Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Jazz this week: Support your local jazz musicians

It's the last weekend before the Labor Day holiday, and though many concert series and presenters are still on summer hiatus, and there are no major touring jazz performers in St. Louis over the next few days, there still are a number of noteworthy events on tap featuring local musicians.

On Thursday, Robbie's House of Jazz has singer Carmen Emborski doing a tribute to Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn with Bob Deboo (bass), Dave Stone (saxophones), Joe Pastor (vibes) and Paul Shaw (drums).

On Friday night, Robbie's will feature trumpeter Scott Vignassi's "Big Little Big Band." Vignassi has played with El Caribe Tropical and with various Air Force musical ensembles, most recently at Scott Air Force Base in southern Illinois. On Saturday afternoon, the club will host a reunion of performers from singer Mae Wheeler's "Divas" and "Troubadours" fundraisers, and on Saturday night, pianist Ed Nicholson's trio with vocalist Myla Brown will take the stage.

Elsewhere around town on Saturday, trumpeter Jim Manley and the Wild Cool & Swingin' Orchestra will perform a free concert at 6:00pm at Lafayette Park; and the Presenters Dolan have singer Pegi Johns at the Kranzberg Arts Center doing a World War II-themed cabaret show called "A Window Into Our Hearts: The Songs That Saw Us Through The War." The show includes songs made famous by the Andrews Sisters, Judy Garland, Glenn Miller, Cole Porter, Fats Waller, Richard Rodgers, Frank Loesser and Harold Arlen, with pianist Carolbeth True as music director and bassist Ric Vice as director.

On Sunday, Nu-Element, fronted by trumpeter Keith Moyer and keyboardist Dave Becherer, plays at Riddle's, and on Monday, pianist Phil Gomez and Clave Sol will do their Latin/jazz thing at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups.

Also on Monday, it's the first Webster University jazz faculty concert of the semester at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster campus, featuring lesser known repertoire of Duke Ellington. Selections will include "The Feeling of Jazz," "Daydream," "All Too Soon," "I Didn't Know About You," "Star Crossed Lovers," "Isfahan," "Azure," "Drop Me Off in Harlem," and "Love You Madly," performed by Debby Lennon (vocals), Paul DeMarinis (pictured, tenor saxophone), Steve Schenkel (guitar), Kim Portnoy (piano), Willem von Hombracht (bass) and Kevin Gianino (drums).

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.)

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