Thursday, September 05, 2013

Jazz this week: Roseanna Vitro, U City Jazz Festival, a tribute to Cannonball Adderley, and more

While the music news in St. Louis this weekend may be dominated by the annual LouFest in Forest Park, and the tribute to the late singer-songwriter Bob Reuter on Sunday at the Casa Loma Ballroom, there's will be plenty for local fans of jazz and creative music to do over the next few days, too. Let's go to the highlights...

Tonight, trumpeter and singer Dawn Weber plays at Herbie's Vintage 72; fusion band The Freedom performs at the Rustic Goat; and Miss Jubilee is at Thaxton Speakeasy.

Tomorrow night, there are a couple of noteworthy events for swing dancers, as Lindy Hop St. Louis presents their monthly "West End Stomp" dance with music from the Sidemen at Mahler Ballroom, while the Ambassadors of Swing purvey their version of the big-band sound to the terpsichorean habitues of the Casa Loma Ballroom.

Elsewhere around town on Friday, singer Wendy Gordon takes the stage at the Tavern of Fine Arts; singer Joe Mancuso will perform at Robbie's House of Jazz; and trumpeter Anthony Wiggins fronts a trio at Cigar Inn.

On Saturday, the annual St. Louis Art Fair will feature sets from several musicians of interest. Performers will include guitarist Rex Bauer's trio, the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars student ensemble, and the Sheldon Jazz Quintet with pianist Carolbeth True, all on the Forsyth stage at the corner of Forsyth and Central; and Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes, on the Fair's main stage.

Also on Saturday, the U City Jazz Festival takes place in Heman Park, 1028 Midland Blvd (at Olive). The free all-day event will feature sets from local bands including the Willie Akins/Montez Coleman group, Bach to the Future, Tom Byrne and Have You Heard?, the Joe Mancuso Quintet, and Clave Sol, plus a tribute to Wes Montgomery featuring guitarist Chris Burchett.

On Saturday night, singer Roseanna Vitro comes to town to perform with pianist Kim Portnoy's trio at Robbie's House of Jazz. Vitro, who's originally from Arkansas, broke in to the music business singing with tenor saxophonist Arnett Cobb in Houston. Her career took off after a move to NYC in the late 1970s, as she toured with Lionel Hampton, pianist Kenny Werner and others, and began to establish herself as a solo act. Since then, Vitro has recorded 12 albums as a leader, the most recent of which, 2011's The Music of Randy Newman, was nominated for a 2012 Grammy Award as Best Vocal Jazz Album.

Elsewhere on Saturday night, keyboardist Matt Villinger and his trio will play at Thurman Grill; the Galaxy Jazz Quintet with singer Kim Fuller performs at Bar Italia; and pianist and singer Curt Landes is at the Tavern of Fine Arts.

Sunday's another busy day, as guitarist Brian Vaccaro's trio and Brazilian music group Samba Bom will play at the Art Fair on the Forsyth Stage, and the fall edition of the St. Louis Record Collector and CD Show takes place at the American Czech Hall, 4690 Lansdowne.

Also on Sunday afternoon, relatives and friends of the late DJ Ross Gentile are staging a tribute concert at the Meridian Ballroom in the Morris University Center at SIUE. The free show will feature another performance by Roseanna Vitro, plus music from Denise Thimes, the Route 66 Jazz Orchestra, guitarist Rick Haydon, trumpeter/vibraphonist Joe Bozzi, the Gary Dammer Big Band, and more.

Those seeking a more contemplative experience on Sunday may want to check out the latest "Inner Jazz" multi-faith meditation at Kirkwood United Church of Christ, 1603 Dougherty Ferry Rd, with music from the Oikos Ensemble, led by saxophonist Rev. Cliff Aerie.

Lastly, Sunday also is the date for the Sheldon Concert Hall's September 11th Interfaith Memorial in Music: An Appreciation of Religious Diversity with performances by pianist Peter Martin, classical soprano Christine Brewer and more.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday the jazz faculty at Webster University kicks off their fall concert series with "A Tribute to Cannonball Adderley" featuring saxophonist Paul DeMarinis, trumpeter Keith Moyer, guitarist Steve Schenkel, pianist Kim Portnoy, bassist Willem von Hombracht, drummer Kevin Gianino and singer Debby Lennon at Winifred Moore Auditorium.

For more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, which can be found on the left sidebar of the site or by clicking here. You also can keep up with all the latest news by following St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at or clicking the "Like" icon on the StLJN Facebook page.

(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.)

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