This week's menu of jazz and creative music in St. Louis features visits from two very different touring trombonists, plus a traveling extravaganza featuring Wynton Marsalis fronting a cast of 85 musicians and singers, and as usual, plenty of homegrown talent, too.
Let's go the highlights...
Tonight, trombonist Bill Watrous will be at Mineral Area College in Park Hills for a concert at the college's Fine Arts Theater, backed by the MAC Kicks Band. Watrous performed early in his career with the likes of Woody Herman, Roy Eldridge and Count Basie, later going on to be a featured guest soloist on recordings by Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Arturo Sandoval and many others. He was voted best trombonist seven times in the DownBeat reader's poll, and his Manhattan Wildlife Refuge big band was a touchstone of the 1970s, showing off Watrous' virtuoso technique in a way analogous to how Maynard Ferguson's band displayed its leader's skills as a high-note specialist.
For much more about "Abyssinian," including interviews with Marsalis and choir director Damien Sneed and some video footage shot during the current tour, see this post from last Saturday.
Also on Friday night, trombonist William Cepeda, who combines Latin jazz with traditional music from his home territory of Puerto Rico, will be in town to play at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Cepeda's colorful show includes folk dancers as well as musicians, so you can bet they'll be using every square inch of the Sheldon's stage, and maybe a bit more besides.
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