If you're looking to get out hear some live jazz in St. Louis, there's there's plenty of local music on tap over the weekend, with some new weekly gigs getting underway, plus some visiting players coming to town to play free concerts next week. Let's go to the highlights:
On Friday, guitarist Rick Haydon will take the stage for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro. Haydon, who plays a seven-string guitar not unlike those used by Bucky and John Pizzarelli, is a longtime member of the jazz faculty at SIUE, and just wrapped up his first year heading the jazz studies program there. He'll be backed at the Bistro by Kara Baldus Vandiver on keyboards, Roger Guth on drums and Jim Mayer on bass.
On Saturday, saxophonist Willie Akins and his quartet will bring Akins' long-running Saturday matinee to a new location, the Cigar Inn in Belleville. As longtime local jazz fans know, Akins played Saturdays at the now-defunct Spruill's for many years before the venue closed last year. Since then, he's tried several different venues for the gig before landing now at Cigar Inn, which is going smoke-free for Akins' performances.
Also on Sunday, trumpeter Delano Redmond, who spends his work weeks directing the acclaimed jazz band program at East St. Louis High School, is stepping out front to lead a quartet in a new weekly gig at Troy's Jazz Gallery. UPDATE - 8:30 p.m., 6/6/13: A few minutes after this post went up, Redmond posted on Twitter that there's no show this week, and the new Sunday gig now will commence on June 16. More as we get it...
Given that local audiences have repeatedly paid good money to hear the New Orleans native perform here at the Bistro, The Sheldon and elsewhere, these two shows definitely qualify as the best deals of the week. For more about Blanchard and some samples of his music, see this post from last Saturday.
And if that weren't enough, there's also a new weekly gig happening on Wednesdays, as bassist Willem von Hombracht and his New St. Louis Jazz X-Tet will be holding forth at midweek until further notice at the aforementioned Cafe Eau at the Chase Park Plaza.
(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.)