From a musical theater production honoring one of the music's most revered legends to an up-and-coming trio stretching the boundaries of the genre, there's a diverse lineup of jazz events happening over the next few days in St. Louis. Here are some of the most noteworthy shows coming up this weekend:
Tonight, the Unity Theatre Ensemble's production Lady Day at the Boston Bistro (An Evening With Billie Holiday) opens at the Ivory Theatre, with Mardra Thomas as Holiday and her husband, pianist Reggie Thomas, as arranger and accompanist. The show will be performed Thursdays through Sundays ending October 25.
On Friday, The Wee Trio begins a two-night stand at Jazz at the Bistro. The critically acclaimed young group, which has drawn comparisons to The Bad Plus, includes former St. Louisan Dan Loomis on bass, James Westfall on vibraphone and Jared Schonig on drums. You can see some video samples of them in action by going to this post
Also on Friday, bassist Bernard Harris will perform a concert of "inspirational smooth jazz" at the Hilton Regency Conference Center, 400 Regency Park Drive in O'Fallon, IL. For more on Harris, see this post.
On Saturday evening, trumpeter Eddie Henderson (pictured) performs in a show sponsored by the Nu-Art Series at Luna Bar, 13 Maryland Plaza in the Central West End. Though he's perhaps still best known for his work with Herbie Hancock and the series of electrified jazz-fusion albums he released after leaving the pianist's group in the 1970s, in recent years Henderson has worked more in the acoustic hard-bop idiom and also has taken part in a number of tributes to Miles Davis, including an extended tour in 2005 and 2006 with drummer Jimmy Cobb. He'll be backed on his St. Louis gig by a local rhythm section of pianist Ptah Williams, bassist Jamal Nichols and drummer Charles "Bobo" Shaw.
Also on Saturday, the smooth jazz group Three Central will do a free concert for the Vaughn Cultural Center at the Urban League, 3701 Grandel Square in the Grand Center area.
On Sunday, the Bosman Twins kick off this year's St. Louis Jazz and Blues Vespers series with a free concert at the Second Baptist Church of St. Louis, 9030 Clayton Rd. (at McKnight). And on Monday evening, the Sessions Big Band is back at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups.
For more jazz and creative music events this weekend and beyond, check out the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, available for viewing on the left sidebar or by clicking here.
(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.)
(Edited 10/17/09 to fix a typo.)