Although several of our town's not-for-profit presenters have already gone into holiday or, in the case of the universities, end-of-semester mode, there's still plenty of live jazz on St. Louis stages this weekend. Let's go to the highlights:
Tonight, the very fine pianist Reggie Thomas leads a group featuring trumpeter Anthony Wiggins in a free concert at the Black Cat Theatre in Maplewood. The show will feature the music of Louis Armstrong, and is part of Jazz St. Louis' Whitaker Community Concerts series.
Also tonight, Sound Unlimited returns to Cookie's Jazz and More to serve as house rhythm section for an open jam session. (They'll do it again next week, the last such jam session before current Cookie's owners Harold and Cookie Whitfield close the doors on December 20 and prepare to hand off to new management in 2009. StLJN will have more on the upcoming changes at Cookie's in a future post.)
On Friday and Saturday, trumpeter Jim Manley takes the stage at Jazz at the Bistro. Manley has been part of the St. Louis music scene for more that 20 years, leading many successful projects including the dance band Fantasy, funk group Horns in the House and the retro-Vegas jazz/pop band Wild, Cool and Swingin'. Regardless of the musical context, Manley always brings impressive chops, high energy and a sense of fun to his work, and I'd expect the same from him as he fronts a small combo at the Bistro this weekend.
Also on Friday and Saturday, singer Erin Bode will perform in concert at the New Town Chapel, 3420 Civic Circle in New Town, St. Charles. Tickets are available only at the Domain Street Wine Bar in New Town, and a portion of the proceeds benefits the New Town Trust. For more information, call 636-940-0457 or visit the New Town Web site.
Other noteworthy performances on Friday include singer, pianist, and saxophonist Hugh "Peanuts" Whalum at Brandt's; trumpeter and singer Dawn Weber's holiday show at the Black Cat Theatre; and singer Naomi Stevens and keyboardist Brenda Foster at Cookie's.
On Saturday, singer Anita Rosamond will perform at Black Cat Theatre, doing a mix of holiday material and some of her personal favorites with a band that includes keyboardist Adaron "Pops" Jackson and guitarist Shaun Robinson of Good 4 The Soul, drummer Matt Henry, and saxophonist Mark Christopher. Also on Saturday, singer and perennial St. Louis favorite Jeanne Trevor will be at Brandt's.
On Sunday, the smooth jazz holiday show "A Soulful Christmas" with Gerald Albright (pictured), Will Downing and Lalah Hathaway comes to The Pageant. To see some video clips featuring the "Soulful Christmas" headliners, check out this post.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday the Sessions Big Band returns to BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups, and Tuesday the David Wiatrolik Trio performs at The Gramophone.
You can find 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.)
(Edited after posting to add the Erin Bode shows.)