Friday, May 31, 2013

Bonerama to play Sunday, June 23 at Broadway Oyster Bar

The New Orleans band Bonerama (pictured) is returning to St. Louis for another gig, this time at 8:00 p.m. Sunday, June 23 at the Broadway Oyster Bar.

The group's rocked-out take on the NOLA brass band tradition features an all-trombone front line plus rhythm section. They last played St. Louis in September 2012 at The Gramophone.

This time, they'll be promoting their just-released album Shake It Baby. Their first full-length studio album, it features more vocals and guitar as part of the band's sound, along with guest appearances from Dr. John, Dave Malone, and George Porter, Jr.

Admission for Bonerama at the Broadway Oyster Bar will be $15 at the door.

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Tonight, the Webster University Film Series will show 60x60 Project: Presenter's Mix, for which "video artists Patrick Liddell, Sabrina Pena, Rachel Cosic & Zlatko Cosic created 60 original works to accompany 60 experimental music compositions from 60 different international composers, each composition being 60 seconds or less in duration." The screening starts at 7:30 p.m. at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster campus.

* KSDK's Art Holliday will show segments of his work-in-progress documentary film about St. Louis blues/rock piano great Johnnie Johnson for the Webster Groves Historical Society at 7:00 p.m. this Sunday, June 2. The event will take place at Hawken House, 1155 S. Rock Hill Rd., just south of Big Bend, and also will include a Q&A with Holliday. Admission is $1 for Historical Society members, $3 for non-members.

* Radio station WSIE (88.7 FM) will be holding another on-air fund-raising event this weekend, offering CDs and other premiums for supporters who make a contribution. The pledge drive also will feature guest appearances throughout the weekend from St. Louis musicians and various other people involved with the local jazz scene, including, if all goes to plan, yr. humble StLJN editor. (For updates on this, check out the the StLJN Twitter feed.)

* Meanwhile, on Saturday night over at Radio Arts Foundation-St. Louis, Calvin Wilson's program "Somethin' Else" will spotlight saxophonists, while Jason Church's "The Jazz Collective" will feature new music from Kyle Eastwood, Terrence Blanchard, Keiko Matsui and George Benson, plus tracks from Bob James, Hilton Feldon, Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie and local music from Clave Sol, Dawn Weber and Naked Rock Fight, Dreaming In Colour and Tommy Halloran. Wilson's show starts at 8:00 p.m., with Church following him from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. broadcasting at 107.3 FM,, 96.3 HD-2 and online at

* Turning the radio dial to KWMU (90.7 FM), on Sunday night Dennis Owsley's "Jazz Unlimited" program will feature the ninth part of his audio documentary on the history of St. Louis jazz. Covering the early 2000s, the program will present music from more than two dozen current St. Louis jazz artists, plus interviews with Gene Dobbs Bradford, Erin Bode, Peter Martin, Randy Holmes and Reggie Thomas. It all starts at 9:00 p.m., and if you're outside the broadcast area, you can listen online at

* Trombonist Brett Stamps, former director of jazz studies at SIUE, is on the mend at a hospital in Springfield, IL. According to a post on Facebook from his wife Kim Stamps, "while performing in Sacramento, Brett developed bacterial pneumonia. Once home and diagnosed, he was put in the hospital and was then transferred to Springfield. He is getting great care and is progressing well."

* As usual, the anniversary of Miles Davis' birth last weekend inspired a number of online tributes; here's one of my favorites, a slide show from the New Yorker of photos of Davis.

* While guitarist Lionel Loueke was here a couple of weeks ago to play at Jazz at the Bistro, he also recorded a video interview for our town's Mel Bay Publishing. The first part of the three-part conversation is here; for the rest, follow the links.

* Shattinger Music, the St. Louis based retailer who has supplied sheet music to musicians and band directors all over the country since 1876, is going through some changes, according to this story from the Post-Dispatch's business reporter Tim Bryant. For now, they've shuttered their storefront at 1810 S. Broadway while seeking a new location, but still are doing business online.

* A local judge has issued an injunction blocking the City of St. Louis' proposed licensing requirements for street musicians. Saxophonist Fred Walker was one of the plaintiffs in a suit filed by the ACLU to block the law.

* Lastly, it is with sadness that we must report the death of pianist Mulgrew Miller (pictured), who recorded several albums for the St. Louis based MAXJAZZ label and played here at Jazz at the Bistro, the Touhill and other venues numerous times over the years. Miller, who was only 57, suffered a stroke last Friday at his home in Pennsylvania, and died on Wednesday at a nearby hospital. Down Beat magazine has more about Miller here, and the Lehigh Valley Express Times, the local paper from near where Miller lived, has a nice tribute here.

In a statement to the Washington Post, MAXJAZZ president Richard McDonnell said,“Mulgrew Miller was one of a kind. His gifts were both musical and humanitarian. He was held in the highest regard by the jazz community - musicians and fans alike. He mentored a number of young jazz musicians. Mulgrew Miller and his trio had the distinction of being the inaugural act to perform at The Kennedy Center Jazz Club on Thursday, September 5, 2002.”

Edited after posting to add the item about Brett Stamps. Edited on 6/3/13 to add statement from Richard McDonnell.)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Jazz this week: Red Baraat, Two Times True, St. Louis Big Band, and more

While it's not a very busy week for touring jazz musicians visiting St. Louis, as usual our local musicians and bands stand ready with a plethora of performances of their own. Let's go to the highlights...

Tonight, alumni of the music programs at Parkway West High School will present a big band jazz concert in tribute to former band director John Baker at Sky Music Lounge in Ballwin.

Also tonight, singer Joe Mancuso leads a quartet at Cafe Eau in the Chase Park Plaza Hotel; pianist Ptah Williams and his trio are at Troy's Jazz Gallery; and it's the monthly Avant Garde Arts Night featuring live improvised music at Tavern of Fine Arts.

Tomorrow night, the Brooklyn, NY based group Red Baraat will be in town to play at The Gramophone. Led by dhol player Sunny Jain - the dhol is a double-headed drum used with variations throughout the Indian subcontinent - Red Baraat come across as sort of a South Asian-flavored variant on the New Orleans brass band concept, with a sound influenced by jazz, funk, go-go and Latin delivered by drumset, percussion, sousaphone and five horns.  

Shruggy Ji, the group’s second full-length studio record, was released in January, and a follow-up album of remixes and concurrently recorded jams, Big Talk, is set to drop next month.You can see and hear Red Baraat in this video of the Tiny Desk Concert they did recently for NPR.

Also on Friday, Two Times True (pictured) plays the first of two nights kicking off the summer season at Jazz at the Bistro. Taking their name from the versatile pianist Carolbeth True and her son, drummer David True, the band also includes bassist Glen Smith and saxophonist Larry Johnson, and plays a mix of modern jazz, standards and original material.

Other noteworthy gigs on Friday include trumpeter Charlie Rose's Jazz Creations, featuring saxophonist Robb Cunningham, bassist Darrell Mixon and drummer Jerome "Scrooge" Harris, at Robbie's House of Jazz; and guitarist Tom Byrne's trio at Cigar Inn.

On Saturday afternoon, singer Wendy Gordon will perform for a jazz brunch at Ace Bar's and Grill, 9600 Natural Bridge Rd., while trumpeter Joe Bozzi plays a matinee at Frontenac Grill. Then on Saturday evening, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will do an early set at Thurman Grill for the neighborhood's "Loop Festival"; the Ann Dueren Trio is at Il Bel Lago; and singer-guitarist Tommy Halloran plays the Tavern of Fine Arts.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Tuesday the St. Louis Big Band will return the Sheldon Concert Hall for a "Tribute to the Greatest Generation," featuring music from Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Duke Ellington and Count Basie, plus vocal numbers originally made famous by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald and Etta James.

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.)

Jazz St. Louis announces
2013-14 season schedule

Jazz St. Louis has announced their 2013-14 season schedule, including the season lineup for Jazz at the Bistro, plus concerts at the Touhill Performing Arts Center and a new venue for the organization, the Viragh Center for the Arts at Chaminade College Prep School in West County.

In addition to the return of many familiar favorites, the season will include the Bistro debuts of saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and saxophonist Joe Lovano's dual-drummer ensemble Us Five; local premieres of two significant cross-genre works involving, respectively, The Bad Plus and Wynton Marsalis; and some special collaborations, including pianist John Medeski joining forces with drummer Matt Wilson's quartet; the father-and-son combo of guitarists Bucky Pizzarelli and John Pizzarelli; and pianist Bill Charlap teaming up with saxophonist Houston Person.

The Bistro's season begins relatively late this year, kicking off the final weekend in September with a return appearance from Yellowjackets (who, as tipped last month here on StLJN, will feature new bassist Felix Pastorius in his St. Louis debut with the group.)

After that, the month of October is filled with thematic programming, starting with "On Sacred Ground," The Bad Plus' re-working of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, which features the trio interpreting the entire orchestral score. It will be performed as a free concert at the Viragh Center, with members of the St. Louis Symphony contributing performances of some other Stravinsky pieces to round out the program.

October also brings the local premiere of Wynton Marsalis' Abyssinian, written in 2008 on commission from the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem to celebrate its 200th anniversary. The extended work, which has been performed in New York and London, features Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the 70-member gospel choir Chorale Le Chateau, and will be the only Jazz St. Louis show this season at the Touhill.

Then at the end of the month, New Orleans saxophonist Donald Harrison (pictured, top left, in full Indian regalia), who's also The Big Chief of The Congo Square Nation in New Orleans, will bring "A Night In Treme" to the Bistro, just about the time the fourth and final season of the critically acclaimed HBO series Treme is airing. Recordings by Harrison's band, mixing modern jazz and traditional Mardi Gras Indian rhythms and chants, have been used in Treme as the music of the series' fictional trumpeter Delmond Lambreaux, portrayed by Rob Brown.

Mahanthappa (pictured, center left) will perform in March at the Bistro with his group Gamak, a quartet including guitarist Dave Fiuczynski that was featured on the album of the same name released earlier this year. Then in April, Lovano (pictured, bottom left) will play at the Bistro for the first time since March 2000, this time with his band Us Five, which includes drummers Otis Brown III and Francisco Mela, pianist James Weidman, and, usually, the acclaimed young bassist/singer Esperanza Spalding. Spalding, though, apparently won't be coming to St. Louis this time, as the list of Lovano's band members in the season brochure includes Peter Slavov as bassist instead.

Touring musicians returning to the Bistro will include pianist Laurence Hobgood's quartet with guest saxophonist Ernie Watts, reprising a one-off show they did there last year; plus trumpeter Sean Jones, violinist Regina Carter, saxophonist Lou Donaldson, singers Jane Monheit and Anne Hampton Calloway, guitarist Pat Martino, pianists Joe Sample and Cyrus Chestnut - the latter teamed with guitarist Russell Malone - and more. Trumpeter and U City native Jeremy Davenport also will return from New Orleans for his now-traditional Thanksgiving weekend shows.

The schedule of local acts during the first half of the season starts with pianist Dave Venn and continues with the Bosman Twins, trumpeter Jim Manley, and a Christmas show from Latin jazz ensemble Musica Slesa. Good 4 The Soul will close out 2013 during the final weekend of December, with the Funky Butt Brass Band playing the weekend after New Year's and Erin Bode taking over the Valentine's Day weekend slot.

All in all, it seems a solid and musically substantive season, albeit one programmed well within the familiar stylistic and necessary financial parameters that Jazz St. Louis has established in recent years. Though those of us who crave novelty might wish for a few more acts not seen in St. Louis before, and individual tastes will always vary, the overall lineup of talent seems as good as you're going to find outside of NYC, San Francisco or Chicago, and thus rather difficult to criticize from a quality standpoint.

What is of additional interest from a structural standpoint, though, is what's not on the schedule. For the last two years, JSL has presented three concerts per season at the Touhill and collaborated in the programming of the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival in April. With only one show at the Touhill this year, and no mention at all of the GSLJF, could that relationship be waning, or are the two organizations simply taking a break or reevaluating? Time will tell, but in the meantime, there are plenty of things to like about Jazz St. Louis' 2013-14 season.

Here's the schedule in chronological order:

Wednesday, September 25 - Saturday, September 28: Yellowjackets

Thursday, October 3: "On Sacred Ground" with The Bad Plus (at Viragh Center for the Arts)
Friday, October 4 & Saturday, October 5: Laurence Hobgood Quintet & Ernie Watts
Wednesday, October 9 - Saturday, October 12: Lou Donaldson
Friday, October 18: "Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration" with Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Wynton Marsalis and Chorale le Chateau (at the Touhill Performing Arts Center)
Saturday, October 19: Dave Venn
Wednesday, October 23 - Saturday, October 26: Donald Harrison Quintet in "A Night in Treme: The Musical Majesty of New Orleans”

Friday, November 1 & Saturday, November 2: The Bosman Twins
Wednesday, November 6 - Saturday, November 9: Ann Hampton Callaway
Friday, November 15 & Saturday, November 16: Jim Manley
Wednesday, November 20 - Saturday, November 23: Regina Carter
Friday, November 29 & Saturday, November 30 : Jeremy Davenport

Wednesday, December 4 - Saturday, December 7: Pat Martino
Friday, December 13 & Saturday, December 14: "Feliz Navidad" with Musica Slesa
Wednesday, December 18 - Saturday, December 21: John Pizzarelli & Bucky Pizzarelli
Friday, December 27 & Saturday, December 28: Good 4 The Soul


Friday, January 3 & Saturday, January 4: Funky Butt Brass Band
Wednesday, January 8 - Saturday, January 11: The Bad Plus
Wednesday, January 22 - Saturday, January 25: Matt Wilson Quartet with John Medeski

Wednesday, February 5 - Saturday, February 8: Bill Charlap & Houston Person
Friday, February 14 & Saturday, February 15: Erin Bode
Wednesday, February 19 - Saturday, February 22: Christian McBride

Wednesday, March 5 - Saturday, March 8: Sean Jones
Wednesday, March 19 - Saturday, March 22: Rudresh Mahanthappa

Wednesday, April 2 - Saturday, April 5: Cyrus Chestnut Trio with Russell Malone
Wednesday, April 16 - Saturday, April 19: Poncho Sanchez

Wednesday, April 30 - Saturday, May 3: Joe Lovano Us Five
Wednesday, May 14 - Saturday, May 17: Jane Monheit
Wednesday, May 28 - Saturday, May 31: Joe Sample

You can see a copy of Jazz St. Louis' 52-page season brochure online here.

Subscription information and order forms can be obtained online at the Jazz St. Louis website or by calling Bob Bennett at 314-289-4032. In addition to the full-season subscriptions, JSL once again will offer a variety of “Choose Your Own” subscription options, some with as few as four shows.

Single tickets for the Jazz at the Bistro season will go on sale Tuesday, August 13 via Metrotix and the Jazz St. Louis box office. Tickets for the concert at the Touhill Performing Arts Center will be sold through the Touhill's box office, though no on-sale date was announced.

Revised after posting to clarify and correct that it is Joe Lovano's band Us Five, and not Lovano himself, making a Bistro debut this year. Thanks to Tony Renner for pointing this out. Edited on 5/30/13 to fix the spelling of "Viragh."

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Scott Joplin House to host free ragtime concert on Wednesday, June 12

The Scott Joplin House State Historic Site and the Friends of Scott Joplin will present a free concert of ragtime music from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, June 12 in the New Rosebud Cafe at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site (pictured), 2658 Delmar at Beaumont.

The event will feature performers drawn from the lineups of this year's Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival, to be held June 5 - 8 in Sedalia, and the Blind Boone Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival, which will take place June 11-13 in Columbia. Featured players will include pianists Andrew Barrett, Max Keenlyside, John Reed-Torres, William McNally, and more.

In addition to the live performances, concertgoers also will get a chance to hear five new player piano rolls of tunes by Joplin, Tom Turpin, and Louis Chauvin created especially for the Scott Joplin House. A limited number of the rolls will also be available for purchase.

The concert is free and open to the public. Soft drinks and snack items will be available for sale, and according to the press release, concert goers may "feel free to bring your own as well."

Saturday, May 25, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Happy birthday, Miles Davis!

Tomorrow will be the 87th anniversary of the birth of Miles Davis, the most famous and historically significant jazz musician to come from the St. Louis area and one of our favorite subjects over the years here at StLJN. As in the past couple of years, on the Saturday closest to his birthday, we've assembled a video tribute, which this year features six extended-length performances showcasing four of the legendary trumpeter's bands during his electric period.

The first video up above was shot in 1969 in Copenhagen, and shows Davis with the group sometimes referred to as the "Lost Quintet," because they weren't documented on any of his studio albums at the time. That would be Wayne Shorter on saxophones, Chick Corea on keys, Dave Holland on bass and Jack DeJohnette on drums, seen here playing a mix of older and then-new material that included "Bitches Brew," "Agitation," "I Fall In Love Too Easily," "Sanctuary," "It's About That Time" and "The Theme."

Down below, there are two shows recorded during Davis' 1971 European tour, with Gary Bartz (saxophones), Keith Jarrett (keyboards), Michael Henderson (bass), Leon "Ndugu" Chandler (drums), Don Alias (percussion) and James "Mtume" Forman (percussion). The first is from November 6, 1971 in Berlin, and the second was recorded three nights later on November 9 in Oslo, Norway.

The fourth set was made in 1973 in Stockholm by a band including Davis, now playing organ as well as trumpet, plus Henderson, Mtume, David Liebman (saxophones, flute), Pete Cosey (guitar, percussion), Reggie Lucas (guitar) and Al Foster (drums).

The final two videos are from 1982, and feature Davis with an ensemble including Bill "Not the Legendary Pianist" Evans on saxophones and flute, Mike Stern on guitar, Marcus Miller on bass, Foster on drums and Mino Cinelu on percussion. The set occupying the fifth slot is from April 1982 at the Hammersmith Odeon in London, and the last video is from May 8, 1982 in Brussels, Belgium.

To see more of StLJN's extensive past coverage of Miles Davis, click here.

Friday, May 24, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Quartette Humaine, the new album from St. Louis' own David Sanborn and keyboardist Bob James, was officially released this week. Sanborn and James start their tour in support of the album (pictured) in a couple of weeks at NYC's Town Hall, but first, James did manage to make it back home to Marshall, Missouri this month for the annual jazz festival bearing his name.

* Also officially released this week is saxophonist Oliver Lake's new big band album Wheels. You can hear a sample track, a big band version of Outkast's "The Whole World," here, and purchase the album as either a CD or digital download here.

* Calvin Wilson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Radio Arts Foundation-St. Louis has a brand new website for his program "Somethin' Else."  Wilson can be heard at 8:00 p.m. Saturdays on 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2, and online at

* This Sunday's "Jazz Unlimited" program on KWMU (90.7) will feature the eighth part of Dennis Owsley's documentary on the jazz history of St. Louis. This segment covers the 1990s, and will include music from Joe Charles, Herb Drury, Carolbeth True, the Kim Portnoy Big Band, Reggie and Mardra Thomas, Jean Kittrell and the Dixie Stompers, Christine Hitt, Asa Harris, and Denise Thimes, plus an interview with drummer Gary Sykes.

* Jefferson Barracks Park will be the site of a musicians swap meet to be held from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Saturday, June 8 and Sunday, June 9 at Jefferson Barracks Visitors Center. Tables are $10 and must be reserved by May 31. Admission is $1, which lets you enter the show and bring any instrument or music-related item to sell or trade. For more information or to reserve a space, call 314-544-5714 or email

* While singer Bobby McFerrin was in town to perform at the Sheldon Concert Hall earlier this month, he was interviewed by the PBS program Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. You can see both McFerrin and the Sheldon in the episode which airs at 10:30 a.m. this Sunday, May 26 on local PBS affiliate KETC (Channel 9) and also can be seen online.

* A new music store, Dead Wax Records, has opened on Cherokee St.

* Trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard, whose opera Champion will get its world premiere next month here at Opera Theatre St. Louis, also has a new jazz album, Magnetic, coming out next week. You can hear a preview of the album here. Blanchard also appeared this week on PBS' Tavis Smiley Show to talk about the album and the opera, and you can see that interview online here.

* And speaking of TV interviews, here's one that HEC-TV did recently with St. Louis Tap Festival founder Robert Reed. The annual festival, which each year features performances from some of the world's most accomplished tap dancers accompanied by live jazz music, takes place in July, with the grand finale on July 27 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Jazz this week: Freddy Cole & Harry Allen, Soul Rebels, Bluesweek, Dave Dickey Big Band, and more

There's a wide variety of jazz and creative music performances coming up this Memorial Day weekend in St. Louis, from straight-ahead jazz to New Orleans brass to big band to fusion and more. Let's go to the highlights...

Tonight, singer-pianist Freddy Cole and tenor saxophonist Harry Allen team up for the first of four evenings continuing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro. Cole, the brother of famed singer and pianist Nat "King" Cole, has played the Bistro to appreciative crowds several times in recent years, but this is the first time he'll be teamed with Allen, who draws inspiration from swing era tenor players like Lester Young, Ben Webster and Coleman Hawkins. For some videos of Allen performing, and a link to an earlier video post about Cole, see this post from a couple of weeks ago.

Also tonight, Sound Unlimited plays at Frontenac Grill; Dizzy Atmosphere will be at the Shaved Duck; and trumpeter Jim Manley will perform at Sasha's Wine Bar.

Tomorrow night, New Orleans' Soul Rebels will be in town to perform at the Old Rock House. The group offers their own hip-hop influenced twist on the traditional brass band sound, mixing in plenty of solo and group vocals and raps along with trumpets, trombone, sax, tuba and drums. You can see some video samples of the Soul Rebels in action in this post from last Saturday.

Also on Thursday, drummer Montez Coleman leads a tribute to Art Blakey at Robbie's House of Jazz  (which will be closed for the rest of the Memorial Day weekend); Miss Jubilee plays at the Thaxton Speakeasy; pianist and singer Jesse Gannon leads a trio at Oceano Bistro; and the "Kids Rock Cancer" benefit at the Sheldon Concert Hall will include performances by Erin Bode and Peter Martin.

Friday is the start of the annual Bluesweek festival, which will be held again at the Soldiers Memorial downtown, but with just one stage this year. The free event features plenty of blues, obviously, but also some acts that may be of interest to jazz listeners, including the New Orleans funk of Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue (pictured) on Friday night; a jazz guitar set with Tom Byrne, Dave Black and Eric Slaughter on Saturday afternoon: and a Fontella Bass tribute featuring singer Marsha Evans and the Coalition on Sunday. A complete schedule of Bluesweek events is here

Also on Friday, trombonist John Covelli's Jazz Co-Laboratory plays the music of Wayne Shorter at Cigar Inn, saxophonist Kristian Baarsvik leads a trio at Tavern of Fine Arts; and singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Dave Black will duet at Chaser's Lounge in the Chase Park Plaza Hotel.

On Saturday, Tom Byrne, leading his own band this time, will play at Thurman Grill, and Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will bring their jump blues and swing sound to the Wine Press.

Then on Sunday, the Dave Dickey Big Band plays their monthly gig at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company. Their special guest performers at intermission this month will be the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars, the student ensemble featuring some of the top high-school players from Jazz St. Louis' education programs.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Tuesday the jazz/rock/fusion band Steizuello returns to the Sheldon Concert Hall for a "Notes From Home" concert.

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.)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Snarky Puppy returning to Old Rock House
on Friday, August 9

From the Dept of "Well, That Didn't Take Long": Snarky Puppy (pictured), who just played in St. Louis earlier this month at The Demo, already have booked a return trip in the form of a gig at 8:30 p.m. Friday, August 9 at the Old Rock House.

This will be the the third St. Louis appearance in the last 12 months for the Texas-born, now Brooklyn-based funk/jazz/world music ensemble  (who, incidentally, were featured on StLJN in a Saturday video post before their last gig here.)

Tickets for the all-ages Snarky Puppy show at Old Rock House are $15 for general admission, and will go on sale at 5:00 p.m. this Thursday, May 23.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Recently on Heliocentric Worlds

Once YouTube lifted its restrictions on video length, a lot of complete concerts began to appear on the service, and over the past year some of the best of those videos subsequently are finding their way to StLJN's sibling site Heliocentric Worlds. Each day, there's a new online music video posted, drawing from genres including jazz, blues, soul, funk, classic rock, prog rock, and experimental, and many recent posts have featured full-length sets or complete shows lasting an hour or longer.

Artists in the spotlight this month have included Miles Davis, the Beatles, Sun Ra Arkestra, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan, Sex Mob, King Sunny Ade and His African Beats, Anthony Braxton Quartet, Brecker Brothers Band, Junior Wells and Buddy Guy, Arthur Blythe, Albert King, Lou Donaldson, George Duke Band, Steve Coleman, Clark Terry, Fats Domino, Herbie Hancock & the New Standard All-Stars, Rebirth Brass Band, Gato Barbieri, Kurt Elling, The Kinks, Aaron Neville, Steve Miller Band, Blood Sweat & Tears, Johnny "Guitar" Waston, Tower of Power, Grover Washington Jr., and Johnny Winter.

Sure, you could spend hours, days or even weeks rooting around YouTube trying to find the good stuff, but here, the virtual cream already has been skimmed for your listening and viewing enjoyment. And in addition to the clips noted above, there are thousands more music videos online in the carefully curated archives, all just waiting there for you at http//

Saturday, May 18, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
"Showtime" with the Soul Rebels

This week, our video spotlight focuses on the New Orleans brass band the Soul Rebels, who will be in St. Louis this coming Thursday, May 23 for a gig at the Old Rock House.

Formed in the mid-1990s by ex-members of the Young Olympia Brass Band to offer an updated take on the brass band tradition, the Soul Rebels perform weekly at a local spot called Le Bon Temps Roulé when they're home in New Orleans. In recent years, though, they've also traveled quite a bit, becoming regulars on the festival circuit both stateside at events like Bonnaroo and Electric Forest as well as overseas in Europe, Asia and Australia.

The Soul Rebels have recorded a total of seven albums, with their most recent (and first nationally distributed) release, Unlock Your Mind, coming out in 2012 from Rounder Records. One of the most notable things about them is the degree of hip-hop influence in their sound - they seem to use solo vocals, both singing and rapping, in their music much more often than other brass bands, and frequently have been known to serve up live cover versions of hits from the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye West and Outkast.

You can see and hear some examples of the Soul Rebels in action today in a half-dozen video clips, starting up above with a version of their song "Showtime," which, interesting enough, would seem to share some musical DNA with the theme from the old syndicated TV program Showtime at the Apollo). That track and "Let It Roll," heard down below, both were recorded last year at an in-store show at a record store in Orlando, FL and do a good job of demonstrating the influence of hip-hop on the Soul Rebels.

Below that, it's a medley of "Turn It Up" and "Roll, Rebel, Roll," also from 2012, which serves to further elucidate the connection between hip-hop and the traditional chants of a New Orleans street band.

Next up, the Rebels show off some other influences with a somewhat improbable yet effective cover version of "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This," which was a hit for the 1980s synth-pop band Eurythmics. Judging from the number of clips found on YouTube, the song seems to be a staple of their live show; this version was recorded in 2012 in Manchester in the UK.

The final two clips find the Soul Rebels back in their hometown, with a cover of Kanye West's "Touch The Sky" filmed at a place called DBA this past New Year's Eve, and three more songs - Stevie Wonder's "Living For The City," the original tune "Let Your Mind Be Free" and a reprise of "Showtime" - recorded earlier in 2012 at the Louisiana Music Factory.

For more of the Soul Rebels, check out their SoundCloud page and this interview published last year in, of all places, the Anchorage (AK) Daily News.

Friday, May 17, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

Photo of Miles Davis by Tom PalumboHere's the latest wrap-up of assorted links and short local news items of interest:

* Alto saxophonist Kendrick Smith was profiled by the St. Louis American's Bridjes O’Neil in a story spotlighting Smith's weekly Saturday matinees at Premiere Lounge.

* This week in Facebook photo albums, you can check out pix of Lionel Loueke at Jazz at the Bistro, Steizuello at Lindbergh High School and New Music Circle's presentation of Trinity Piano Trio at the William Kerr Foundation.

* The NYC brownstone at 312 West 77th St that formerly belonged to Miles Davis was named an official cultural landmark this week by the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission. Davis' nephew Vince Wilburn Jr., his former saxophonist George Coleman, and trumpeter Wallace Roney were among those present at a ceremony on Thursday unveiling a medallion placed on the building to commemorate the honor. Davis (pictured) bought the townhouse in 1958 and lived and worked there for the next 25 years.

* Saxophonist and composer John Zorn, who once upon a time studied at our town's Webster University, is celebrating his 60th birthday with "a series of concerts on four continents, including a marathon Sunday, May 19 at the Festival international de musique actuelle in Victoriaville."

* On the jazz radio beat, this Saturday on RAF-STL's "Somethin' Else," host Calvin Wilson will offer up a selection of jazz guitarists "from Montgomery to Metheny." Meanwhile, over at KWMU, Dennis Owsley continues his documentary history of St. Louis jazz on Sunday's "Jazz Unlimited" program with part seven of the series, which covers the 1970s and '80s and will include music from Exiles, David Parker, Asa Harris, Jasmine, Willie Akins and Kelvyn Bell.

* Farshid Soltanshahi of Farshid Etniko is doing the music for Upstream Theater's upcoming production of An Iliad, which will run from May 24 through June 9 at the Kranzberg Arts Center.

* The Post-Dispatch's Kevin Johnson offers his impression of one of actress/singer Molly Ringwald's sets on Tuesday at Jazz at the Bistro.

* Last but not least, woodwind retailer and repair shop Saxquest has given their website a brand new look, which you can see online now at the familiar URL of

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Marty Ehrlich, William Parker to be featured in New Music Circle's 2013-14 season

In the spring, the thoughts of performing arts presenters often turn to the announcement of the next season's schedule. Here in St. Louis, the Sheldon Concert Hall already has announced their various 2013-14 season series, and Jazz St. Louis is set to release next year's schedule for Jazz at the Bistro and the Touhill before the end of the month.

Meanwhile, although New Music Circle isn't quite ready yet to make a formal announcement of their own, NMC administrator Jeremy Kannapell was kind enough to share with StLJN a "sneak peek" at what the organization has planned for 2013-14.

The venues and exact dates are yet to be determined, but NMC's season once again will feature a mix of improvised and composed music and multimedia performances, this year with a bit of a Chicago accent thanks to two shows featuring artists from the Windy City.

First, though, NMC will begin their season in October with a performance from University City's own Marty Ehrlich (pictured). A multi-instrumentalist and composer who plays alto sax, clarinets and flutes, Ehrlich, who turns 58 this month, was influenced early in his career by St. Louis' Black Artists Group and was mentored by saxophonists Oliver Lake and Julius Hemphill.

After attending the New England Conservatory, in 1978 he moved moved to New York, where he's become part of the national and international music scene as both an in-demand sideman and soloist and a bandleader exploring different ways of blending composition and free improvisation. Ehrlich's St. Louis appearances in recent years have been too few and far between, so his visit home will be especially welcome.

Later on in October, NMC will present a concert by bassist William Parker's quartet. Considered to be one of the most important bassists in free jazz, Parker is highly regarded for his work with major musicians including Cecil Taylor, David S. Ware, Peter Brötzmann, Matthew Shipp and many others, as well as for being the organizer of the annual Vision Festival in New York City.

In November, Chicago electronic musician and sound artist Olivia Block, who appeared here in May 2012 as part of an NMC group showcase, will return to do a full length performance. Originally a rock guitarist and vocalist in Austin, TX, Block relocated to Chicago in 1996 and began composing music that incorporates a variety of electronic elements, from drones and glitches to computer-manipulated field recordings, as well as occasional acoustic instruments, too.

Block will be joined by her frequent collaborators, filmmakers/performers Luis Recoder and Sandra Gibson. The three have have been working together since 2007, and their best known piece "Untitled" has been performed at the Sundance Film Festival and in London, Los Angeles, Texas, and Naples, Italy. Gibson and Recoder employ a variety of live performance techniques, including some - film loops, spray bottles, colored gels, unfocused lenses and hand-shadows - that evoke memories of late 1960s psychedelic light shows, though they're used in different ways and for different ends. For more about Recoder, Gibson and "Untitled," check out this video interview.

After a break for the holidays, NMC will resume in February with a concert from bassist Joshua Abrams, who has worked with various groups in Chicago's improvised music scene. His credits include the band Town and Country, Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Ensemble, Jeb Bishop, and Hamid Drake, as well as leading a quartet with Guillermo Gregorio, Axel Dorner, and Jeff Parker, and the trio Sticks and Stones with Matana Roberts and Chad Taylor.

In March, NMC will present its annual showcase of St. Louis musicians, with the lineup still TBA at this point.

The season will conclude in April 2014 with a performance from the Claire Chase Quintet. Chase, 35, is a California native who studied music at Oberlin College before founding the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) in 2001. She has premiered over 100 new solo works for the flute incorporating extended techniques and electro-acoustic elements, and has played in diverse venues around the world as a soloist and chamber musician.

When New Music Circle releases their full season schedule complete with dates, venues and ticket prices, StLJN will have details for you right here.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Jazz this week: Molly Ringwald, Grand Marquis, "Great Guitars 2013," Hot Club of Cowtown, Bob Sheppard, Reunion Jazz Band, and more

In this slightly early edition of StLJN's weekly highlights post, we find a lineup of jazz and creative music performances that includes a movie star-turned-singer, plus a variety of musical styles ranging from jump blues and Western swing to straight-ahead jazz to fusion, both electric and acoustic. Let's see what's happening in the next few days....

Tonight, the aforementioned movie star, singer and actress Molly Ringwald (pictured), comes to town for the first of two evening at Jazz at the Bistro.

The daughter of a jazz pianist, Ringwald reportedly considered going into music even before she ever began acting in hit films like Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club. More  recently, she has acted and sung on stage in musicals such as Chicago. Now, nearly 30 years after conquering multiplexes all over the USA, she recently released her first album, Except Sometimes, to generally favorable notices. Though Ringwald's celebrity has attracted a measure of local media attention, there may be some tickets still remaining; call the Jazz St. Louis box office for the latest.

Also tonight, funk organ trio Downstereo plays their last regular Tuesday night gig at the Crow's Nest before going on a hiatus from performances to do some recording. According to the band's Facebook page, they'll also wrap up their weekly Thursday shows at Atomic Cowboy for the time being.

Tomorrow night, the Cabaret Project of St. Louis will present their monthly open mic night at the Tavern of Fine Arts, and singer Sarah Jane and a scaled-down version of her band the Blue Notes are playing at the Feasting Fox.

On Thursday, the Kansas City jump blues and swing band Grand Marquis will be back in town for a performance at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups.The group is preparing to release a new album, Blues and Trouble, next month, and so this gig likely will feature some of the 12 original songs from that project.

On Friday, Jazz at the Bistro offers up the first of two nights of a specially assembled program called "Great Guitars 2013," featuring six-string slingers Tom Byrne, Shaun Robinson and Eric Slaughter, backed by drummer Montez Coleman and bassist Jahmal Nichols. Byrne and Slaughter have been doing some gigs together recently, so they've already got some shared repertoire as a result of that; an email from Byrne says this weekend's gigs will feature a mix of originals and covers with a jazz-fusion sound.

Also Friday, the jazz/Western swing trio Hot Club of Cowtown will be in Edwardsville to perform at the Wildey Theatre; pianist Ptah Williams brings his trio to the Cigar Inn; and singer Tony Viviano and his band will return to Fortel's Creve Coeur.

On Saturday, the Bosman Twins will reunite with some old friends for a gig billed as the Reunion Jazz Band at Robbie's House of Jazz; singer Feyza Eren will perform at the Wine Press; and guitarist Randy Bahr and pianist Carolbeth True will be at One 19 North Tapas and Wine Bar.

On Sunday afternoon, saxophonist Bob Sheppard, who's toured with Steely Dan and recorded countless sessions for TV, movies and albums, will be in town for a free concert and clinic at Saxquest.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday saxophonist "Blind" Willie Dineen and the Broadway Collective are at BB's; and the eclectic acoustic quartet The 442s, with multi-instrumentalist Adam Maness and bassist Syd Rodway of Erin Bode's group plus violinist Shawn Weil and cellist Bjorn Ranheim, plays at the Tavern of Fine Arts.

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.)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Vintage tenor time with Harry Allen

Today, let's take a look at some video clips featuring tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, who will team up with pianist and singer Freddy Cole for a four-night run starting Wednesday, May 22 through Saturday, May 25 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Given his generation, Allen, 46, is something of a musical throwback, as he's been heavily influenced by the pre-WWII swing tradition of tenor saxophonists such as Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Lester Young and their successors like Stan Getz and Zoot Sims, rather than by the more standard list of recent modern icons like Coltrane, Rollins and Shorter. Drawing primarily on a repertoire of familiar standards, Allen is known especially for his ballad playing, and his overall musical sensibility should make for a good cross-generational pairing with the 81-year-old Cole, brother of legendary singer-pianist Nat "King" Cole.

By way of examples, here are a half-dozen videos showing recent performances by Allen of a mix of ballads and swing tunes. The first track, "Blues in A flat," features the saxophonist with a rhythm section of pianist Rossano Sportiello, bassist Joel Forbes, and drummer Chuck Riggs, and was recorded in June of last year at Feinstein's in NYC.

Down below, you can hear Allen take on the ballad standard "My Romance," abetted by Sportiello, bassist Glenn Holmes and drummer Bill Ransom in September 2011 at Jazz at Chautauqua in New York.

The third clip features Allen playing "If I Were A Bell" with Allen Farnham (piano), Bill Moring (bass) and Steve Johns (drums) in April 2010 at the Union County Performing Arts Center New Jersey. That's followed by another classic ballad, "I'm in the Mood for Love," as rendered by Allen, Sporiello, bassist Richard Simon and drummer Ed Metz in April 2012 at the Atlanta Jazz Party.

We close with two more videos from June 2012 at Feinstein's, in which Allen and the rhythm section are joined by trumpeter Jon-Erik Kellso and former Duke Ellington orchestra baritone saxophonist Joe Temperly. In "Sweet Georgia Brown," note that Allen's solo starting at around 3:28 includes some licks that border on bebop, and there's also what sure sounds like a quote of the "Salt Peanuts" lick in the closing trading of eights and fours. The final track features Allen and friends on "Did You Call Her Today" and "In A Mellotone."

To see some videos of Freddy Cole, who will team with Allen at the Bistro, check out this post that preceded Cole's last appearance at the Bistro in 2010.

Friday, May 10, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Tonight's New Music Circle concert featuring Trinity Piano Trio was previewed by Terry Perkins of the St. Louis Beacon and Sarah Bryan Miller of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

* Actress/singer Molly Ringwald, who will be in St. Louis to perform next Tuesday and Wednesday at Jazz at the Bistro, had a few words with the P-D's Kevin Johnson.

* Oliver Lake's recent big band release Wheels was reviewed by Aaron Cohen and made an Editors' Pick in the latest issue of DownBeat, while All Decks, the saxophonist and former St. Louisan's recent collaborative effort with Christian Weber and Dieter Ulrich, was reviewed by John Sharpe for

* Singer and former St. Louisan Jan Shapiro's latest CD Piano Bar After Hours was reviewed by's C. Michael Bailey.

* Saxophonist David Sanborn is profiled in the latest issue of the American Federation of Musicians' publication International Musician. Sanborn and keyboardist Bob James are about to launch a tour in support of their new collaborative album Quartette Humaine, and to promote it, they've also released a "making of" video and are offering a free download of a sample track, "Deep In The Weeds," from the recording.

* Speaking of Sanborns, longtime local DJ and impresario Rick Sanborn (no relation to David) will be a guest on this Saturday night's broadcast of "The Jazz Collective" with Jason Church. The program airs at 9:00 p.m. as part of the Saturday night jazz block on Radio Arts Foundation-St. Louis' new classical station, following the syndicated "Jazz at Lincoln Center" at 7:00 p.m. and "Somethin' Else" with Calvin Wilson at 8:00 p.m.. RAF-STL's programming can be heard on 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2, and online at

* And while we're on the radio beat, the sixth part of Dennis Owsley's audio documentary on the history of St. Louis jazz, covering the Black Artists Group of the late 1960s and early 1970s, will air during Owsley's "Jazz Unlilmited" program at 9:00 p.m. this Sunday on KWMU (90.7 FM). Also, the Sheldon Art Galleries have announced that they will reprise the companion exhibition for Owsley's book City of Gabriels: The History of Jazz in St. Louis, 1895-1973 this summer from June 7 until August 17.

* Saxophonist Fred Walker (pictured) is one of the plaintiffs in a suit filed this week by the American Civil Liberties Union challenging the City of St. Louis' new licensing requirements for street performers. The suit alleges that, by forcing performers to audition and charging a $100 fee for a permit, the ordinance violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments with vague terms that outlaw “a substantial amount of expressive activity.”

* Lastly, filmmaker Rod Milam sent a link to a brief video showing artist and fellow U City native Tom Seltzer installing his original limited edition prints of portraits of jazz greats at Dizzy's On 5th in Park Slope in Brooklyn, NYC. The show went up this past Sunday, May 5 and will hang until November 2013. Seltzer's subjects include Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and Sonny Rollins. The images can be seen online and prints purchased at

Thursday, May 09, 2013

Saxophonist held on bomb threat charges

Police in St. Louis County are holding saxophonist William Schafer on charges of making a false bomb threat following an incident Wednesday in Creve Coeur Park.

According to a report by Joel Currier published earlier today by, Schafer "went in Creve Coeur Park at lunchtime Wednesday to play his saxophone, police say. He carried it in a case, approached a group of people and told them he had a bomb hidden in his sax case."

"The people got scared, police said. They called 911. Maryland Heights officers arrived, found Schafer tooting his horn in the park and arrested him."

"He admitted telling people about a bomb in the sax case, but claimed he was simply touting his saxophone skills, court documents say. Nonetheless, St. Louis County prosecutors charged him Thursday with making a false bomb threat. Maryland Heights police took Schafer to jail, where he is being held on a $25,000 bail."

An online bio says Schafer is a graduate of the University of Missouri and Maryville University, and a search shows he's played with some reasonably well-known local groups including the Brian Sullivan Quartet, the Pat Sajak Assassins, and several others. Known in some online fora as "jazzresin," he's studied to be a music therapist and has been around the St. Louis scene long enough to have made jazz historian and DJ Dennis Owsley's honor roll of notable local musicians.

Add it all up, and Schafer sounds not like a legitimate threat to public safety, but rather someone who made a bad joke and then possibly got stupid with a cop. Not something to be encouraged or applauded, certainly, but not something that merits a disproportionate use of scarce local law enforcement, correctional and court resources, either. Here's hoping the County prosecutor will reconsider at first opportunity and adjust the charge and bond to something more appropriate, or drop them entirely. 

In the wake of the recent bombing in Boston, a certain amount of caution is understandable, but in this case, do you think the authorities in Maryland Heights and St. Louis County are over-reacting? You can weigh in with your comments below, and in the meantime, StLJN will be following further developments in this story.

Update - 4:15 p.m., 5/10/13: A message on Schafer's Facebook page says that he's been released after posting 10% of the $25,000 bail bond. More as we get it...

Photo from William Schafer's profile on 

Paul Taylor, Denny Jiosa presenting free workshops at Mozingo Music

Mozingo Music is presenting two workshops next month that may be of interest to local jazz musicians and fans.

Saxophonist Paul Taylor will be at Mozingo's O'Fallon store, 4689 Highway K, to present a workshop, performance, and "meet and greet" at 6:00 p.m. Friday, June 14. Taylor, an endorser for Cannonball Saxophones, has released eight albums as a leader and collaborated with jazz and R&B acts including the Rippingtons, LaToya London, Regina Belle and Terry Dexter. He'll be in town to perform the next night, Saturday, June 15, at the Chesterfield Amphitheater.

Next up, Nashville-based guitarist and engineer Denny Jiosa will present a program focusing on guitar effects at 7:00 p.m. Monday, June 24 at Mozingo's O'Fallon store. Jiosa (pictured) has a released a half-dozen albums as a bandleader, and also has been nominated four times for Grammy Awards as a recording engineer. An endorser of TC Electronics, he'll be demonstrating how he uses the company's line of pedals and guitar effects. TC Electronics reps will be on hand, and the store will offer special pricing on products from the company.

Both events are free and open to the public.

(Edited after posting to correct the day of the Paul Taylor event.)

Michael Buble to perform Saturday, September 14 at Scottrade Center

Singer Michael Buble is returning to St. Louis to perform at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, September 14 at the Scottrade Center.

The retro-style crooner will be touring in support of his new album To Be Loved, which was released in April. His last show in St. Louis was in June 2010 at the Scottrade Center.

Tickets for Michael Buble (pictured) are priced from $54.50 to $110, and will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. next Friday, May 17 via Ticketmaster.

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Jazz this week: Lionel Loueke, Snarky Puppy, Trinity Piano Trio, Denise Thimes, and more

From Africa to outer space to New Orleans, NYC and beyond, this week's jazz and creative music performances in St. Louis cover a lot of ground. Let's go the highlights:

Tonight, guitarist and singer Lionel Loueke opens a four-night gig at Jazz at the Bistro. The Benin-born, Berklee-educated guitarist and singer has played in St. Louis before as a sideman with Herbie Hancock, but this will be his local debut as a leader fronting his own trio. For more about Loueke, and some video samples of him in action, check out this video post from the week before last.

Also tonight, singer Joe Mancuso leads a quartet at Frontenac Grill; and the St. Charles Community College Jazz Band plays a free show at the Shook Fine Arts Building on the SLCC campus. The concert also will feature some music from the faculty sextet, which includes trombonist Dave Dickey, trumpeter Keith Moyer, pianist Carolbeth True, guitarist Randy Bahr, bassist Eric Warren, and drummer Kevin Gianino.

Tomorrow night, the jazz/funk/world-music band Snarky Puppy returns to St. Louis, this time to perform at The Demo. The group's expansive sound defies easy description, but you can get a feel for what they're all about by checking out this video post from last Saturday.

Also on Thursday, Good 4 The Soul plays an early evening set at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups; and Miss Jubilee performs at the Thaxton Speakeasy.

On Friday, New Music Circle presents what's being billed as "a celebration of Sun Ra's 99th birthday" featuring the Trinity Piano Trio (pictured) at the William A. Kerr Foundation, 21 O'Fallon St. on Laclede's Landing.

Violinist Manuela Kaymakanova, cellist Tracy Andreotti and pianist Amanda Kirkpatrick will perform a program of original works from area composers, inspired to varying degrees by the legacy of the visionary pianist, composer and bandleader. The more explicit references include a Fred Tompkins piece based on the melody of Ra's "Space Is The Place", and something from Jim Hegarty incorporating ideas from several of Ra's pieces, but there also will be new compositions by Eric Hall, Robert Wykes, Michael F. Hunt, Adam Maness, Serban Nichifor, and Andreotti herself.

Also Friday, drummer Marty Morrison leads a quartet with saxophonist Jason Swagler, trumpeter Ross McCliff and bassist Bob DeBoo, playing the music of Ornette Coleman at Cigar Inn; singer and pianist Al Oxenhandler joins forces with saxophonist Jay Hutson and his band Da Wolvez for a gig at Robbie's House of Jazz; and the Funky Butt Brass Band plays at the Broadway Oyster Bar.

On Saturday afternoon, saxophonist Joel Vanderheyden and Koplant No will play a free concert at Saxquest. Vanderheyden is assistant professor of music and director of jazz at Jefferson College in Hillsboro; Koplant No, which mixes jazz, electronic music, and prog rock, also includes Brian Lewis Smith on trumpet and laptop, Drew Morton on bass, and Rob Baner on drums and samples.

Then on Saturday evening, trumpeter Randy Holmes will lead a quintet performing music from the Miles Davis groups of the 1950s and 1960s at Robbie's House of Jazz.

On Sunday afternoon, singer Denise Thimes will star in her annual Mother's Day show at the Sheldon Concert Hall. The concert will be preceded by an optional buffet dinner; for more about that, see the event page on the Sheldon's website.

Also on Sunday afternoon, the Kirkwood United Church of Church presents another concert in their "Inner Jazz' series, featuring music from the B-V-D Trio with bassist Dave Troncoso, vibraphonist Tom Rickard, drummer Brian May, and the series' host, Rev. Cliff Aerie, on saxophone.

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.)

Monday, May 06, 2013

Jazz St. Louis announces summer lineup for Jazz at the Bistro

Jazz St. Louis has announced the lineup of local acts that will play this summer at Jazz at the Bistro. The schedule is:

Friday, May 31 & Saturday, June 1:
Two Times True with Larry Johnson

Friday, June 7 & Saturday, June 8:
Rick Haydon Group

Friday, June 14 & Saturday, June 15:
Willie Akins/Montez Coleman Group

Friday, June 21: Adaron “Pops” Jackson & Phil Dunlap with Jahmal Nichols and Marty Morrison

Friday, June 28 & Saturday, June 29: Erin Bode sings the Great American Songbook

Friday, July 5 & Saturday, July 6: Farshid Etniko featuring Sandy Weltman

Friday, July 12 & Saturday. July 13: Anita Jackson

Friday, July 19 & Saturday, July 20: Tim Cunningham (pictured)

Friday, July 26 & Saturday, July 27: Good 4 The Soul

Tickets are priced at $25 for the Akins/Coleman group, Jackson & Dunlap, and Bode, and $20 for the other shows. Tickets go on sale at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, May 7 and can be purchased via Metrotix or by calling the Jazz St. Louis box office at 314-289-4030.

Saturday, May 04, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
A Snarky Puppy sampler

This week, let's take a look at some clips featuring Snarky Puppy, the Texas-born, Brooklyn-based funk/jazz/world music band who are coming back to St. Louis to perform this coming Thursday, May 9 at The Demo.

Three-time winners of "Best Jazz Act" in the the Dallas Observer's Music Awards, Snarky Puppy is a loosely structured collective led by bassist Michael League and made up primarily of musicians who studied in the jazz program at the University of North Texas in Denton.

They've played St. Louis several times now, most recently back in August 2012 at The Gramophone, and to date have released five CDs of original music plus a CD/DVD set called GroundUP that came out in 2012. For their next release, in February they did a live recording with singer Lalah Hathaway and other guest stars that's also set to come out as CD/DVD set.

With an ensemble that can range in numbers from a touring band of seven or eight on up to a studio contingent of 20, Snarky Puppy offers what's essentially a contemporary take on funk and fusion, laid out in multi-part compositions, layered with percussion and occasionally veering off into odd-meter grooves that keep things from getting too predictable.

By way of examples, today's first two clips come from a gig in March of this year in Paris. The first track up above is "Binky," and down below, it's "Young Stuff," which features some impromptu pre-song dialog from League about the band's experiences on tour. We round out the program with four tracks from a show in April 2013 at Brooklyn Bowl in New York: "Flood," "Skate U," "Thing of Gold" and "What About Me?"

For more about Snarky Puppy, check out this audio interview with Michael League, recorded last month before the band's appearance at a music festival in Oregon; this interview that League did with; and this review of a recent show in London.

Friday, May 03, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Euclid Records has completed their move to new digs and is now open for business at 19 N. Gore in Webster Groves, as documented by the local edition of

* The fifth part of Dennis Owsley's documentary on St. Louis jazz history will air during his program "Jazz Unlimited" at 9:00 p.m. this Sunday on KWMU (90.7 FM). This installment covers the Gaslight Square period of the late 1950s and 1960s, and features music from Sammy Gardner, Singleton Palmer, Muggsy Sprecher, the St. Louis Ragtimers, Ceil Clayton, Clea Bradford, Jeanne Trevor and the Quartet Tres Bien, and others, plus interviews with Jeter Thompson, Norman Menne and Joe Buerger. Previous installments can be heard online on KWMU's website.

* Erin Bode (pictured) is the subject of a new episode of HEC-TV's program A Conversation With..., which features a half-hour long interview with the singer.

* Alarm Will Sound has posted to their Facebook page an album of photos from last week's performance of 1969 at the Touhill, plus a video from the show of bassist/guitarist Miles Brown re-creating a Hendrix-at-Woodstock style version of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

* Speaking of videos, here's a clip of electronic musician Joe Raglani performing last weekend at mushmaus.

* And speaking of photosets, here's one from the Dave Dickey Big Band's performance on Sunday at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company.

* Also, via KDHX, here are some photos of the show by guitarist Bill Frisell and his band Beautiful Dreamers last Sunday at the Old Rock House.

* Pianist and bandleader Kevin Mitchell has been named editorial director of a group of music magazines including Musical Merchandise Review (MMR), School Band & Orchestra (SBO), JAZZed, and Choral Director. Mitchell is a longtime freelance contributor to publications run by the magazines' new owners, Timeless Communication Corp.

* St. Louis University and the Kwame Foundation are sponsoring a jazz composition competition for high school seniors in the St. Louis area. Entry deadline is September 1, and you can get the details here.