In an article written for the Post-Dispatch by pop critic Kevin Johnson, the Sheldon Concert Hall has announced the schedule of performers for its various 2009-10 season series. As outlined in the story, the Sheldon's 2009-10 jazz series looks like this:
Saturday, October 3: Singer Dee Dee Bridgewater in a tribute to Billie Holiday
Saturday, November 7: Trumpeter Nicholas Payton
Saturday, January 23, 2010: Pianist and singer Eliane Elias
Saturday, April 10: Pianist Cyrus Chestnut plays the music of Elvis Presley
Saturday, May 1: Singer Steve Tyrell
The Sheldon's Web site has a brief announcement on the front page directing current season subscribers to Metrotix for renewals, but currently has no other information about the 2009-10 season. New subscriptions to the Sheldon's 2009-10 jazz series will go on sale May 13, with single ticket sales beginning in August.
While overall this seems like a solid lineup of mainstream jazz performers, it strikes me as being, once again, a bit too familiar and risk-averse. The only one of these musicians who hasn't already played St. Louis in recent years is Elias, and none of them can be considered innovative, cutting-edge or even particularly involved in any significant current developments in jazz.
And, once again, I'd question the booking of two singers - three, if you count Elias - into a five-concert series, as it seems an excessive concession to commerical considerations. The Sheldon is a great place to hear a concert; I just wish they'd show a bit more imagination and yes, perhaps even some guts, in their season series booking policies.