It should be a good weekend to go out and hear some live music in St. Louis, and fortunately, there's a nice variety of jazz and creative music happening at local venues.
The biggest name in town and the pick show of the week is alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon (pictured), who's performing at Jazz at the Bistro nightly through Saturday, You can read more about Zenon and see some video of his playing in this post from last week.
On Thursday, Austrian pianist Elizabeth Harnik and her trio will do a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University. English-languange info on Harnik seems to be somewhat scarce on the Internet, so I can't tell you too much about her music, other than that in addition to performing jazz and improvisational music, she also has classical training, composes music for chamber ensembles and theater, and has even written an opera.
On Friday, improvisational guitarist/banjoist Paul Metzger and multimedia performer Tim Kaiser return to Open Lot. You can read more about the show and them here. Also on Friday, keyboardist, electronic musician and composer James Hegarty will present a concert titled "Antithesis Reflex" at the Three Sinks Gallery, 8715 Big Bend Blvd in Webster Groves.
According to the promotional email sent out by New Music Circle, Hegarty's performance includes two movements; the first, "Space Churn Red," combines improvised piano with interactive computer accompaniment. The piece was inspired by a kinetic sculpture of the same title by George Rickey at the Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University (which Hegarty recently visited), and incorporates computer-manipulated recordings of kinetic sculptures, spoken dialogues, synthesis and environments. The second movement, "Antithesis Reflex," is for unaccompanied piano and "explores abstract and flexible formal structures as applied to improvisation."
Also on Saturday, the Ambassadors of Swing perform with ballroom dancers Alex Borodko and Angi Heren in a show at the Lucas School House to benefit the Family Center. And on Sunday afternoon, guitarist Steve Schenkel and singer Ashley Mason give a free in-store performance at Webster Records. They'll be playing music from their new holiday CD A Midnight Clear, which you can learn more about by reading this post.
UPDATE - 2:30 p.m., 11/8/08: Sunday also brings a benefit show for Mae "Lady Jazz" Wheeler at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups. Wheeler has been battling cancer, and an impressive lineup of local blues singers will perform to raise money to help with the veteran vocalist's medical and living expenses. The show runs from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and scheduled performers include Kim Massie, Robbie Montgomery, Renee Smith, Uvee Hayes, Marsha Evans and Kari Liston of the Bottoms Up Blues Gang.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday the Sessions Big Band is at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups. On Tuesday, the Brookmeyer/Mulligan-inspired band Utter Chaos is at The Gramophone, and the Jazz St. Louis CD Listening Club will have its monthly meeting, spinning John Coltrane's Giant Steps with KSDK reporter/anchor Cordell Whitlock and JSL executive director Gene Dobbs Bradford at the Borders Store in Brentwood, 1519 S. Brentwood Blvd.
Last but not least, next Wednesday Erin Bode will begin a two-night engagement at Jazz at the Bistro to promote the release of her new Christmas CD, while the "free jazz/power electronics" ensemble Squid Choir Orkestra will play the Way Out Club, 2525 S. Jefferson, as the opening act for experimental rock band Skarekrau Radio.
You can find the latest updates and more jazz-related events in St. Louis this weekend and beyond by visiting 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.)