Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jazz this week: Vanessa Rubin as Billie Holiday, Jay Oliver, the Bosman Twins, McElwee's "Modular Mazes" and more

From a dramatic portrayal of a legendary diva to some straight-ahead and soulful jazz to a multimedia event with video, animation and an improvised soundtrack, there's lots going on in St. Louis this weekend to interest fans of jazz and creative music. Let's go to the highlights:

Tonight, the Black Rep presents the first performance of its production of Yesterdays: An Evening with Billie Holiday starring Vanessa Rubin (pictured) as Holiday. The show runs Wednesdays through Sundays at the Grandel Theatre through March 14. For more on the production and Rubin, see this post and this post.

On Thursday, longtime local favorite Jeanne Trevor brings her swinging song stylings back to Brandt's .

On Friday evening, the Bosman Twins open a two-night stand at Jazz at the Bistro. It's been a while since the reed-playing brothers have performed at the Bistro, and the latest word from JSL's Devin Rodino on Twitter indicates that tickets are moving briskly.

Also on Friday, band boosters in O'Fallon, IL are sponsoring the benefit event "O'That Jazz" at the Regency Conference Center to raise money for the high school's marching band program. Featured performers will include the St. Louis Jazz All-Stars, with Dawn Weber, Jason Swagler, Shaun Robinson, Zeb Briskovich, Miles Vandiver and Charlie Brown; Twilight Jazz Club; and the O’Fallon High School Band Jazz Combos, with and Ross Gentile as MC. (Dinner reservations are no longer available, but they will be selling tickets at the door for the concert portion of the evening.)

Also on Friday, the Presenters Dolan kick off a weekend of cabaret shows at the Kranzberg Arts Center, with Alice Kinsella on Friday, Christine Rios on Saturday and Monya Fisher on Sunday.

On Saturday afternoon, saxophonist Chad Evans will play his own compositions and the the music of legendary saxophonist and bebop originator Charlie Parker as part of the Nu-Art Series' jazz composers' concert series at the Metropolitan Gallery.

Meanwhile, Robbie's House of Jazz has a double-header on Saturday, with a matinee featuring swing and classic songs from vibraphonist and trumpeter Joe Bozzi and an evening performance spotlighting the funk and fusion of Good 4 The Soul.

Also on Saturday, pianist and St. Louis native Jay Oliver returns home for a performance at Holmes Lounge on the Washington University campus, and New Music Circle presents Van McElwee and Friends in a multimedia event called "Modular Mazes" at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium. The NMC event will include new video creations from McElwee, 3D animation (with glasses provided!) from Casper McElwee, and live audio from musicians including the Semi-Acoustic Noise Ensemble (SANE).

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.)

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