Vacation season is winding down, and there are a number of noteworthy jazz and creative music performances over the next few days in St. Louis, including several free concerts. Let's take a look at the shows in chronological order:
Tonight, saxophonist Willie Akins and his group will give a free concert as part of a city-sponsored series at O'Fallon Park.
On Friday evening, the Chicago-based ensemble Eastern Blok will perform in the Saint Louis Art Museum's Grigg Gallery in a free show that's part of the Museum’s "Art After 5" series. That same night, Jazz St. Louis is holding a fundraiser spotlighting the work of local artist Russell Kraus at Jazz at the Bistro.
The biggest event of the weekend is on Saturday, when "A Night of Jazz Greats" comes to Harris-Stowe State University. The concert, which benefits the Wolff Jazz Institute at Harris-Stowe, will feature trumpeter and St. Louis native Clark Terry (pictured) along with an all-star band including trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, tenor saxophonist Houston Person, trumpeter Randy Sandke, drummer and vibes player Chuck Redd, pianist Rossano Sportiello, bassist and singer Nicki Parrott, and drummer Eddie Locke, as well as St. Louisans Jim Widner on bass and Denise Thimes on vocals. For more on the event, Clark Terry, and the other musicians who will be performing, see these two posts.
Also on Saturday, there's a triple bill of electronic and experimental music at Open Lot, 1310 South 18th Street, featuring two acts from southern California - the cello and electronics duo Pedestrian Deposit and solo ambient electronics performer Infinite Body (aka Kyle Parker) - plus St. Louis electronic musician Joe Raglani, who, after getting his equipment stolen on tour earlier this year, has assembled a new arsenal of machines.
Update - 8;30 p.m., 8/27/09: Just got an email from Open Lot saying that Infinite Body will not be performing, so Saturday night's bill now includes Pedestrian Deposit; "power drone" group Earn (aka Privy Seals); St. Louis' The Lonely Procession; and "if you're lucky, a collaboration between RAGLANI (St. Louis) and TREETOPS!"
Looking beyond the weekend, on Tuesday the Missouri History Museum's Twilight Tuesdays series features a free outdoor concert from singer Denise Thimes.
For more jazz and creative music events this weekend and beyond, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar. However, note that if you look more a couple weeks into the future, you'll see that last week's promised mega-update of the calendar has yet to happen. There are several reasons for for the delay which will become clear in the very near future, but in the meantime, please be patient and know that there is indeed work going on to bring you an improved and up-to-date calendar of St. Louis jazz events.