Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Jazz this week: Wild, Cool & Swingin', Bryan Carter CD release, Tim Cunningham, RFT Music Showcase, and more

While there's a paucity of touring jazz and/or creative music acts in St. Louis this week, our local and regional musicians are doing all sorts of interesting things over the next few days...if you know where to find them.

For example, on Thursday, Park Avenue Jazz will perform a free concert from noon to 1 p.m. at the Old Library Plaza at 8th and Locust as part of the St. Louis Public Library's "Not So Quiet" concert series.

That evening, drummer Bryan Carter, a student at the Juilliard School and the son of noted saxophonist and educator Ronald Carter, will celebrate the release of his first CD Enchantment with a performance at Robbie's House of Jazz. You can read more about Carter in this feature story from the St. Louis American's Rebecca S. Rivas.

On Friday and Saturday, trumpeter Jim Manley (pictured) and the Wild, Cool and Swingin' Orchestra will play at Jazz at the Bistro. Manley is, of course, quite well-regarded here locally, and has developed a national reputation as a player and clinician as well. WC&S does what might be called Vegas-style jazz, with brass-driven arrangements of a songbook that draws on Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack, Louis Prima, Nat "King" Cole, and the like.

Also on Friday, Focal Point will present Something In The Water, a "Blues Driven Fusion Jazz trio" featuring Wayne J. Kilmer on guitar, Kevin Helmsing on drums and Les Burnside on bass; and pianist Tim Garcia's trio with drummer Dave Sweet and bassist Jim Cady will play at the Cigar Inn in Belleville.

Also on Saturday, the Riverfront Times presents the 2011 edition of its annual Music Showcase, which features live performances from many of the bands and musicians nominated for this year's RFT Music Awards. The Showcase will take place on Washington Avenue downtown, with an outdoor stage operating throughout the afternoon and evening, plus numerous indoor venues hosting music that night.

While the event typically has more rock, pop and hip-hop than jazz, blues or soul, this year's schedule does include the Funky Butt Brass Band, guitarist Dave Black, multi-instrumentalist Lamar Harris and guitarist Teddy Presberg among the more than 75 participating acts. You can see the entire schedule in convenient grid format here, and there's still time to vote for your favorites using the online ballot here.

If you're in the mood for something a bit more intimate Saturday night, singer Ron Wilkinson is performing with his trio at Robbie's. Wilkinson, a smooth crooner who can handle both blues and ballads, was a regular performer in the space during its previous incarnation as Cookie's Jazz and More.

And speaking of festivals, this also is the weekend for the annual Art & Air Festival, which runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday on the grounds of Eden Theological Seminary in Webster Groves. Billed as a "one-of-a-kind fine arts fair," the event has a lineup of music encompassing multiple genres. Among the performers who may be of interest to StLJN's readers: pianist and singer Carol Schmidt and singer/multi-instrumentalist Michele Isam on Friday, Dave Black's quartet on Saturday, and singer/pianist Anita Rosamond with saxophonist Jim Stephens on Sunday.

On Sunday, there's lots to choose from, as the Saint Louis Jazz Club presents a matinee concert of traditional jazz and swing by the Pat Joyce All-Stars at the DoubleTree Hotel at Westport, and saxophonist Tim Cunningham plays at the Sheldon Concert Hall in a matinee performance benefiting 2000 Feet's Shoes4Kids program.

Also on Sunday, jazz/funk/R&B group Good 4 The Soul plays an early evening show at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups, and Bossa Nova Restaurant & Lounge in Alton will present its monthly jazz jam session with saxophonist Jason Swagler, guitarist Eric Slaughter, drummer Marty Morrison and bassist Nick Jost.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday the smooth jazz group Three Central (aka 3 Central) will play at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar, in a benefit performance for the Relief Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that provides support for people with the rare disease scleroderma. That same evening, guitarist Tom Byrne brings his Pat Metheny-inspired project Have You Heard? to BB's.

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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