Thursday, September 03, 2009

Robert Glasper cancels shows at Jazz at the Bistro; Houston Person booked to perform October 7-10

Jazz St. Louis has announced another change in the fall schedule for Jazz at the Bistro. Pianist Robert Glasper, who had been scheduled to perform at the Bistro Wednesday, October 7 through Saturday, October 10, has canceled.

Saxophonist Houston Person (pictured), who was in town this past weekend to perform at Harris-Stowe State University as part of the fundraising event "A Night of Jazz Greats," has been booked to fill the dates vacated by Glasper. Person has played the Bistro several times before, and over the years, his old-school blend of blues, bop and ballads has proved quite popular with St. Louis listeners.

Tickets for Houston Person will be $25 for Wednesday and Thursday, and $30 for Friday and Saturday, and go on sale at 10:00 a.m. next Tuesday, September 8. Tickets can purchased in person at all Metrotix locations, online at, by phone at 314-534-1111, or by calling the Jazz St. Louis box office at 314-289-4030.

Subscribers with tickets for Robert Glasper may use the same tickets for the shows by Houston Person (same set/evening). Single ticket buyers may use them for the same show with Person, or return them to the point of purchase for a full refund.

This is the second time in two seasons that Glasper has bowed out of scheduled dates at the Bistro. Although the official announcement from Jazz St. Louis referred only to "circumstances beyond our control," it's no secret that Glasper has been on tour this year with R&B singer Maxwell - a tour that started in June and, according to the latest from Pollstar, is now running through mid-October. In fact, Glasper will actually be in St. Louis, performing with Maxwell at the Scottrade Center, on October 9, a date that was part of his scheduled run at the Bistro.

So why didn't the keyboardist, or his representatives, catch the conflict before now? This sort of thing is very preventable as long as someone is paying attention. On one hand, you can't blame Glasper for wanting to take advantage of a good-paying gig such as the one with Maxwell - but waiting to cancel until after season brochures have been printed, tickets have been sold, and so on, certainly puts Jazz St. Louis in a bad spot. Under the circumstances, it seems unlikely that Glasper will invited to return to the Bistro any time soon. And given all this, the name of the pianist's latest CD, released last month on Blue Note, seems very appropriate: it's called Double Booked.

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