Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Jazz this week: Support your local jazz musicians

The Independence Day weekend is not usually a busy time for touring jazz acts visiting St. Louis, and that's true again this year. However, if you've got an urge to hear some jazz over the next few days amidst the flurry of backyard cookouts, fireworks displays, and similar seasonal activities, you can check out one or more of these performances featuring some of St. Louis' fine local musicians:

Tonight, Dizzy Atmosphere (pictured) will bring their blend of string-band swing and Gypsy jazz to the Missouri Botanical Garden in a free concert for the Whitaker Music Festival.

Due to the holiday weekend, there's no Jazz at Holmes concert this Thursday, and Jazz at the Bistro is dark this weekend, too. However, it's business as usual at the St. Louis Jazz Cafe, which will present pianist James Matthews' trio on Thursday night, Good 4 The Soul on Friday, Trio Tres Bien on Saturday, and the Dave Becherer Trio for Sunday brunch.

Of course, there are a number of recurring weekly gigs around town that are worth hearing, starting tonight with guitarist John Farrar's Park Avenue Jazz at Hammerstone's and pianist Ptah Williams at Riddle's. On Thursday, you can check out singer Gene Lynn at Sasha's on Shaw, and on Friday saxophonist Dave Stone continues his long running engagement at Mangia Italiano.

Since Saturday is the big holiday, I'm not sure if saxophonist Willie Akins will be doing his regular weekly performance that evening at Spruill's, and the club's infrequently updated Web site is little help; best to call ahead if you're thinking of going. Last but not least, on Sunday you can check out trumpeter Jim Manley and keyboardist Mark Friedrich at Jimmy's Cafe on The Park for brunch, and the St. Louis New Jazz X-Tet will play their usual Sunday night show at Riddle's. Looking beyond the weekend, there's a free show by saxophonist Bennett Wood at The Gramophone on Tuesday.

As always, you can find more listings of 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.)

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