Friday, May 20, 2011

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

Here's the latest wrap-up of assorted links and short local news items of interest:

* The East St. Louis High School jazz band (pictured) traveled to New York City last week to take part in the Essentially Ellington festival presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center. Although they were not selected for the final concert, several band members won individual awards, including Terreon Pete, Honorable Mention, Piano; Brady Lewis, Outstanding Trumpet; and Carlos Brown Jr., Outstanding Alto Saxophone. Jazz St. Louis has a recap of the trip (along with a fundraising pitch for their education programs that support music at ESLHS and other area schools) here.

* Radio station WSIE (88.7 FM), the only St. Louis area radio station with an all-jazz format, is now streaming their programming online. This represents a significant advance for WSIE, which has an over-the-air signal that's difficult to receive in many parts of the St. Louis metro area.

The station previously had eschewed streaming online because much of its schedule was made up of syndicated fare for which streaming rights were unavailable. But as of this month, much of WSIE's schedule is now given over to JazzWorks, a programming service based at Duquesne University's station WDUQ in Pittsburgh that lets participating stations customize jazz broadcasts for local use.

In addition to the JazzWorks programming, WSIE is slotting in student-produced shows on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights, and running the NPR jazz programs Piano Jazz With Marian McPartland, Jazzset With Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Jazz At Lincoln Center With Wynton Marsalis as a block on Sunday mornings.

Yr. humble StLJN editor has tested the stream, and though I haven't listened for long enough to get a sense of just how local the JazzWorks broadcasts will be, or what the overall mix of music is like, it worked well from a technical standpoint. You can check out the stream at the link above, or from the front page of the WSIE website.

* Pianist Peter Martin was interviewed about the jazz scene in Japan for the latest issue of Belle Lettres, a magazine published by the Center for the Humanities at Washington University. You can read it online in .pdf format here.

* The Funky Butt Brass Band spent last weekend recording tracks for a new CD, and they've posted a video online offering a glimpse inside the sessions.

* Jazz St. Louis is looking to hire a Guest Relations Assistant to greet and seat guests at Jazz at the Bistro, among other duties. If you're interested, call Bob Bennett at 314-289-4032 or email him at bob @ for more detailed information.

* The Riverfront Times has revealed the list of participating bands for the 2011 RFT Music Showcase on Saturday, June 4.

Photo courtesy of Jazz St. Louis.

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