There's a wide variety of jazz and creative music performances coming up this Memorial Day weekend in St. Louis, from straight-ahead jazz to New Orleans brass to big band to fusion and more. Let's go to the highlights...
Tonight, singer-pianist Freddy Cole and tenor saxophonist Harry Allen team up for the first of four evenings continuing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro. Cole, the brother of famed singer and pianist Nat "King" Cole, has played the Bistro to appreciative crowds several times in recent years, but this is the first time he'll be teamed with Allen, who draws inspiration from swing era tenor players like Lester Young, Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins. For some videos of Allen performing, and a link to an earlier video post about Cole, see this post from a couple of weeks ago.
Tomorrow night, New Orleans' Soul Rebels will be in town to perform at the Old Rock House. The group offers their own hip-hop influenced twist on the traditional brass band sound, mixing in plenty of solo and group vocals and raps along with trumpets, trombone, sax, tuba and drums. You can see some video samples of the Soul Rebels in action in this post from last Saturday.
Friday is the start of the annual Bluesweek festival, which will be held again at the Soldiers Memorial downtown, but with just one stage this year. The free event features plenty of blues, obviously, but also some acts that may be of interest to jazz listeners, including the New Orleans funk of Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue(pictured) on Friday night; a jazz guitar set with Tom Byrne, Dave Black and Eric Slaughter on Saturday afternoon: and a Fontella Bass tribute featuring singer Marsha Evans and the Coalition on Sunday. A complete schedule of Bluesweek events is here.
Then on Sunday, the Dave Dickey Big Band plays their monthly gig at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company. Their special guest performers at intermission this month will be the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars, the student ensemble featuring some of the top high-school players from Jazz St. Louis' education programs.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Tuesday the jazz/rock/fusion band Steizuello returns to the Sheldon Concert Hall for a "Notes From Home" concert.
(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.)