Friday, February 14, 2014

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard's Champion, which premiered last summer at Opera Theatre St. Louis, has been named a finalist in the "World Premiere" category of the 2014 Opera Awards. Blanchard is back in St. Louis this weekend to perform on Saturday night at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

* Jazz St. Louis' Gene Dobbs Bradford and Bob Bennett described their favorite releases from the late Richard McDonnell's MAXJAZZ label for an article by the Post-Dispatch's Kevin Johnson.

* Bassist Christian McBride's trio shows next week at Jazz at the Bistro are previewed in a Post-Dispatch article by Terry Perkins.

* The "Newport Jazz Festival: Now 60" tour, which features an all-star band including St. Louis' Peter Martin on piano, kicked off this past week with dates in Atlanta and Boston. The tour will play a total of 17 cities, ending here in St. Louis on Sunday, March 30 at The Sheldon. The band (pictured, from left) is comprised of singer Karrin Allyson, drummer Clarence Penn, bassist Larry Grenadier, clarinetist/saxophonist and musical director Anat Cohen, guitarist Mark Whitfield, trumpeter Randy Brecker, and Martin.

* St. Louis record stores Vintage Vinyl, Euclid Records and Record Exchange all got shout-outs in a recent post from the blog Vinyl Record Collector.

* Greg Osby, in conjunction with St. Louis retailer Saxquest, has put online a series of videos in which he demonstrates his new signature alto sax by P. Mauriat.

* Singer Tony Viviano makes an appearance at the end of a promotional video released this week by StL 250, the organization coordinating this year's celebration of St. Louis' 250th birthday.

* NPR this week had a story about how one difficult night for Miles Davis and his mid-1960s quintet resulted in two classic albums.

* In more Davis-related news, the legendary trumpeter is one a number of entertainment and sports figures whose portraits are featured in "American Cool," a new exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC.

* Meanwhile, Miles Davis Online's Jeff Hyatt takes another look at the official Davis website, and still finds room for improvement.

* Online retailer Sheet Music Plus is offering a 20% discount on all Mel Bay products through next Tuesday, February 18. (When you use the link provided, StLJN gets a small commission on the sale.)

* Jazz radio update:  On this Saturday's episode of Radio Arts Foundation-St. Louis' "Somethin' Else," host Calvin Wilson spotlights contemporary jazz musicians based in New York City, including trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, violinist Jenny Scheinman and the trio Dawn of Midi.

Right after that, Jason Church's "The Jazz Collective," will feature a musical menu including tracks by Down To The Bone, Average White Band, Brian Bromberg, Cindy Bradley, Jeremy Davenport, Miles Davis, Al Caldwell, Tracy Heaston, Robert Silverman, and Dawn Weber.

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      

(Edited after posting.)

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