It's a busy time for jazz and creative music over the next few days in St. Louis, with events in styles ranging from soulful mainstream swing to adventurous free improv, plus holiday music, a tribute to a fallen Beatle, and lots more besides. Let's go to the highlights:
Perhaps the best known musician visiting our town this week is guitarist Pat Martino, who plays tonight through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro. Martino is an acknowledged master of the classic organ-trio style of jazz guitar playing, but he also incorporates more modern and/or outside concepts and tonalities into his solos, resulting in a sound that's reasonably familiar but never formulaic.
For more about Martino and some videos of him performing, see this post from last Saturday. (Martino also will be honored Thursday afternoon at a free, public symposium on the Washington University campus; for more about that event, see this post.)
Wednesday evening also marks the first performance in British singer Barb Jungr's four-night run at the Kranzberg Arts Center under the auspices of Cabaret St. Louis. Jungr's show "The Men I Love: The New American Songbook" emphasizes work from contemporary songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, David Byrne and others, as arranged by Jungr and her pianist Simon Wallace.
Also on Wednesday, Robbie's House of Jazz will present the first in a series of concerts by local collegiate jazz ensembles, with the Meramec Jazz Band getting the honor of batting lead-off.
On Thursday evening, saxophonist Willie Akins will play a free concert to wrap up this semester's Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University, and the Lindenwood University Jazz Ensemble takes the stage at Robbie's.
Friday evening offers some potentially intriguing musical variety, as the Japanese-born improvising percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani returns to the the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center; and the AWA Jazz String Trio, featuring violinists Alyssa Avery and Justin Branum and bassist Willem von Hombracht, will perform a mix of standards, covers and original material at Robbie's.
On Saturday, Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo (pictured) will join pianist Peter Martin for a performance at the Sheldon Concert Hall. The concert also will feature singer Erin Bode as special guest and Martin's fellow U. City native Chris Thomas on bass. To hear some samples of Lubambo's playing, check out the video showcase post from last Saturday. In a nice added touch, the Lubambo/Martin concert also will be webcast live by The Global Loop.
Also on Saturday, New Music Circle will present what's being billed as a showcase for St. Louis-based performers at Steinberg Auditorium on the Washington University campus. The event will feature short sets from five artists, including trumpeter/percussionist "Baba" Mike Nelson; electronic musician Eric Hall; video artist and musician Zlatko Cosic; percussionist, synthesist and instrument builder Ron Coulter; and musique concrête sound designer Lauri des Marais.
On Sunday, the UMSL music department is putting on its annual holiday show at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. The free event will feature the University Jazz Ensemble, Vocal Point, and the University String Orchestra under the direction of Jim Widner and Jim Henry. Also on Sunday, singer Wendy Gordon will present a reprise of her cabaret-style musical "A Jazz Heaven," featuring fellow singer Jeanne Trevor and a three-piece band, at Klub Klymaxx in the Ambassador Events Center.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday the Webster University jazz singers will perform a a free concert at Winifred Moore Auditorium on campus; and drummer Joe Pastor's trio plays at BB's Jazz Blues & Soups.
Then on Tuesday, guitarist Steve Schenkel will lead a group of Webster University music faculty and students in a jazz-flavored tribute to the songs of the late John Lennon at Webster's Community Music School, 535 Garden Ave. in Webster.
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.)