Friday, February 07, 2014

So What: Local News, Notes and Links

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

* Multi-instrumentalist Sandy Weltman's work with the Municipal Commission on Arts and Letters for University City is the subject of a feature story by Terry Perkins for St. Louis Public Radio.

* KDHX is offering free public tours of the station's new headquarters at 3524 Washington, just east of Grand, starting this Saturday.

* Drummer, composer and St. Louis expat Ronnie Burrage is busy promoting Heal, the new release from his Band Burrage, with various live gigs including an appearance next Tuesday, February 11 at Penn State University's Music Is Life Festival. Burrage also has posted on YouTube a video excerpt from the band's recent performance at  the Blue Note in NYC, and created a new Reverb Nation page and Facebook store for those who wish to hear and/or purchase the new album.

* Elsewhere back east, several musicians with St. Louis roots with be appearing in NYC this month, starting with keyboardist Peter Martin and drummer Terreon Gully (pictured), who will be part of Dianne Reeves' ensemble for the singer's gigs on February 14 and 15 at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Rose Theater.

A few days later, saxophonist Greg Osby joins trumpeter Tom Harrell, drummer Matt Wilson, saxophonist Melissa Aldana, bassist Ben Allison, and pianist Aaron Goldberg for "Reflections on Monk" from Wednesday, February 17 through Saturday February 22 at Birdland. And that same week, drummer Marcus Baylor's Baylor Project, featuring Jean Baylor on vocals, will perform on February 20 at Smoke.

* There's quite a bit of Miles Davis-related news this week, starting with the news that Miles Davis Properties LLC has reached a deal with Kobalt Music Group to administer Davis' entire catalog, effective immediately. The company will attempt to develop new ways to exploit Davis' music in movies, TV, advertising, and other media.

* “The Wisdom of Miles Davis” was the title of the first lecture given this past week by pianist and composer Herbie Hancock in his capacity as the 2014 Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University.  Hancock's talk, the first in a series of six lectures entitled "The Ethics of Jazz," used his memories of Davis as a springboard to a discussion of racism, ethics, and Buddhism.

* and Creative Allies are sponsoring a contest to design an official poster for the soon-to-be-released CD box set Miles At The Fillmore. The winner receives cash and prizes, and the winning design will be included in the sets sold via the two websites. Meanwhile, Chronicle: The Complete Prestige Recordings 1951-1956, another Davis box set first issued 20 years ago, is getting a deluxe limited edition reissue.

* And closer to home, the Miles Davis Memorial Project has put online a reservation form for their upcoming fundraising dinner on Saturday, March 22, at Lewis & Clark Community College. Tickets are $60 per person, $450 for a table of eight, and the deadline to RSVP is Sunday, March 9. For more information, call Pride, Incorporated at 618-467-2375 or email them at

* St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts will sponsor another free workshop on "Navigating Health Care Reform" at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 19 at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar. Saint Louis University School of Law health-law students will explain the Affordable Care Act and provide strategies for selecting a plan and determining eligibility for tax credits and subsidies. This workshop is FREE and open to artists of all disciplines, and guests are welcome, but you must register in advance.

VLAA and Community Action Agency of St. Louis (CAASTL) also will offer in-person help with health insurance enrollment from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Thursday, February 20 at the RAC offices. Artists of all disciplines can sign up for free one-on-one sessions with  trained, certified application counselors. Appointments will be made on a first-come, first-served basis; to sign up, send an email to

* Jazz radio update: On this Saturday's episode of Radio Arts Foundation-St. Louis' "Somethin' Else," host Calvin Wilson sets an anticipatory mood for Valentine’s Day with recordings from Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle (from Waits' soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola's One From The Heart), John Coltrane and singer Johnny Hartman, and Norah Jones.

Then on "The Jazz Collective," Jason Church will spin tracks from Four80East, Chris Standring, David Longoria, Donald Byrd, Sonny Rollins, Chuck Mangione, Lee Ritenour, the Brand New Heavies, Eumir Deodato, and Roy Ayers, as well as music from St. Louis' own Dawn Weber, Jesse Gannon, Jason Swagler, and Tommy Halloran.

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

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