The first part of January typically is time off for a lot of touring musicians who'd just as soon stay home as deal with bad weather, audiences suffering from empty pockets or the post-holiday blahs, and so on.
So even though the weather in St. Louis actually has been pretty nice for this time of year, it's no surprise that most of this week's jazz and creative music highlights are once again local in origin.
Tomorrow night, singer/songwriter Javier Mendoza once again will activate his Latin Jazz Experiment for the first of two evenings at Jazz at the Bistro. The performances will showcase Mendoza's original songs with an expanded version of his band featuring additional guitar from Dave Black, horn arrangements from saxophonist Jim Stevens and trumpeter Rob Endicott, and extra percussion (usually from R. Scott Bryan).
Also on Friday, trombonist Michael Dease will be in town to perform as guest soloist with the Webster Groves High School jazz bands in their annual concert at The Pageant. Dease is a Juilliard graduate who's played with numerous big bands, including those led by Illinois Jacquet, Dizzy Gillespie, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Nicholas Payton, Jimmy Heath and Charles Tolliver, as well as with small groups led by Claudio Roditi, Sharel Cassity, and Wycliffe Gordon. Metrobones, the ensemble led by Dave Dickey that features more than a dozen student trombonists from local high schools and colleges, will round out the bill.
Update: 10:30 a.m., 1/12/13: Mary Dyson has announced by email and on Facebook that tonight's performance at Robbie's House of Jazz is cancelled. 4:15 p.m.: Guitarist Eric Slaughter and Tom Byrne have been booked for a duo performance in Dyson's place.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday, the jazz fusion band Steizuello will be at at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups.
Then on Tuesday, singer Joe Mancuso will do a "Notes From Home" concert at The Sheldon, performing standards from the Great American Songbook with an expanded band including special guest trumpeter Randy Holmes and saxophonist Willie Akins.
(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.)