Saturday, May 08, 2010

Jazz St. Louis announces 2010-11 season schedule for Jazz at the Bistro

Jazz St. Louis has the announced the touring acts who will perform as part of the 2010-11 season at Jazz at the Bistro, as well as two concerts to be presented next season at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

Some big names will be making their Bistro debuts. Saxophonist and former St. Louisan David Sanborn, backed by organist Joey DeFrancesco, will play the club for two nights in August to benefit Jazz St. Louis' education programs, and bassist Stanley Clarke (pictured) and pianist Hiromi will team up for a series of duo shows in February.

At the Touhill, JSL will present in September the reunited Jazz Crusaders, featuring pianist Joe Sample (pictured), saxophonist and bassist Wilton Felder and trombonist Wayne Henderson, who will be performing under their original name for the first time in more than 35 years. (Alas, original drummer Stix Hooper is not part of the reunion.)

Also at the Touhill: singer Al Jarreau, who will perform in February. Jarreau played the TouPAC in February 2009 as part of the hall's own concert series, and had been scheduled to sing at JSL's benefit gala back in 2007, but had to bow out due to conflicting tour dates with guitarist George Benson.

Several other Bistro shows will feature new contexts for familiar musicians. Pianist Bill Charlap, who played St. Louis last year with the Blue Note 7 at the Sheldon Concert Hall and with his mother, singer Sandy Stewart, at the Kranzberg Arts Center, will make his Bistro debut with his trio in April.

Meanwhile, saxophonist Chris Potter, who led his acoustic group at the Bistro a few seasons back and has played St. Louis several times with bassist Dave Holland's band, will bring his electrified Underground band to the club in March, culminating a couple of years of effort by JSL's Bob Bennett to get him back to the Bistro.

Other returning acts with new twists will include pianists Kenny Barron and Mulgrew Miller, dueting on a pair of Steinway grand pianos brought in especially for the occasion; violinist Regina Carter (pictured) and her new band Reverse Thread, which features bass, drums, accordion and kora; saxophonist Josh Redman's acoustic trio; and the Yellowjackets, making their first St. Louis appearance since former drummer Will Kennedy rejoined the group last year.

The club also will host trumpeter, singer and St. Louis native Jeremy Davenport, who will come back home from New Orleans for what has become an annual Thanksgiving week gig; and the eclectic piano trio The Bad Plus, who will be the first act of the New Year to play the Bistro in 2011, just as they've done the past four years.

Other musicians making return appearances during the 2010-11 season will include guitarists Russell Malone, Pat Martino, Mike Stern and Charlie Hunter; singer Jane Monheit; trumpeters Ray Vega (pictured) and Sean Jones; saxophonist Houston Person; singer and pianist Ann Hampton Callaway; and bassist Christian McBride, as part of a Ray Brown tribute with pianist Benny Green and drummer Gregory Hutchinson.

Here's the schedule in chronological order:

August 16 & 17: David Sanborn Band with Joey DeFrancesco
September 18: Jazz Crusaders with Joe Sample, Wilton Felder & Wayne Henderson (at the Touhill Performing Arts Center)
September 22-25: Kenny Barron & Mulgrew Miller
October 6-9: Joshua Redman Trio
October 20-23: Russell Malone Trio MAXJAZZ CD Release Party
November 3-6: Regina Carter’s Reverse Thread
November 17-20: Mike Stern Band featuring Dave Weckl
November 26 & 27 - Jeremy Davenport
December 1-4: Pat Martino Trio
December 15-18: Jane Monheit

January 5-8: The Bad Plus
January 19-22: Charlie Hunter
February 2-5: Stanley Clarke with Hiromi
February 11: Al Jarreau (at the Touhill Performing Arts Center)
February 16-19: Ray Vega Latin Jazz Quintet
March 2-5: Chris Potter Underground
March 16-19: Ray Brown Tribute with Christian McBride, Benny Green & Gregory Hutchinson
March 30-April 2: Ann Hampton Callaway
April 13-16: Yellowjackets
April 27-30: Bill Charlap Trio
May 11-14: Houston Person
May 25-28: Sean Jones Quintet

Overall, it's an impressive lineup of talent. While it might have been nice to have a few more new acts in the mix, it's hard to argue with the quality of those that will be appearing, and getting musicians like Sanborn and Clarke into a club the size of the Bistro is definitely a coup. Within the stylistic and economic parameters that JSL has established for the Bistro - no traditional or avant-garde jazz; no big bands; no expensive crossover acts like Harry Connick Jr. or Diana Krall - it's another very solid season, with a good deal of musical variety.

Still to come are the announcement of the local/regional groups who will play the alternate weeks at the Bistro between touring acts, and details on next season's educational residencies, which usually include public performances from the musicians brought in to work with area music students.

Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased via Metrotix or by calling the Jazz St. Louis box office at 314-289-4030. Single tickets for David Sanborn will go on sale Tuesday, June 8, with single tickets for the 2010-11 season at the Bistro on sale Tuesday, August 17. Tickets for the two shows at the Touhill will be sold through that venue's usual outlets, with on-sale dates to be announced.

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