Saturday, September 28, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
A Marty Ehrlich sampler

This week StLJN's video spotlight shines on multi-instrumentalist, composer and former St. Louisan Marty Ehrlich, who will be performing with his Rites Quartet in a concert presented by New Music Circle at 7:30 p.m. next Friday, October 4 at the Kranzberg Arts Center.

Ehrlich, who's 58, grew up in University City and was influenced early on by the music of St. Louis' Black Artists Group and Human Arts Ensemble, with saxophonist Julius Hemphill serving as a particularly important example and mentor. After attending the New England Conservatory of Music, Ehrlich moved to New York, where he has established himself as a noteworthy soloist, composer, bandleader and sideman working on a variety of musical projects with many different collaborators.

Though many critics and fans tend to think of Ehrlich as an avant-garde or experimental musician, his work encompasses a range of approaches, from free improvisation to completely notated compositions, and  today we've got a half-dozen videos that demonstrate that by showing him at work with several different ensembles.

The first clip features the Rites Quartet, which consists of Ehrlich (alto sax and clarinets), James Zollar (trumpet), Hank Roberts (cello), and Michael Sarin (drums). They're seen here in October 2010 in Linz, Austria, performing "Rites Rhythms" from their 2009 album Things Have Got To Change.

Down below is another clip of the group, labeled "Fun Fair a Dusk" that was recorded just a few days later on the same tour in Hradec Kralove in the Czech Republic.

The rest of today's videos show Ehrlich performing with other groups, starting with "Hear You Sing," recorded in 2007 in Bruges, Belgium. This video features Ehrlich with a completely different quartet, with James Weidman on keyboards and melodica, Allison Miller on drums, and Brad Jones on bass. The fourth clip shows yet another foursome, this one co-led by Ehrlich and trombonist Ray Anderson, with Jones on bass and John Betsch on drums.

The fifth video features Ehrlich playing bass clarinet on "Solace" in an excerpt from a performance by his sextet, which includes Anderson and Zollar as well as David Berkman on piano, Greg Cohen on bass and Matt Wilson on drums. The sixth and final clip has excerpts from a duo show by Ehrlich and bassist John Lindberg, recorded in 2009 in NYC.

In addition to his concert on Friday, on the evening of Thursday, October 3, Ehrlich will take part in a public discussion and Q&A with Dennis Owsley, host of KWMU's "Jazz Unlimited." The free event, also sponsored by New Music Circle, will take place at 7:00 p.m. at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar.

Owsley also will broadcast an interview with Ehrlich in the 9:00 p.m. hour of his program this Sunday, September 29. You can hear the program on 90.7 FM, or tune in online at

Friday, September 27, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Ethan Iverson, pianist with The Bad Plus, will be interviewed at noon today (Friday) on the "Cityscape" program on KWMU (90.7 FM).

Iverson will discuss TBP's visit next week to St. Louis, which includes a series of free public discussions and a concert featuring their interpretation of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring. (If you miss the broadcast, "Cityscape" programs are archived online here.)

On the same subject, TBP bassist Reid Anderson talked with the Post-Dispatch's Calvin Wilson for a brief preview story about the various events.

Lastly, one more free public program featuring The Bad Plus has been added to the schedule announced earlier this week. "Bridging the Divide: Where Jazz Meets Classical" will take place at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, October 1 at the 560 Music Center, and will focus on the group's "approach to integrating two musical art forms often seen as being on the opposite of the spectrum."

* Multi-instrumentalist and St. Louis expat Marty Ehrlich, who's returning his old hometown to play with his Rites Quartet n a concert presented by New Music Circle next Friday at the Kranzberg Arts Center, was interviewed about the concert by the St. Louis American's Chris King.

* Here's an interview with saxophonist and former St. Louisan Oliver Lake previewing his show next week at NYC's Roulette featuring a string quartet and pianist Vijay Iyer. (who recently was named one of the 2013 winners of a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant." )

* St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts has announced their fall slate of educational programs for artists, starting with a workshop called "Get Down to Business: Ask the Music Lawyer" at 7:00 p.m. next Thursday, October 3 at Mangia Italiano, 3145 South Grand. The free event is co-sponsored by KDHX.

SLVAA's "Business Edge" programs this fall will include "Career Planning for Artists" (Monday, October 7), "Getting Your Project Together" (October 14), "Marketing Basics and Professional Presentation" (October 28) "Your Art, Your Brand: An Artist's Guide to Being Noticeable and Getting Noticed" (November 11).

All the "Business Edge" workshops start at 7:00 p.m. and are held at Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar. The cost is $10 in advance, $15 at the door, but there are a limited number of scholarships available for those who can't afford to pay. For more information, call SLVAA at 314-863-6930, or you can download a registration form here (.pdf file).

* The Riverfront Times' Best of St. Louis award for 2013 were announced this week, with the Bosman Twins (pictured) taking the trophy for "Best Jazz Artist" and Jazz at the Bistro winning "Best Jazz Club." Other winners of interest to local jazz fans include Josh Weinstein's "All Soul No Borders" on KDHX as "Best Radio Show (Music)" and Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center as "Best All-Ages Venue."  You can see the complete list of this year's winners here.

* Jazz radio update: In the latest from Radio Arts Foundation - St. Louis, this Saturday's edition of Calvin Wilson's "Somethin' Else" will feature tracks from notable jazz duos including Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter, Benny Green and Russell Malone, and Pat Metheny and Charlie Haden.

Then on Jason Church's "The Jazz Collective," the first hour is all about guitars, with music from Wes Montgomery, Pat Metheny, Count Basic, Eric Clapton, Joyce Cooling and B.D. Lenz. Hour two will present tunes from St. Louis musicians including Tim Cunningham, Jesse Gannon, Jim Manley and the Bosman Twins, plus Ella Fitzgerald, Donald Byrd, the Brand New Heavies, and more.

Wilsons program can be heard at 8:00 p.m. Saturdays, followed by Church's program at 9:00 p.m.,  via 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2 and online at

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Jazz this week: The Wee Trio, Yellowjackets, Ronnie Burrage, Dianne Reeves & Peter Martin, Diana Krall, Ahleuchatistas, and more

It's a jam-packed week for jazz and creative music in St. Louis, so much so that there's no time to even attempt a clever opening paragraph for this post. So let's go straight to the highlights...

Tonight, the St. Louis Jazz Orchestra presents "A Tribute to Maynard Ferguson" with guest soloist Jim Manley on trumpet at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

Also tonight, The Wee Trio, featuring St. Louis native Dan Loomis on bass, is in town to support the release of their new album Live at the Bistro, and will perform at Jefferson College's Fine Arts Theatre, 1000 Viking Dr in Hillsboro.

However, if you can't make it to Jefferson County tonight, there's another chance to hear The Wee Trio on Wednesday night, as they're playing at the Viragh Center for the Arts, Chaminade College Prep, 425 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

Also on Wednesday, Yellowjackets will open the 2013-14 Jazz at the Bistro season with the first of four nights of performances at the club. The celebrated contemporary jazz group is touring in support of their new album A Rise In The Road and features a new member, bassist Felix Pastorius, son of legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius.

On Thursday, drummer and U. City native Ronnie Burrage, back in town to be inducted into the University City High School Hall of Fame, will perform at Robbie's House of Jazz in the first of his three gigs here this week.

That same evening, singer Dianne Reeves and pianist Peter Martin are the headliners for "Divas For a Cause 3," a benefit for the local not-for-profit organization Beyond Housing that will take place at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Fulfilling the event name's promise of multiple divas, St., Louis' own Denise Thimes and Erin Bode also will perform.

Also on Thursday, Italian pianist Antonio Figura will perform a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University, supported by locals William Lenihan on bass and Steve Davis on drums.

On Friday, singer and pianist Diana Krall (pictured) returns to St. Louis for the first time since 2007, bringing her "Glad Rag Doll" tour to the Fox Theatre. The concert will feature music from Krall's latest album, which offers her interpretations of early jazz and pop music from the 1920s.

Also on Friday, Ronnie Burrage and Band Burrage will play the first of two nights at the Kranzberg Arts Center; singer Tony Viviano performs at Fortel's in Creve Coeur; and singer Feyza Eren will be at the Tavern of Fine Arts.

On Saturday afternoon, Yellowjackets saxophonist Bob Mintzer will present a free saxophone clinic and workshop at Saxquest.

Then on Saturday evening, the experimental/noise music duo Ahleuchatistas will headline a show at Schlafly St. Louis Brewery & Tap Room celebrating the fifth anniversary of the KDHX program "Wrong Division."

Also on Saturday, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes perform at the Venice Cafe; singer and flute player Erika May and Friends will play at Robbie's House of Jazz; and singer Joe Mancuso and pianist Nick Schlueter will duet at the house concert venue KindaBlue Club, 6101 1/2 Idaho.

On Sunday, Miss Jubilee will be doing back-to-back shows in St. Charles, performing in the afternoon at Magpie's and in the evening at the Moonshine Blues Bar.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday The Bad Plus will take part in a free lunchtime presentation and discussion at the Tavern of Fine Arts, previewing their performance next week of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring; and "Blind" Willie Dineen and the Broadway Collective will play their monthly gig at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups.

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 adds three free events
to next week's schedule for The Bad Plus

Jazz St. Louis has announced three additional free events featuring The Bad Plus to be presented next week leading up to the group's previously announced Thursday night performance of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring at the Viragh Center for the Arts at Chaminade College Prep.

The first event, "Re-Imagining Stravinsky" is billed as "a lunchtime conversation/demonstration" with TBP's Ethan Iverson, Dave King, and Reid Anderson that will take place from noon to 1:00 p.m. next Monday, September 30 at the Tavern of Fine Arts.

Next up, "Inside the Creative Process: The Compositions of The Bad Plus" will be presented from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, October 1 at Webster University's Community Music School, in Room 11 of the main CMS building at 535 Garden Ave. For this event, Anderson, Iverson and King (pictured, from left) will "shed light on their music, concept, and compositions."

Then on Tuesday evening, a program called "New Directions in Improvised and Creative Music - The Future of Jazz: A Conversation Led by The Bad Plus" will be presented from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Blank Space, 2847 Cherokee St. The event will feature the three members of The Bad Plus in "a public conversation on the direction of jazz, improvised, and creative music."

All three events and the Thursday night performance are free and open to the public, but seating is limited and on a first-come, first served basis. For more information, call Jazz St. Louis at 314-289-4030.

(Edited after posting to correct Monday's date.)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Ronnie Burrage homecoming week to include three performances, induction into University City HS Hall of Fame

University City native Ronnie Burrage no doubt has had many weeks packed with activity while touring the world as drummer for jazz legends including Joe Zawinul, McCoy Tyner and Wayne Shorter.

These days, though he may travel a bit less now that he's teaching at Penn State University, he continues to maintain a busy schedule of gigging and recording in addition to his classroom commitments.

So you'd think maybe that when Burrage (pictured) decided to come home for a few days, he might want to just take it easy, hang out, see some family and friends, that sort of thing. Instead, his trip back to St. Louis this week bears scant resemblance to a vacation, with a live TV appearance with his band; three gigs at two different venues; and an induction ceremony in which he'll enter the Hall of Fame for his alma mater University City High School.

Burrage, who graduated from UCHS in 1978, will be honored along with 10 other alumni including a Nevada Supreme Court justice and a NASA scientist in a ceremony and banquet on Friday at the Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel, held as part of the school's homecoming weekend.

The UCHS Hall of Fame was established in 1999 and now numbers 110 graduates among its members, including playwright Tennessee Williams, hip-hop performer Cornell “Nelly” Haynes, Oakland A's co-owner Lewis Nelson Wolff, and philanthropist E. Desmond Lee. This year's inductees also will participate in the school's homecoming parade, which begins at 10:00 a.m. Saturday and goes from the Delmar Loop to the high school at 7401 Balson Ave.

Before that, though, on Tuesday Burrage and his eponymous ensemble Band Burrage will perform live on the morning newscast on local Fox affiliate KTVI, appearing in the 9:00 a.m. hour with host Tim Ezell. (You can see a clip of Burrage's last visit to the station here.)

In addition to the leader on drums and keyboards, Band Burrage also includes another St. Louisan, guitarist Eric Slaughter, plus saxophonist Rick Tate, bassist Nimrod Speaks and singer Shenel Johns.

After their TV appearance, they'll perform three live shows this week. On Thursday, they'll play at Robbie's House of Jazz. Then after the Hall of Fame ceremony on Friday, and again on Saturday, Burrage and company will move to midtown for two sets per night at the Kranzberg Arts Center.

All three gigs will featured material from the group's forthcoming CD Heal, which includes original songs by Burrage, Tate, Speaks, and saxophonist Alain Bradette.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Fall 2013 jazz preview, part 4

Today, it's part 4 of StLJN's Fall 2013 jazz preview, in which we offer video samples of the various jazz and creative musicians coming to our town before the end of the year. (Here's part one, part two, and part three.)

Our preview resumes at the beginning of November with guitarist Peter Bernstein, who will be appearing with pianist Peter Martin on Saturday, November 2 at the Sheldon Concert Hall as part of Martin's eponymous concert series there. Bernstein, whose notable credits include stints with Diana Krall, Lou Donaldson, the all-star Blue Note 7, and many others, is seen in the first clip up above playing "Penthouse Serenade" in June 2012 at Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music.

Down below, the next clip offers a look at trumpeter and pianist Ben Polcer, who will be leading the band providing music for this year's Nevermore Jazz Ball Saturday night dance, also on November 2. Polcer, who lives in New Orleans, will assemble a group specifically for the St. Louis gig; he's seen here with the band known as His Swingin' Six, including vocalist Mischa Lake, performing "24 Robbers."

The following week, singer and pianist Ann Hampton Callaway returns to St. Louis to perform Wednesday, November 6 through Saturday, November 9 at Jazz at the Bistro. Callaway, who last played the Bistro in 2011, is seen here in the studios of KPLU radio in Seattle, improvising song lyrics based on words and phrases suggested by the audience, which on this occasion included "sunshine in Seattle," "home for wayward girls," "basketball" and "snuffleupagus."

A couple of days later, Trombone Shorty and his band Orleans Avenue return to St. Louis to play Monday, November 11 at the Old Rock House. Shorty, aka Troy Andrews, last played here for the Bluesweek festival in May; in this clip, you can see him performing "Big 12."

Next up, it's violinist Regina Carter, who's returning to play Wednesday, November 20 throguh Saturday November 23 at Jazz at the Bistro. When she was here to play the Bistro a couple of years ago, Carter performed with the the band from her album Reverse Thread, with whom she can be seen here playing “Zerapiky,” a folk song from Madagascar. The quartet for this fall tour includes the drummer from that band, Alvester Garnett, as well as pianist Xavier Davis and bassist Jesse Murphy, which, absent Reverse Thread's accordion and kora, suggests at least a partial return to a more straight-ahead sound.

The week after Carter is town, trumpeter, singer and U City native Jeremy Davenport will return home from new Orleans to play his annual post-Thanksgiving dates here on Friday November 29 and Saturday, November 30 at Jazz at the Bistro. In today's sixth clip, shot by an audience member at the French Quarter Festival in April of this year, Davenport offers his version of the standard "Bourbon Street Parade."

The following week, guitarist Pat Martino will play Wednesday, December 4 through Saturday, December 7 at the Bistro. Martino, who's been to St. Louis many times and last played the Bistro in 2010, is seen in the sixth clip performing Thelonious Monk's "Round Midnight" earlier this year at a jazz festival in Salerno, Italy.

The next show on the calendar is a bit harder to preview, as pianist Marc Copland, bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Joey Baron aren't really a regular working unit and thus there's no video online of them all playing together. So, to give you at least taste of what to expect when they join forces to play Friday, December 6 at 560 Music Center, we've got two clips. The first features Copland and guitarist John Abercrombie dueting on "Speak to Me" at a concert last year in Vienna; the second is a profile of Baron, produced for German television.

Today's final video features two more musicians who should be quite familiar to local audiences, singer/guitarist John Pizzarelli, who's done more gigs here in the last decade than just about any other touring jazz musician, and his dad, the legendary guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli. For this visit to our town, the Pizzarellis will team up for performances on Wednesday, December 18 through Saturday, December 21 at Jazz at the Bistro. The video is a short feature story about them, with musical excerpts, produced by a New Jersey public TV station and filmed at the Shanghai Jazz Club in Madison, NJ.

Friday, September 20, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* "Jazz Unlimited" host Dennis Owsley will will serve as interviewer and moderator for a discussion with multi-instrumentalist and composer Marty Ehrlich at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, October 3 at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar Blvd.

Ehrlich, who grew up in University City, will play with his Rites Quartet in a concert presented by New Music Circle the following evening, Friday, October 4, at the Kranzberg Arts Center. The Ehrlich/Owsley conversation is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

* Saxophonist and St. Louis expat Greg Osby (pictured) talked to London Jazz News about his upcoming appearance at the Whirlwind Festival in UK.

* Trumpeter Russell Gunn, raised in East St. Louis and now living in Atlanta, has a new album, Elektrik Funeral, out this month on the Atlanta-based indie label Hot Shoe Records. Described as "inspired by the work of the Brecker Brothers Heavy Metal Bebop and the music of the classic Black Sabbath lineup," the album features a cover version of Sabbath's "War Pigs" and guest appearances from musicians including saxophonist Branford Marsalis, pianist Robert Glasper, and trombonists Andre Hayward and Fred Wesley.

* A new short film, Trane and Miles, takes a fictionalized look at Miles Davis and John Coltrane in 1959 during the recording of Davis' landmark album Kind of Blue.

* Saxophonist Eric Person (also from St. Louis, now living in Brooklyn, NY) has posted on Facebook an album of pictures from his big band's first live gig earlier this month at NYC's Jazz Standard.

* Speaking of Facebook photo sets, here's one posted by the American Embassy in Guyana, documenting the recent trip to that country by pianist and Jazz St. Louis education director Phil Dunlap, bassist Nick Jost and drummer Marty Morrison. The trio were in Guyana from September 9 through September 14 on behalf of the U.S. State Department's Jazz Ambassadors program to perform a concert and lead workshops for local students and musicians.

* In other Jazz St. Louis-related news, there's a new promo video online for the touring edition of "Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration," the extended work composed in 2008 by Wynton Marsalis for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and a gospel choir. JSL is presenting the St. Louis stop of the "Abyssinian" tour next month at the Touhill.

* Meanwhile, JSL executive director Gene Dobbs Bradford on Wednesday night took part in a Jazz Journalists Association online video panel, "The Future of Jazz: Where We’ll Hear Jazz," with Revive Music's Meghan Stabile and former Jazz at Lincoln Center head Adrian Ellis. You can watch a replay of their discussion here.

* Singer Michael Buble's concert last Friday at the Scottrade Center was reviewed by the Post-Dispatch's Kevin Johnson.

* The St. Louis Jazz Orchestra's tribute to Maynard Ferguson next Tuesday night at the Touhill is previewed in an online story from UMSL's news service.

* Trumpeter Roger Ingram's appearance Sunday night with the Dave Dickey Big Band at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company is previewed by St. Louis magazine intern Kim Aubuchon (who's a trumpet player herself).

* Congrats to Logic Systems Sound & Lighting, based in the St. Louis suburb of Valley Park, for being named one of the finalists for Front Of House magazine's 2013 Hometown Hero awards.

* In some less felicitous news, St. Louis blues guitarist and singer Jimmy Lee Kennett is facing a relapse of the colon cancer he's fought for several years, and friends and family have launched an online fund-raising effort to help with medical bills and other expenses.

* Jazz radio update: This week's edition of Calvin Wilson's "Somethin' Else" is devoted to the music of legendary bassist and composer Charles Mingus, as heard on recordings by Mingus himself; his former sideman, saxophonist Charles McPherson; and the Mingus Big Band, which continues to perform his compositions under the auspices of his widow Sue Mingus. The program can be heard at 8:00 p.m. Saturdays via 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2 and online at

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Bill Watrous to perform Thursday, October 17 at Mineral Area College

Trombonist Bill Watrous, whose virtuoso playing has impressed jazz fans since the 1970s, is returning to eastern Missouri to perform at 7:30 p.m. at the Fine Arts Theater of Mineral Area College, 5270 Flat River Rd. in Park Hills.

Watrous (pictured) will be backed by the MAC Kicks Band, an ensemble of musicians from the college.

Known for his fluid technique, memorably displayed on recordings with his Manhattan Wildlife Refuge big band and many others, Watrous last played in St. Louis in February 2012 at the Scottish Rite Cathedral.

Tickets for Bill Watrous at Mineral Area College are $10 for the general public, $7 for MAC students and faculty, and can be purchased in advance at the MAC bookstore or at the door.

Pat Metheny Unity Group to perform
Sunday, March 9 at The Pageant

Guitarist Pat Metheny is returning to St. Louis to perform at 8:00 p.m., Sunday, March 9 at The Pageant.

This will be Metheny's first visit here since his Orchestrion tour stopped at the Touhill in 2010.

This time, Metheny will be bringing his Unity Group (aka Unity Band), which features saxophonist Chris Potter, drummer Antonio Sanchez, bassist Ben Williams, and the newest member, multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi.

The project was conceived around Potter, who's the first saxophonist to be featured in a Metheny ensemble in more than 30 years. Having released their debut in 2012, the newly expanded Unity Group (pictured) will be touring in the spring of 2014 in support of the release of their second album, which is expected early next year.

Tickets for the Pat Metheny Unity Group at the Pageant are $40 and $50 for reserved seats, and go on sale at 10:00 a.m. next Wednesday, September 25.

Jazz this week: Fareed Haque's Mathgames, Jeff Coffin, Johnny Boyd, Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival, The Wee Trio, and more

If you've checked out the first three parts of StLJN's fall 2013 jazz preview, you already may have realized that we're heading into what could be the busiest three weeks of the season, with a wide assortment of touring musicians and special events coming up. Here's a look at the highlights of the next few days...

Tonight, guitarist Fareed Haque brings his fusion band Mathgames to The Gramophone; saxophonist Chad Evans leads a quartet in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University; and pianist Brad MacDonald, a Collinsville native and former student of Carolbeth True's now based in Chicago, will lead a trio at Robbie's House of Jazz.

Tomorrow night, saxophonist Jeff Coffin (pictured) and his band the Mu'tet return to St. Louis to perform at The Gramophone. Interestingly, Coffin's old bandmate Bela Fleck also is back in town Friday, exploring old-time, bluegrass and country styles in a duo show with fellow banjo player and singer Abigail Washburn at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Meanwhile, swing dance fans likely will be flocking to hear singer Johnny Boyd, formerly of 1990s revivalists Indigo Swing, at the Casa Loma Ballroom, with Miss Jubilee opening the show.

Elsewhere on Friday night, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes Trio are at The Wine Press; the Funky Butt Brass Band plays their monthly gig at the Broadway Oyster Bar; and drummer Kaleb Kirby will lead a jam session at Robbie's House of Jazz in anticipation of Saturday's Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival.

And speaking of the Old Webster festival, it will feature music on two outdoor stages in the Old Webster Business District, near Lockwood & Gore, from noon until 10:00 p.m. on Saturday. Performers at the free event will includes blues singer-guitarist Marquise Knox; the Webster University jazz faculty, reprising the Cannonball Adderley tribute they performed a couple of weeks ago on campus; veteran bluesman David Dee; the Willie Akins/Montez Coleman Group; singer-songwriter Javier Mendoza; and the seemingly ubiquitous retro-swing of both Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes and Miss Jubilee.

Also on the schedule are Shades of Blue, the 18-member big band from Scott AFB; "Webster's Got Talent" contest winners Blue Like Jazz, with guest vocalist Erika Johnson; the hometown Webster Groves High School Jazz Band; and a second line featuring New Orleans R&B cover band North of the Quarter.

Elsewhere on Saturday afternoon, Jeff Coffin and at least some, if not all, of the Mu'tet will be doing a free workshop and performance at Saxquest.

On Saturday evening, singer Feyza Eren will be joined at the Wine Press by Italian pianist Antonio Figura, who's in town to do various things at Washington University including a Jazz at Holmes performance next week; and trumpeter Keith Moyer leads a trio at Thurman Grill.

On Sunday, singer Joe Mancuso will bring a quintet with special guest saxophonist Freddie Washington to the Soulard Art Fair. Later that afternoon, you can see two more big bands for the price of one, as the Dave Dickey Big Band is joined at their monthly gig at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company by guest trumpeter Roger Ingram, plus the entire University of Missouri Concert Jazz Band, led by saxophonist Arthur White, performing in the intermission spot.

Also on Sunday, there's a benefit concert to raise funds for blues singer Kim Massie, who recently had thyroid surgery, at the Sheldon Concert Hall; and Good 4 The Soul and various guest stars will offer "A Tribute to George Duke" at the Bistro at Grand Center.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday saxophonist Paul DeMarinis and friends will play at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium, while guitarist Tom Byrne is downtown at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

On Tuesday, the St. Louis Jazz Orchestra, under the baton of bassist Jim Widner, will present "A Tribute to Maynard Ferguson" at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. The concert will feature trumpeter Jim Manley, who was inspired early in his career by Ferguson and later befriended him, as guest soloist.

That same evening, The Wee Trio, with St. Louis native Dan Loomis on bass, will be back in the area for the first of two shows supporting the release of their new album Live at the Bistro at Jefferson College in Hillsboro. The group plays again on Wednesday night at Chaminade College Prep's Viragh Center for the 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.)

(Edited after posting to correct info on the Joe Mancuso and Brad MacDonald gigs.)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Fall 2013 jazz preview, part 3

Today's, it's part three of StLJN's preview of jazz and creative music concerts coming to St. Louis this fall. Previously in this space, part one and part two covered shows that are happening through the first week of October, which is where today's installment picks up.

Our first clip features the new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound*, who will kick off their second St. Louis season on Wednesday, October 9 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.  They'll be performing a program called "Permanent Collection," which covers 150 years of music written for their instrumentation, the sinfonietta (a small orchestra that has one of every instrument found in a full-sized symphony). The concert will include AWS' version of Aphex Twin's "Cock/Ver 10," first recorded for their 2005 album Acoustica and seen here in a rather rough-quality video shot from the audience in 2009 at NYC's Le Poisson Rouge.

That same week, saxophonist Lou Donaldson will return to St. Louis for a four-night engagement beginning Wednesday, October 9 and continuing through Saturday, October 12 at Jazz at the Bistro. Donaldson, who turns 87 (!) in November, plays blues, bop and ballads in the old-school manner, and by all accounts continues to be an very engaging performer, age notwithstanding. He's seen here with his frequent collaborator, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith - who, alas, will not be on the upcoming St. Louis dates - performing one of his signature songs, "Alligator Boogaloo."

The following week, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will return to St. Louis, this time to perform Marsalis' extended work "Abyssinian" with Chorale Le Chateau in a concert presented by Jazz St. Louis on Friday, October 18 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. Written to celebrate the 200th anniversary of NYC's Abyssinian Baptist Church, the work was premiered in 2008. Today's second video contains some short excerpts from that premiere performance with Dr. Rev. Calvin Butts III and the Abyssinian Church Choir at Rose Hall in NYC.

Also on Friday, October 18, trombonist William Cepeda will perform at the Sheldon. Originally from Puerto Rico, Cepeda is known for mixing jazz and urban Latin sounds with folk elements from Puerto Rican music, and today's fourth video clip shows off some of that in an excerpt from his performance at this year's Heineken Jazz Festival in San Juan.

The following week, New Orleans saxophonist Donald Harrison will bring his "A Night In Treme" tour here to play Wednesday, October 23 through Saturday, October 26 at Jazz at the Bistro. After establishing himself as a skilled hard bop player with Art Blakey and on own recordings, Harrison in recent years has incorporated more direct references to traditional New Orleans music into his sound, which seems fitting for someone who's also the Big Chief of The Congo Square Nation. The fifth video clip shows Harrison and trombonist Glen David Andrews dueting on "When The Saints Go Marching In" and was recorded in 2011 at the studios of KPLU in Tacoma, WA.

The sixth video features bassist William Parker's In Order To Survive Quintet, who will perform here in a concert presented by New Music Circle on Friday, October 25 at Mad Art Gallery. Parker, drummer Hamid Drake, pianist Cooper-Moore, alto saxophonist Rob Brown and trumpeter Lewis Barnes are seen here in an excerpt from their set at the 2012 Vision Festival in NYC.

Wrapping up today's post is a video of pianist and singer Harry Connick Jr., who wil be back in St. Louis for the first time in several years to perform on Sunday, October 27 at the Fox Theatre. Connick is touring in support of his latest album, Every Man Should Know, and is seen here playing the title song on ABC's daytime talk show The View.

Look for the fourth and final part of StLJN Fall 2013 jazz preview next week.

(*Full disclosure: Yr. StLJN editor has worked with Alarm Will Sound for the past four years in conjunction with the Mizzou International Composers Festival in Columbia, where they are the resident ensemble, and I'm still working with the PR firm that assists them with publicity in the region. That said, I'd still be highlighting this show even if I were not associated with them.)

Friday, September 13, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Singer Michael Buble, who performs here tomorrow night at the Scottrade Center, talked about his tour and latest album with the Post-Dispatch's Kevin Johnson.

* From's Bill Leikam, here's a review of a recent Brubeck Brothers Band gig at Filoli Estate, just south of San Francisco. The Brubecks are playing here in St. Louis on Saturday, October 5 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

* Saxophonist and St. Louis native Eric Person reports that last week's concert by his big band drew standing ovations from the audience at NYC's St. Albans Congregational Church. Person (pictured) and the big band will perform next on Monday, November 11 at the Blue Note in NYC. You can see a video sample of the band here.

* Meanwhile, fellow saxophonist and StL expat Oliver Lake is set to play NYC's Roulette on Tuesday, October 1 with special guests including the Flux String Quartet and pianist Vijay Iyer.

* WSIE has posted on their Facebook page an album of photos from last Saturday's U City Jazz Fest.

* Also on Facebook, the Route 66 Jazz Orchestra's page has lots of pictures from last Sunday's concert paying tribute to the late Ross Gentile.

* From the UK comes a newly rediscovered interview with Miles Davis, ca. 1974, by British drummer and music journalist John Runcie.

* Trumpeter Jim Manley has put some audio excerpts from his forthcoming album Short Stories and Tall Tales up on YouTube.

* Here's a review of pianist and St. Louis native Tom McDermott's new Van Dyke Parks-curated anthology “Bamboula,” from the Buffalo News' Jeff Simon.

* Josh Weinstein, host of KDHX's "All Soul, No Borders," contributed extensively to a new article about pianist Matthew Shipp for

* The St. Louis Beacon's Mary Delach Leonard takes a look at the latest, and perhaps final, effort to resurrect the Goldenrod Showboat, which for many years hosted music and theater performances on the St. Louis riverfront.

* Saxquest boss Mark Overton reminds local saxophonists between the ages of 18 and 35 that there's still time to enter Keilwerth's "Saxophone Idol" competition. Prizes include a new Keilwerth sax and the chance to play a gig with famed tenor man Ernie Watts.

* Applications are being accepted now for the next round of Artists Support Grants from the Regional Arts Commission. The deadline to apply is Tuesday, October 15.

* Jazz radio update: With the beginning of the fall semester, WSIE has added some new on-air hosts and made some changes to their programming schedule. You can see all the details of the new lineup here.

Meanwhile, over at Radio Arts Foundation - St. Louis, this week's edition of Calvin Wilson's "Somethin' Else" features contemporary big band sounds from musicians including Darcy James Argue, Brian Landrus and Joel Harrison. The program can be heard at 8:00 p.m. Saturdays via 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2 and online at

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Jazz this week: Michael Buble, tributes to Oliver Nelson and Thelonious Monk, and more

After a very busy few days of live music in St. Louis last weekend, things are a little slower this week. But if you've checked out parts one and two of StLJN's fall 2013 jazz preview, you know that it's just the calm before the storm, as the last ten days of this month and the first week of October will be filled with touring musicians visiting our town.

And of course, "calm" is a relative term, for as you'll see if you read on, there's still plenty of live jazz and creative music happening right now that is worthy of your attention. Let's go to the highlights...

Tonight, trumpeter Randy Holmes and his quintet will pay tribute to composer, saxophonist and St. Louis native Oliver Nelson by playing a free concert of his music to kick off this semester's Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University.

Nelson (pictured), who died in 1975 at the age of just 43, was a prolific composer who these days is best known for writing the standard "Stolen Moments" and for Blues and the Abstract Truth, the classic album that introduced it.

But he also has considerable historical importance in American popular culture, because, along with Quincy Jones, he was one of the first African-American composers to get steady work writing for film and television beginning in the 1960s. Nelson's themes for shows like "Ironside" and "The Six Million Dollar Man" put his music into millions of homes - many of which may not have contained a single jazz album - and had he not died so young, there's no telling what else he might have accomplished. At a time when tribute shows proliferate to the point of oversaturation, Nelson is both truly deserving and too often overlooked.

Also tonight, trumpeter Jim Manley plays at Joyia Tapas, 4501 Manchester Ave in the Grove district, and singer Joe Mancuso returns after a one-week break to Cafe Eau at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel.

Tomorrow night, guitarist Tom Byrne brings his Pat Metheny inspired band Have U Heard to Jazz on Broadway; drummer Montez Coleman plays at Cigar Inn; singer Wendy Gordon performs at DeLeo's Deli & Cafe, 2782 N Lindbergh; and saxophonist Tim Cunningham will be downtown at The Precinct, the restaurant and bar formerly known as Jim Edmonds 15 Steakhouse at 1900 Locust St..

On Saturday afternoon, St. Vincent Greenway, Inc., the City of St. Louis, and Great Rivers Greenway will present "Jazz on the Greenway," a free event that will include live music from Uncensored Band plus a plethora of outdoor and family activities, all taking place at Ruth Porter Park and St. Vincent Greenway in the CWE at Delmar and DeBaliviere.

That evening, singer Michael Buble performs at the Scottrade Center. While his most recent album To Be Loved may reflect more of a pop/rock sensibility than some previous outings, it seems likely that some of the Sinatra-inspired arrangements that previously have been staples for the Canadian crooner will make it into this show as well.

Also on Saturday night, singer Tony Viviano is at Fortel's in Creve Coeur; Miss Jubilee performs at the Schlafly Bottleworks; guitarist Eric Slaughter plays at Robbie's House of Jazz; and guitarist Brian Vaccaro and his trio will working it like real-life cavemen at Crystal City Underground, the subterranean entertainment venue located in a former mine.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday the group Four in One: The Thelonious Monk Project, which includes guitarist Steve Schenkel, saxophonist Paul DeMarinis, drummer Alan Schilling and bassist Ric Vice,  will play a concert at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium; and trumpeter Keith Moyer brings his group back to BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

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, September 10, 2013

MFLA's annual musical instrument drive
to begin Monday, September 30

It's almost time once again for Music for Lifelong Achievement's annual musical instrument drive, which this year will begin Monday, September 30 and continue through Sunday, October 27.

MFLA is a not-for-profit organization based at the Sheldon Concert Hall that donates used and new musical instruments to school and community music programs serving disadvantaged young people, and also raises funds for instrument repair and musical accessories. Since its inception, the organization has collected and re-distributed more than 500 instruments to music students all over the St. Louis area.

There are two ways to donate: by giving a musical instrument, or giving cash. As has been the case for the past eight years, St. Louis-area Starbucks stores once again will serve as drop-off locations for used and new musical instruments during the drive. The donated instruments then will be repaired and distributed to students who otherwise would not be able to afford an instrument. Donors get a letter documenting the value of the instrument for tax deduction purposes.

If you don’t have an instrument to donate, MFLA happily accepts cash contributions, which are used to help pay for necessary repairs of donated instruments and provide accessories such as strings, reeds and sheet music. These donations also are tax deductible. For more information or to make a donation, call The Sheldon at 314-533-9900 or visit

Monday, September 09, 2013

Trombone Shorty returning to perform
Monday, November 11 at Old Rock House

Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews (pictured) and his band Orleans Avenue are returning to St. Louis to perform at 8:00 p.m., Monday, November 11 at the Old Rock House.

Andrews' new album, Say That To Say This, will be released tomorrow (September 10) on Verve Records. Co-produced by Andrews and Raphael Saadiq, it's his third record for the label, and features a guest appearance by all the original members of New Orleans' legendary Meters on Andrews' cover of their tune "Be My Lady."

Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue last appeared in St. Louis in May at the Bluesweek festival. Tickets for their all-ages show on Monday, November 11 at Old Rock House are $27.50 in advance, $30 day of show, and will go on sale at 5:00 p.m. this Wednesday, September 11.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Fall 2013 jazz preview, part 2

Today, it's part two of StLJN's Fall 2013 jazz preview, with videos spotlighting the various jazz and creative music performers who will be coming to town over the next few months. In part one, posted a week ago, we covered most of the month of September; today's segment takes up where that one left off, on Thursday, September 26.

That's when drummer and University City native Ronnie Burrage will return home for the first of three local dates that week, at Robbie's House of Jazz. The next two nights, on Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28, Band Burrage - which also includes saxophonist Rick Tate, singer Shenel Johns, bassist Nimrod Speaks, and St. Louis' own Eric Slaughter on guitar - will play at the Kranzberg Arts Center. In the clip up above, you can see an excerpt from a gig of theirs recorded just last month at the University Club in Philadelphia.

Down below, there's a video featuring pianist Antonio Figura, who also will be in St. Louis on Thursday, September 26, playing a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University. Though the clip is a promo for a Figura gig at La Palma Club in Rome, rather than a full performance, it seems to be the best/only footage online of him playing live in a trio setting. For his performance here, Figura will be supported by drummer Steve Davis and William Lenihan, director of Wash U's jazz program, on bass.

Below that, it's singer and pianist Diana Krall, who will be making her first St. Louis appearance since 2007 on Friday, September 27 at the Fox Theatre. In this video, shot at the 2013 Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, you can see Krall and her band tacking a Bix Biederbecke number that she recorded for her most recent album, the 1920s-flavored Glad Rag Doll.

If Krall's carefully modulated cool isn't your sort of thing, there's something dramatically different on tap the following evening, as experimental duo Aluechatistas come to town on Saturday, September 28 to play the five-year anniversary celebration for KDHX's "Wrong Division" at Schlafly St. Louis Brewery & Tap Room. Guitarist Shane Perlowin and Ryan Oslance mix up free jazz, math rock, noise, and plenty of other musical ideas, as you can see in today's fourth video, a full set recorded in May of this year in Tallahassee, FL.

Below that, you can see excerpts from The Bad Plus' "On Sacred Ground: Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring," which the acclaimed trio will perform in a free concert sponsored by Jazz St. Louis on Thursday, October 3 at the Viragh Center for the Arts at Chaminade College Prep.

In addition to The Bad Plus' take on Stravinsky's most famous composition, the program also will feature a contingent of players from the St. Louis Symphony playing some of the composer's other works. (If you're interested in hearing The Bad Plus' entire performance of The Rite of Spring, you can hear the audio of their 2012 concert at NYC's Lincoln Center here.

Today's sixth clip features another St. Louis expat, multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich, who's coming home for the first time in several years to play with his Rites Quintet in a concert presented by New Music Circle on Friday, October 4 at the Kranzberg Arts Center. In this video, the group - Ehrlich on reeds, James Zollar on trumpet, Hank Roberts on cello, and Michael Sarin on drums - plays the title song from their 2012 album Frog Leg Logic.

The same evening Ehrlich and company are at the Kranzberg, pianist Laurence Hobgood's trio will be joined by saxophonist Ernie Watts for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro. Hobgood and Watts first played together under the auspices of the pianist's primary employer, singer Kurt Elling, for the 2010 album Dedicated To You - Kurt Elling Sings Music of Coltrane and Hartman and subsequent tour. They then joined forces again for a one-off gig (without Elling) last year at the Bistro, which went well enough that they're coming back to play a full weekend on Friday, October 4 and Saturday, October 5.

Since there's no real video documentation of the Hobgood-Watts combination as such, the clip you'll see in the seventh position is from one of Elling's gigs, and features a medley of "What's New," "Lush Life," and "Autumn Serenade", recorded in 2010 at the Umbria jazz festival.

Today's final video features the Brubeck Brothers band, led by the famed pianist's sons Dan Brubeck, a drummer, and Chris Brubeck, a bassist and trombonist, in a performance recorded last year at the Moscow Conservatory. Joined by guitarist Mike DeMicco and pianist Chuck Lamb (co-founder of the semi-fabled 1970s Midwest fusion band Dry Jack), the Brubecks will be in St. Louis on Saturday, October 5 to perform a tribute to their dad at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Look for part three of StLJN's Fall 2013 jazz preview next week.

Friday, September 06, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Pianist Peter Martin was interviewed by KSDK and Ladue News about this Sunday's 9/11 memorial concert at The Sheldon.

* And speaking of The Sheldon, the entry period in their "STL250 Songwriting Contest" closes on Tuesday, October 1. As part of the celebration next year of the City of St. Louis' 250th anniversary, they're looking for an original song that represents St. Louis history and culture, with special consideration given to works written in styles that reflect the city's music heritage. Prizes include cash awards from $100 to $500, plus free recording studio time. For more information or to enter, visit The Sheldon's website.

* Singer Ron Wilkinson recently led a group of vocalists in a rendition of the national anthem before a Cardinals game, as chronicled by the St. Louis American's Peter Baugh

* The recent renewed interest in recorded music on vinyl has been well documented in the media, but now it seems another another form of audio nostalgia may be afoot: monaural sound. Specifically, nine of Miles Davis’ earliest albums on Columbia Records will be issued together on CD for the first time as Miles Davis: The Original Mono Recordings. The set will include music that Davis recorded for the label in mono from 1956 to 1961 (originally released from 1957 to 1964).

* Drummer Ronnie Burrage (pictured) has launched a Kickstarter campaign raising money to finish production and manufacturing of the next album by his group Band Burrage. The goal is to raise $2,500 by Monday, September 23. Burrage and band will be in St. Louis to perform September 26 - 28, as he returns home to be inducted into the University City High School Hall of Fame.

* Speaking of St. Louis expats, saxophonist Oliver Lake's recent performance at NYC's Jazz Standard with the band Tarbaby (pianist Orrin Evans, drummer Nasheet Watts and bassist Eric Revis) was reviewed by the New York Times' Nate Chinen.

* Bassist Tom Kennedy's new album Just Play was reviewed for by Dan Bilawsky

* Jazz radio update: This Saturday's edition of Calvin Wilson's "Somethin' Else" on Radio Arts Foundation - St. Louis will feature jazz inspired by Broadway musicals, as recorded by Nellie McKay, Brad Mehldau, Paul Motian with Rebecca Martin, and others.

After that, Jason Church's "The Jazz Collective" will present music from Spyro Gyra, Scott Allman, George Benson, Andy Snitzer, Thelonious Monk, Ramsey Lewis, Maynard Ferguson, Wes Montgomery, Robert Silverman, Dawn Weber, Elliott Ranney, and Jesse James Gannon.

Wilson's program can be heard at 8:00 p.m. Saturdays, followed by Church's at 9:00 p.m., via 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2 and online at

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.)

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Recently on Heliocentric Worlds

It's been a while since we've checked in on the latest doings over at StLJN's sibling site, Heliocentric Worlds, and you know what? There's a still a different online music video posted there every day, drawing from genres including jazz, blues, soul, funk, classic rock, prog rock and experimental.

Why, just over the last month, you could have seen live performance videos from Clark Terry & Red Mitchell, Fats Domino, Jack DeJohnette Special Project, Pharoah Sanders, Stan Getz, Wayne Shorter, Elvis Presley, Chicago, Dizzy Gillespie, Marty Ehrlich's Rites Quartet, Champion Jack Dupree & King Curtis, Ben Webster & Oscar Peterson, Hank Jones, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Miles Davis, Lambert Hendricks & Ross, Kenny Burrell, Sun Ra Arkestra, Kool & the Gang, Mongo Santamaria, Al Green, Joe Lovano Nonet, Herbie Hancock and Mwandishi, Jerry Lee Lewis, Tom Waits, Paul Motian and the Electric Bebop Band, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Little Milton, Dr. Lonnie Smith, David Sanborn, and The Kinks.

Fortunately for those who have not not been riveted to each day's post the minute it goes live, all of these videos - plus thousands more carefully curated clips - still are available for your listening and viewing enjoyment, just by going to Check it out!

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Jazz at Holmes series
announces Fall 2013 schedule

The Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University has announced their schedule of free concerts for Fall 2013.

The series begins on Thursday, September 12 with trumpeter Randy Holmes performing the music of saxophonist, composer and St. Louis native Oliver Nelson.

Other highlights of the semester will include an appearance by Italian pianist Antonio Figura (September 12); a tribute to St. Louis drummer Joe Charles (October 24); and a collaborative event involving choreographer Ashley Tate and company (November 14), which was rescheduled after a postponement this past spring.

Though born in Sicily, Figura (pictured) actually is something of a Wash U veteran, presenting seminars there from 2003 to 2007 and performing in 2005 on the Jazz at Holmes series with the band Cyclo.

Here's the complete lineup of concerts:

Thursday, September 12:  Randy Holmes plays the music of Oliver Nelson
Thursday, September 19:  Chad Evans Quartet
Thursday, September 26:  Antonio Figura Trio with William Lenihan and Steve Davis

Thursday, October 3:  Eric Slaughter/Tom Byrne Quartet
Thursday, October 10:  Three Tenors of St. Louis: Freddie Washington, Willie Akins & Paul DeMarinis
Thursday, October 24: A Tribute to Joe Charles

Thursday, November 7:  Jeff Anderson Quartet
Thursday, November 14:  Freedom Jazz Dance - Ashley Tate Dance Company
Thursday, November 21:  Carolbeth True Trio

Thursday, December 5: Washington University Jazz Students Performance

Presented most Thursday evenings when school is in session, the Jazz at Holmes concerts are free and open to the public. Concerts begin at 8:00 p.m. in Holmes Lounge, Ridgley Hall, located on Washington University’s campus at the west end of the Brookings Quadrangle, near the intersection of Brookings and Hoyt drives.