Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jazz this week: Sean Jones, Glendale Jazz Festival, a Miles Davis birthday celebration, and more

Want to listen to some live jazz this Memorial Day weekend in St. Louis? Here's what's on tap for for the next few days:

The best-known musician visiting town this week is trumpeter Sean Jones (pictured), who will perform tonight through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro. A technically accomplished and versatile player, Jones probably is best known for his five years as lead trumpeter for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, a position he left last year to devote more time to his solo career and other musical ventures.

This is shaping up to be an eventful week for the trumpeter, as No Need for Words, his latest CD on Mack Avenue Records, was released officially yesterday, and he'll celebrate his 33rd birthday on Sunday. For more about Jones and some videos of him in action, check out this post from last Saturday. Also, you can read my Riverfront Times Critic's Pick about Jones here.

Elsewhere around town, jazz bookings are a bit scarce as many other not-for-profit presenters have ended their seasons, and even some commercial establishments, such as Robbie's House of Jazz and Casa Loma Ballroom are taking the holiday weekend off. Still, in addition to the usual weekly gigs (which you can find listed on the StLJN calendar), there are a few other noteworthy jazz-related events happening around town.

At noon on Thursday, the city of East of St. Louis will hold birthday celebration for Miles Davis, the city's most famous native son, at City Hall. The event will feature several live performances, including music from Reggie Thomas.

On Friday evening, the city of Glendale presents the 12th annual Glendale Jazz Festival at Glendale City Hall, 424 N. Sappington Rd. The free event will feature music from the St. Louis Stompers, Terry Thompson's Swing Alive Band, and blues/rock guitarist Billy Peek, with Don Wolff as MC.

Also on Friday, guitarist Eric Slaughter's trio with drummer Marty Morrison and bassist Nick Jost will play the Cigar Inn in Belleville.

This also is the weekend for the annual African Arts Festival at the World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park. The event features a variety of musical offerings, including blues, reggae, African drumming, and jazz from the Bosman Twins on Sunday and the group Le Jazz Hot, with pianist Ptah Williams, bassist Daryl Mixon, drummer Ben Thigpen and saxophonist Chad Evans, on Monday.

Also on Sunday, BB's Jazz Blues & Soups will present "A Night of Jazz" from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., though there's no indication on their site as to who the players are. (Alas, calls to BB's attempting to ascertain the musicians' identities were not returned by publication time.)

On Tuesday, the Poor People of Paris will bring their jazz-inflected French cabaret sound to the Sheldon Concert Hall as part of the Sheldon's Notes From Home series.

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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