Though the biggest jazz name in St. Louis this weekend is a saxophonist, it's also a good week to hear some piano players, with four different events featuring talented pianists working in styles ranging from ragtime and stride to swing, bop and blues to free-form and experimental. Let's go to the highlights:
Tonight, saxophonist James Carter's Organ Trio begins a four-night run at Jazz at the Bistro. A versatile performer with a wide stylistic range and serious chops on a half-dozen different horns, Carter (pictured) also will give a free clinic/masterclass this Saturday at Saxquest. For more about Carter and some video of his organ trio in action, see this post from last Saturday.
Also tonight, the experimentally minded pianist Thollem McDonas will do a solo concert at Luminary Center for the Arts, 4900 Reber Place on the south side. This show was a late addition for McDonas, who's back in town primarily for a performance Thursday with the band TSIGOTI at the Schlafly Tap Room downtown. Described by their label ESP-Disk as "an international band combining revolutionary politics and intelligent semi-acoustic avant-punk," TSIGOTI are touring in support of their latest CD, Private Poverty Speaks to the People of the Party.
On Friday, the Latin/funk/jazz/hip-hop band Ozomatli plays at Blueberry Hill. Originally scheduled for Powell Symphony Hall as a collaboration with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, the show last week was moved to Blueberry Hill for reasons that still are unexplained. The performance was announced as a sellout earlier today - no big surprise considering the relative capacities of the two venues - but it's possible some ticket brokers may still have seats, or you can always try your luck at the venue right before the gig me and hope for a cancellation, no-show, or to run across someone with extra tickets for sale.
Elsewhere on Friday, pianist Willerm Delisfort will play at Robbie's House of Jazz. A native of Miami, FL, Delisfort studied at Northern Illinois University, where the much-esteemed educator Ronald Carter heads the jazz program, and also is a protege of the fine Chicago pianist Willie Pickens. (Warning: Delisfort's website has one of those annoying Flash interfaces that launches another window and autoplays music as soon as it loads. Fortunately, the music sounds pretty good, but those with finicky browsers should be wary.)
On Sunday afternoon, the husband-and-wife team of pianist Reggie Thomas and singer Mardra Thomas will do a free concert titled "Your Blues Ain't Like Mine" at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Tuesday pianist Stephanie Trick will perform in a "Notes From Home" event at the Sheldon Concert Hall. A 2009 graduate of the University of Chicago, Trick specializes in ragtime and pre-WWII jazz piano styles, and the examples of her playing available online show some impressive technique. Jazz broadcaster Don Wolff, who will MC Tuesday's concert, recently recorded an interview with Trick for his radio show, and you can hear it online here.
Also on Tuesday, the Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club presents “Da-Dum-Dun,” a event honoring three world-class artists associated with East St. Louis. The tribute to jazz trumpeter Miles Davis, writer Henry Lee Dumas and dancer Katherine Dunham will include live jazz from saxophonist Kendrick Smith and pianist Brian Harrison; poetry from Redmond, Michael Castro, Roscoe Crenshaw, Byron Lee, Susan Lively, Patricia Merritt, Darlene Roy, Lena Weathers, Treasure Williams and Jaye Willis; dance from students at the SIUE-ESL Center for the Performing Arts; and what's being called a "multimodal exhibit." It starts at 6:00 p.m. in Room 2083 of Bldg. B on the SIUE-East St. Louis Higher Education Campus, 601 J.R. Thompson Dr.
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 http://twitter.com/StLJazzNotes or clicking the "Like" icon on 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.)
Ornette for Christmas
41 minutes ago