Friday, May 31, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

Here's the latest wrap-up of assorted links and short local news items of interest:

* Tonight, the Webster University Film Series will show 60x60 Project: Presenter's Mix, for which "video artists Patrick Liddell, Sabrina Pena, Rachel Cosic & Zlatko Cosic created 60 original works to accompany 60 experimental music compositions from 60 different international composers, each composition being 60 seconds or less in duration." The screening starts at 7:30 p.m. at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster campus.

* KSDK's Art Holliday will show segments of his work-in-progress documentary film about St. Louis blues/rock piano great Johnnie Johnson for the Webster Groves Historical Society at 7:00 p.m. this Sunday, June 2. The event will take place at Hawken House, 1155 S. Rock Hill Rd., just south of Big Bend, and also will include a Q&A with Holliday. Admission is $1 for Historical Society members, $3 for non-members.

* Radio station WSIE (88.7 FM) will be holding another on-air fund-raising event this weekend, offering CDs and other premiums for supporters who make a contribution. The pledge drive also will feature guest appearances throughout the weekend from St. Louis musicians and various other people involved with the local jazz scene, including, if all goes to plan, yr. humble StLJN editor. (For updates on this, check out the the StLJN Twitter feed.)

* Meanwhile, on Saturday night over at Radio Arts Foundation-St. Louis, Calvin Wilson's program "Somethin' Else" will spotlight saxophonists, while Jason Church's "The Jazz Collective" will feature new music from Kyle Eastwood, Terrence Blanchard, Keiko Matsui and George Benson, plus tracks from Bob James, Hilton Feldon, Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie and local music from Clave Sol, Dawn Weber and Naked Rock Fight, Dreaming In Colour and Tommy Halloran. Wilson's show starts at 8:00 p.m., with Church following him from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. broadcasting at 107.3 FM,, 96.3 HD-2 and online at

* Turning the radio dial to KWMU (90.7 FM), on Sunday night Dennis Owsley's "Jazz Unlimited" program will feature the ninth part of his audio documentary on the history of St. Louis jazz. Covering the early 2000s, the program will present music from more than two dozen current St. Louis jazz artists, plus interviews with Gene Dobbs Bradford, Erin Bode, Peter Martin, Randy Holmes and Reggie Thomas. It all starts at 9:00 p.m., and if you're outside the broadcast area, you can listen online at

* Trombonist Brett Stamps, former director of jazz studies at SIUE, is on the mend at a hospital in Springfield, IL. According to a post on Facebook from his wife Kim Stamps, "while performing in Sacramento, Brett developed bacterial pneumonia. Once home and diagnosed, he was put in the hospital and was then transferred to Springfield. He is getting great care and is progressing well."

* As usual, the anniversary of Miles Davis' birth last weekend inspired a number of online tributes; here's one of my favorites, a slide show from the New Yorker of photos of Davis.

* While guitarist Lionel Loueke was here a couple of weeks ago to play at Jazz at the Bistro, he also recorded a video interview for our town's Mel Bay Publishing. The first part of the three-part conversation is here; for the rest, follow the links.

* Shattinger Music, the St. Louis based retailer who has supplied sheet music to musicians and band directors all over the country since 1876, is going through some changes, according to this story from the Post-Dispatch's business reporter Tim Bryant. For now, they've shuttered their storefront at 1810 S. Broadway while seeking a new location, but still are doing business online.

* A local judge has issued an injunction blocking the City of St. Louis' proposed licensing requirements for street musicians. Saxophonist Fred Walker was one of the plaintiffs in a suit filed by the ACLU to block the law.

* Lastly, it is with sadness that we must report the death of pianist Mulgrew Miller (pictured), who recorded several albums for the St. Louis based MAXJAZZ label and played here at Jazz at the Bistro, the Touhill and other venues numerous times over the years. Miller, who was only 57, suffered a stroke last Friday at his home in Pennsylvania, and died on Wednesday at a nearby hospital. Down Beat magazine has more about Miller here, and the Lehigh Valley Express Times, the local paper from near where Miller lived, has a nice tribute here.

In a statement to the Washington Post, MAXJAZZ president Richard McDonnell said,“Mulgrew Miller was one of a kind. His gifts were both musical and humanitarian. He was held in the highest regard by the jazz community - musicians and fans alike. He mentored a number of young jazz musicians. Mulgrew Miller and his trio had the distinction of being the inaugural act to perform at The Kennedy Center Jazz Club on Thursday, September 5, 2002.”

Edited after posting to add the item about Brett Stamps. Edited on 6/3/13 to add statement from Richard McDonnell.)

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