Though it's not officially summer for another week or so, the steamy weather associated with that season in St. Louis is already here. Fortunately, there's a variety of jazz and creative music events on tap over the next few days, both indoors and out, to help you cool out and beat the heat.
Tonight, trumpeter, composer and New Orleans native Terence Blanchard continues his time in the local spotlight, as he and his quintet will play their second free outdoor concert of the week, taking the stage at St. Louis Place Park as part of the Whitaker Urban Evenings series. (Blanchard's opera Champion gets its world premiere this week at Opera Theatre St. Louis - more about that below - and you can see some videos of him and the quintet in action in this post.)
On Friday, the Willie Akins/Montez Coleman Group will perform for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro, where the veteran saxophonist (pictured) and his percussionist partner likely will be drawing on at least some of the hard-bop-influenced material from their recent CD St. Louis Connection.
Taylor will be in town to perform as one of the headliners at the Chesterfield Jazz Festival on Saturday. The day-long event takes place at Chesterfield Amphitheatre, just off Highway 40 near Chesterfield Mall, and also will include music from keyboardist David Benoit; singer Jeanne Trevor; saxophonist Freddie Washington, leading a tribute to John Coltrane; and Bach to the Future, the band fronted by keyboardist and festival organizer Mike Silverman.
Also on Saturday afternoon, Tim Zavadil, clarinetist and bass clarinetist with the Minnesota Orchestra, will present a free clinic and master class at Saxquest.
Then on Saturday evening, Blanchard's Champion, described as "an opera in jazz," will get the first of its six performances this month at Opera Theatre St. Louis. The work, created especially for OTSL with Jazz St. Louis as co-producers, has been the subject of extensive media coverage both in and outside St. Louis, much of which which you can see by reading this post and following the links therein. Most OTSL performances sell out, but you can find out the latest on ticket availability by calling their box office.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday trumpeter Keith Moyer brings his band to BB's. Then on Tuesday, Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center will present a concert of free improv music headlined by Voicehandler, which features musicians Jacob Felix Heule and Danishta Rivero performing on voice, percussion, electronics, and the Hydrophonium (an electroacoustic percussion instrument created by Rivero).
(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.)