Arturo Sandoval and the Count Basie Orchestra will be the headliners for the 2014 Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival, which is scheduled for Thursday, April 24 through Saturday, April 26 at Jazz at the Bistro and the Touhill Performing Arts Center.
The GSLJF begins Thursday night at the Bistro with music from a quartet co-led by pianist and former St. Louisan Reggie Thomas and his fellow faculty member at Michigan State University, bassist Rodney Whitaker. Drummer Montez Coleman and saxophonist Willie Akins round out the group, which will play sets at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.
Sandoval, who last played in St. Louis in October 2012 at the Sheldon Concert Hall, will headline Friday's concert at 8:00 p.m. at the Touhill.
The Basie band (pictured), which last visited the St. Louis area in April 2010 for a gig at SIUE, will perform at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday at the Touhill. They recently had a change in leadership and now are under the direction of trumpeter Scotty Barnhart, a 20-year veteran of the band who nevertheless also is the first leader who never actually worked for the Count himself.
The UMSL Jazz Band, under the baton of bassist and GSLJF director Jim Widner, will open both shows at the Touhill. The GSLJF also includes a significant educational component, with high school and college jazz ensembles from around the area scheduled during the daytime hours for performances and coaching sessions at the Touhill and UMSL's student center.
Tickets for all performances go on sale at 10:00 a.m. this coming Monday, November 18. Tickets for the Thomas/Whitaker quartet are $33 via Metrotix or by calling the Jazz St. Louis box office at 314-289-4030. Tickets for Arturo Sandoval and the Count Basie Orchestra range in price from $20 to $40 each, and will be available through the Touhill website and box office or by calling 314-516-4949.