Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Jazz this week: Peter Martin Trio, Brian Owens, Mardra Thomas and more

Though it may not officially be summer until the solstice on June 21, summer weather already seems to moving into St. Louis, and local jazz presenters and venues are putting their summer schedules into effect, for the most part either curtailing their offerings until fall or emphasizing homegrown talent.

However, there's still some music to be heard, so let's see what's going on around town over the next few days:

Tonight, singer Denise Thimes performs a free concert to begin this year's Whitaker Music Festival series at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

On Friday, pianist Peter Martin (pictured) leads his trio, featuring bassist Chris Thomas and drummer Ulysses Owens Jr., in a performance at the Sheldon Concert Hall. For more about Martin's series at the Sheldon, see these previous posts; for some video of him playing in a trio setting, check out this missive from last Saturday. Also, there's a two-for-the-price-of-one discount available on the remaining seats for Martin's concert; to access the offer, go here and and enter the promo code "PMTRIO" (without the quote marks).

Also Friday, singer Brian Owens begins a two-night stand kicking off the summer season at Jazz at the Bistro. The word is that Owens' sets will be paying tribute to singer Bill Withers, and perhaps he'll also do some material from his forthcoming CD release recently announced on his website.

On Saturday, singer Mardra Thomas reprises her interpretation of the music of Billie Holiday for "An Elegant Evening with Lady Day" at Harris-Stowe State University, and keyboardist Charlie Brown and singer Marlys Brown will celebrate their ten-year wedding anniversary with a show at Robbie's House of Jazz.

Looking beyond the weekend, yr. humble editor has just discovered that Robbie's also is now hosting weekly jam sessions on Tuesday. I'm not sure how long it's been going on, since I only learned of it by visiting the club's website, but apparently it will be a fixture until further notice.

Also on Tuesday, the Jazz St. Louis CD Listening Club will have its May meeting at bOrders Books and Music, 1519 S. Brentwood Blvd. This month's featured CD is Relaxin' with the Miles Davis Quintet, and the special guest is the aforementioned Peter Martin, with JSL's Gene Dobbs Bradford serving as moderator.

Next Wednesday, the longtime St. Louis favorites Trio Tres Bien will perform a free concert for the Whitaker Music Festival at Missouri Botanical Garden.

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 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.)

(Updated after posting to add the CD Listening Club info.)

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