Sunday, March 01, 2009

Pollstar: Eliane Elias, Nicholas Payton
coming to The Sheldon next season

With spring just around the corner, it's also the time of the year when local not-for-profit presenters such as Jazz St. Louis and the Sheldon Concert Hall are busy finalizing their 2009-2010 season schedules. While the official announcements likely won't come for a couple of months yet, in some cases the online tour information service Pollstar gives us a sneak peek at what may be in the pipeline.

In this case, Pollstar has just added listings for two concerts in the jazz series next year at the Sheldon: trumpeter Nicholas Payton on Saturday, November 7, 2009, and pianist and singer Eliane Elias (pictured) on Saturday, January 23, 2010.

Payton, a New Orleans native, is known as a celebrator of his hometown's musical traditions, especially the music of Louis Armstrong. He's also a very good modern jazz player, and currently is displaying those skills on tour with the Blue Note 7, who played the Sheldon just last week.

Elias is originally from Brazil, and first gained public attention in the United States as a member of the latter-day jazz fusion group Steps Ahead. Since then, she's gone on to explore a wide variety of musical interests, including interpretations of the music of Antonio Carlos Jobim and other Brazilian composers, and that of pianist Bill Evans, a major influence on her playing.

As always, listings on Pollstar are subject to change, and should not be considered official until confirmed and/or announced by the venue or local presenter. That said, in nearly four years of writing StLJN, I can only remember a couple of instances when a show announced on Pollstar did not happen, and one of those was just a date change, so make of that what you will.

Both Payton and Elias seem like solid choices for the Sheldon's jazz series; here's hoping the entire series schedule is made up of equally substantive musicians. Also, both should should be familiar enough to local listeners to draw a good crowd - Payton has headlined in St. Louis before, at Jazz at the Bistro, while Elias was one of the artists included by Jazz St. Louis in their recent poll asking audience members who they'd like to see at the Bistro next year, which suggests a certain baseline of interest/awareness as well. When any official announcements are made, StLJN will have them for you right here.

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