Friday, July 05, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Sixty local students have been chosen by Jazz St. Louis to participate in the 2013-14 JazzU program. Auditions were held last month, with 115 middle and high school musicians from around the metro area trying out.

Meanwhile, the players in the current version of the top JazzU ensemble, the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars, are getting some road experience this weekend, performing Saturday on the Youth Stage at the Iowa City Jazz Festival. The free event this year also features notable touring musicians including Charlie Hunter, Christian Scott, Dr. Lonnie Smith, and Pharoah Sanders.

* Here are two more reviews of Opera Theatre of St. Louis' world premiere production of Terence Blanchard opera Champion, from the Chicago Tribune's classical music critic John von Rhein and Andrew Patner of Chicago public radio station WFMT (98.7 FM).

* Pianist and singer Jesse Gannon's CD release event this past Sunday at The Gramophone was reviewed by KDHX's Robin Wheeler.

* The Casa Loma Ballroom (pictured) is the subject of a new episode of the online video series CommunityStL.

* Attendees at the River City Mess Around swing dance event presented this weekend by Lindy Hop St. Louis can get a special pre-registration price on passes for the Nevermore Jazz Ball in November. For the rest of the world, early bird registration begins at 10:01 a.m. next Monday, July 8.

* And speaking of Monday, July 8, for every purchase made that day at The Cup bakery and coffee shop in Edwardsville, local jazz station WSIE (88.7 FM) will get 10 percent of the proceeds.

* Elsewhere on the radio dial,  this weekend's episode of Calvin Wilson's "Somethin Else'" program on Radio Arts Foundation - St. Louis examines the influence of Miles Davis on contemporary trumpet players including Dave Douglas and Tomasz Stanko. Listen in at 8:00 p.m. Saturday via 107.3 FM and 96.3 HD-2, or online at

* The Regional Arts Commission has announced the first 25 recipients of funding from its new Artists Support Grants program. The grants range from $640 to $3,000, and can be used for a variety of projects and opportunities to enhance artists' careers.

Of the first group of 25, just three grants were for work related to music or sound, while 15 went to visual artists and the rest for theater, dance or literature. The next round of Artists Support Grants opens for applications on September 9 and the deadline is October 15. You can find an application form online here.

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