's what we're going to do, albeit in a perhaps less-verbose-than-usual of way.

Let's start with a couple of multi-day events happening this weekend. The St. Louis Cabaret Conference, a four-day event founded and run by St. Louis singer Tim Schall, takes place Thursday through Sunday, and will feature four nights of public performances at the Bistro at Grand Center as well as educational and networking events for the singers attending the conference.

The public performances will include an Alumni Showcase at 8:30 p.m. tonight; a feature performance by Schall at 8:30 p.m. on Friday; a double bill of singers Lina Koutrakos and Jason Graae at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday; and a Participant Showcase at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are available at the door and, for Friday and Saturday's shows, via Metrotix.

Also happening this weekend is the Greater St. Louis Art Association's semi-annual "Cool Art Hot Jazz" event, which takes place Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday at Queeny Park, 550 Weidman Road. The fair is designed to show off the work of dozens of artists working in clay, fiber, glass, jewelry, oil, photography, wood and other media. The GSLAA's announcement also says there will be live music, but I couldn't find a schedule or a list of musical performers anywhere on their Web site or, well, anywhere at all online, nor did anyone from the organization respond to my phone calls or emails attempting to elicit more information.

Wish I could tell you more, but if you're interested in who's performing and when at this event, give the GSLAA a call at 314-889-0433 and perhaps you'll have better luck than I did getting details on the apparently top-secret music schedule.

Other performances of note this week include a free concert tonight by pianist Ptah Williams, who's playing a show for the Jazz at Holmes series outdoors at Washington University's Brookings Quadrangle. Tonight also brings a rare gig by singer Erin Bode (pictured) and her band at a real old-school St. Louis restaurant, the Tenderloin Room at the Chase-Park Plaza, as well as a performance by Farshid Etniko at Brandt's.

On Friday, singer Kim Massie is at Cookie's, and the Ambassadors of Swing will do their big-band thing at the Casa Loma Ballroom. On Saturday, Mo & Dawn bring their acid-jazz/funk/remix show to Brandt's.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday the Sessions Big Band is at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups, and on Tuesday, Hugh "Peanuts" Whalum performs at Brandt's while bassist Zimbabwe Nkenya leads his young proteges from BAG's recent series of music workshops in a free 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.

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