Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Jazz this week: Dianne Reeves & Peter Martin, Lou Donaldson, FLOW, St. Louis Musicians for Haiti, and more

It's looking like a very good weekend of live music in St. Louis, with a number of events of interest to fans of jazz and creative music. Let's go to the highlights, presented in chronological order:

Things get started tonight with the veteran saxophonist Lou Donaldson (pictured), who's back in town to perform at Jazz at the Bistro through Saturday. For more on Donaldson, see this video post from a couple of weeks ago, and this recent podcast interview from Jazz St. Louis.

On Thursday, Broadway actress and singer Sutton Foster will perform at the Sheldon Concert Hall as part of a fundraising gala for Cabaret St. Louis. You can find links to a couple of interviews with Foster about the event here. Also on Thursday, saxophonist Jason Swagler will lead his group in a free concert for Washington University's Jazz at Holmes series.

On Friday, pianist Peter Martin's eponymous new series at the Sheldon kicks off with a duo performance featuring Martin and singer Dianne Reeves, for whom he has served as music director since 2001. For more on both, check out this video post, these previous posts on the Peter Martin Music series, and this interview with Martin from the St. Louis Beacon.

Also on Friday, NYC saxophonist Kim Bock and his organ-centric trio FLOW will perform an early show starting at 8:00 p.m. at The Gramophone. The next morning, they'll be at Saxquest at 11:00 a.m. for a concert and clinic.

Later on Saturday, the Nu-Art Series begins "The Jazz Composers Series: Re-Arrangements & Nu-Compositions" with a matinee concert at the Metropolitan Gallery downtown. The first installment of the series features an ensemble led by bassist Darrell Mixon doing original compositions and the music of Charles Mingus. For more on Nu-Art's jazz composers series, see this post.

On Saturday evening, percussionist and trumpeter "Baba" Mike Nelson will bring his group Sworn to the Drum to Robbie's House of Jazz.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday pianist Carolbeth True and her trio will back saxophonist Willie Akins in a concert at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium.

On Tuesday, the Sheldon Concert Hall will present "St. Louis Musicians For Haiti," an event raising funds for post-earthquake relief efforts in the beleaguered island nation. The lineup includes singer Brian Owens; folk group Mayor Taylor, featuring Lydia Ruffin and Charlie Pfeffer; the Bottoms Up Blues Gang; pianist Peter Martin; singer Mardra Thomas and her pianist/husband Reggie Thomas; singer Kim Massie; pianist Peter Henderson; singer Christine Brewer; and more. Author and former TV newscaster Julius Hunter will serve as host for the evening, and it appears as of this writing that there are still some tickets available.

Also, Jazz St. Louis has two Stevie Wonder-related events planned for the first part of next week. On Tuesday, the monthly meeting of the CD Listening Club at Borders in Brentwood will focus on Wonder's Songs In The Key of Life, with keyboardist and jazz educator Reggie Thomas as the special guest. Then on Wednesday, Thomas will lead his band in a free concert of music from the same album at East St. Louis High School as part of JSL's Whitaker Community Concerts series.

For more jazz-related events in St. Louis this weekend and beyond, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, which can be found on the left sidebar of the site or by clicking here. You also can keep up with all the latest news by following St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at or by becoming a "fan" of the StLJN Facebook page.

(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 after posting to add the Carolbeth True concert at Webster U.)

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