It's another busy week for jazz and creative music in St. Louis, with a couple of notable concerts of adventurous improvised music, plus an all-star quartet of modern mainstream players, a top Latin-jazz trumpeter, and more. Let's go to the highlights...
Tonight, pianist Billy Childs' quartet begins a four-night engagement, continuing through Saturday, at Jazz at the Bistro. Though Childs may be the nominal leader, it's something of an all-star band, with drummer Brian Blade, alto saxophonist Steve Wilson and bassist Scott Colley bringing together a rather eclectic menu of influences, ranging from straight-ahead jazz to rock and pop to experimental. For more about Childs, including a video interview and some performance footage, check out this post from last Saturday.
Also tonight, singer Joe Mancuso leads a quartet with Carolbeth True (piano), Willem von Hombracht (bass) and Kevin Gianino (drums) at Frontenac Grill.
Also on Thursday, poet Eileen G'sell and guitarist William Lenihan's trio will join forces for "Stories: The New Beat Generation," a free concert of poetry and improvised music for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University.
Saturday, the trio Mephista, featuring pianist Sylvie Courvoisier, electronic musician Ikue Mori, and percussionist Susie Ibarra, will perform at 560 Music Center in a concert presented by New Music Circle. Given the three musicians' diverse range of experiences, from classical to punk rock to avant-jazz, this is a tough concert to pigeonhole, stylistically speaking, but definitely recommended for fans of creative improvised music.
Also on Saturday, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval (pictured) returns to St. Louis to perform at the Sheldon Concert Hall. The Cuban native, who last performed here in 2006 at jazz at the Bistro, first became known in this country as a member of the Latin jazz/fusion group Irakere, and also benefited early in his career from the friendship and mentoring of trumpet great Dizzy Gillespie. On his own, he's become both an in-demand leader of his own combo and a frequent guest soloist with big bands and classical orchestras.
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