It's another busy week for jazz and creative music in St. Louis, with the return of one of the top male singers in jazz; a rare local appearance by a legendary saxophonist; homecoming gigs featuring three different musicians who grew up in the area, and much more. Let's go the highlights....
Tomorrow night, singer Kurt Elling opens a four-night engagement at Jazz at the Bistro. One of the most critically acclaimed jazz singers working today and a relatively frequent visitor to St. Louis, Elling was here most recently in 2011. His latest album 1619 Broadway – The Brill Building Project, which came out last year, focuses on novel interpretations of pop tunes created at the famous NYC address that was home to Bacharach and David, Lieber and Stoller, Goffin and King, and other hit songwriters of the 1950s and 60s. For more about that album, and some video samples of some recent performances by Elling, see this post from last Saturday.
On Thursday, drummer and U. City native Ronnie Burrage(pictured), who's played with jazz greats including Wayne Shorter, McCoy Tyner and Joe Zawinul and now teaches at Penn State University, will be back home for the first of several events this week, leading a trio in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University. Also on Thursday, it's the monthly "Avant Garde Arts Night" featuring live improvised music at the Tavern of Fine Arts.
Then on Friday evening, Burrage and a quartet featuring saxophonist Freddie Washington will perform for the first of two nights at The Office, located at 5917 Delmar (east of Skinker, in the building most recently home to Binion's).
Update - 3:30 p.m., 2/28/13: The performances by the Ronnie Burrage Quartet on Friday and Saturday have been moved to the clubhouse of the Probstein Golf Club in Forest Park. See this post for details.
On Saturday evening, an hour or so to the south of St. Louis down in Park Hill, MO, renowned saxophonist Phil Woods will be the special guest performer for this year's Carol Moore Memorial Jazz Festival at Mineral Area College. Now 81, the bebop master continues to spread the musical legacy of Charlie Parker, with whom he was personally acquainted. (In fact, after Parker's death, Woods wound up marrying his widow, Chan Parker, who died in 1999.) The event will feature a series of student bands from around the area performing throughout the day, and conclude with an evening concert featuring Woods, the MAC Jazz Ensemble, and MAC Kicks Band.
Update, 12:30 a.m., 2/27/13: Michael Goldsmith, director of jazz at Mineral Area College, emailed to add that Woods will be presenting a free, public master class at noon on Saturday. Also, there actually will be two separate concerts that night featuring Woods and the MAC bands: one at 6:00 p.m., which already is sold out, and one at 8:30 p.m., for which tickets still remain.
On Sunday, saxophonist and East St. Louis native Andre Delano, whose R&B-flavored style has been featured on tours and recordings with Maxwell,
Jeff Lorber, Bobby Womack, Lionel Richie and many others, returns home from California to perform in an early evening show with Good 4 The Soul at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups.
(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.)