It's a mixed bag of jazz and creative music happening this weekend around the St. Louis area, with performances including straight-ahead, mainstream jazz sounds from both small groups and big bands; a triple bill of female guitarists; a cabaret take on Southern rock; an innovative cellist who bridges free improv and contemporary compositions; and more. Let's go to the highlights:
Tonight, guitarist Russell Malone and pianist Cyrus Chestnut and his trio will team up for the first time ever in St. Louis*, beginning a four-night engagement at Jazz at the Bistro. Both Malone and Chestnut have proved popular with local jazz fans, and to sweeten the deal, Jazz St. Louis is offering two tickets for the price of one for Wednesday and Thursday nights.
Tomorrow night, Lewis and Clark Community College presents a "Musicians' Gathering" at Jazz on Broadway in Alton, while saxophonist Paul Antion, a senior at Washington University, is the featured performer for this week's Jazz at Holmes concert on the Wash U. campus.
Friday, the Old Rock House will host "La Guitara," a package show highlighting female guitarists including singer-songwriter Patty Larkin, "new acoustic music" performer Muriel Anderson, and Vicki Genfan, whose resume includes a variety of genres including jazz.
Also on Friday, singer Jeffrey M. Wright, backed by pianist Carol Schmidt and guitarist Steve Schenkel, performs the first of two nights of his "Southern Roots" cabaret show at Kranzberg Arts Center under the auspices of the Presenters Dolan; saxophonist Jay Hutson leads a quartet at Robbie's House of Jazz; and saxophonist Tim Cunningham is back at Jazz on Broadway, where management has announced that he'll continue weekly through at least June 8.
On Saturday, New Music Circle presents cellist Craig Hultgren (pictured) and members of the Memphis-based experimental music group Luna Nova at Christ Church Cathedral. Hultgren has played St. Louis several times before, but if you don't know him or his music yet, you can catch up by checking out this post from last Saturday.
Also on Saturday, singer Feyza Eren performs at Robbie's, fronting a rhythm section including pianist Brad Ellebrecht, bassist Willem Von Hombracht and drummer Tom Kernan.
On Sunday afternoon, the Northern Illinois University Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of saxophonist Ron Carter, will return with a special guest, veteran drummer Victor Lewis, to play at the Sheldon Concert Hall.
Also on Sunday, the Saint Louis Jazz Club will present pianist Pat Joyce and his All-Stars in a matinee performance at the DoubleTree Hotel Westport.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday the Sessions Big Band returns for their monthly performance at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups.
For more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis, 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.)
*Update - 4/11/12, 11:50 p.m.: As longtime reader (and stalwart fan of Russell Malone) Kandie Webster points out in the comments, this week's gig at the Bistro is not the first time Malone and Cyrus Chestnut have played together, as stated in the first version of this story. That statement was based on information supplied by Jazz St. Louis that may have been incorrect, or simply just misinterpreted by me. At any rate, this week's gig definitely is the first time they've played together here in St. Louis...
Monday Recommendation: John Coltrane
3 hours ago