Friday, March 14, 2014

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Drummer Kimberly Thompson is keeping busy with her duties with the house band for NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers, even participating in some on-camera comedy bits, like the one pictured here with Michelle Wolf and Alison Agosti of the Late Night writing staff. However, Thompson did manage to find time this week to post on SoundCloud an excerpt from her band's performance last month at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

* Jazz students from Webster Groves High School are in New York City this week, and band director Kevin Cole has a full schedule planned for his young charges. The trip will include visits to NYC venues to hear Ambrose Akinmusire, Maria Schneider, Ulysses Owens, Charles Turner, Walter Smith III, and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra; and a clinic at Queens College with Michael Philip Mossman, Antonio Hart, Paul Bollenbeck, and Luis Bonilla.

In addition, the WGHS Jazz 1 group will perform Sunday at St. Peters Jazz Vespers with pianist Kenny Werner, and then serve as the opening act that evening at Birdland for Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.

* Also on the education front, Jazz St. Louis has announced a $35,000 gift from the Arthur & Helen Baer Foundation in support of the 2014-15 season of their JazzU program. Applications to audition for next year's JazzU are due by Friday, May 2, with auditions beginning on Monday, June 2. For more details, see the Jazz St. Louis website.

* Writing for the website NextStL, Kevin Belford has an update on recent wind damage to the historic Palladium Building in Grand Center and the possible effects on efforts to save the structure.

* Via Miles Davis Online, here's a video interview from IRockJazz with Davis' nephew Vince Wilburn, Jr., who helps administer his uncle's estate, in which Wilburn discusses the forthcoming movie about the trumpeter and various other Miles-related topics. MDO blogmaster Jeffrey Hyatt also has created a new site, Kill The Trumpet Player, to track news of the Davis film.

* Singer Connie Fairchild's show last Saturday for the Gaslight Cabaret Festival was reviewed for KDHX by Chuck Lavazzi.

* The late ragtime pianist and historian Trebor Tichenor was the subject of a tribute episode of KWMU's "CityScape" program.

* Galactic's performance last week at The Pageant was reviewed by KDHX's Amy Burger.

* A set from the Funky Butt Brass Band's gig last month at The Gramophone has been posted to

* And speaking of The Gramophone, they're celebrating the venue's sixth anniversary this week with the announcement that their Sandwich and Bottle Shop will be open for regular daytime business offering food, drink and free wi-fi to the growing Grove neighborhood starting April 1.

* Also on the culinary tip, the Post-Dispatch's Ian Froeb is the latest to review the Louisiana-style menu at the new Central West End spot Evangeline's.

* HEC-TV last night debuted a new episode of I Love Jazz, featuring previously unseen archived performances by singer Marlena Shaw, trumpeter Dawn Weber, singer Marilyn Maye and pianist Billy Stritch, saxophonist Willie Akins and drummer Montez Coleman, and jazz faculty and students from Webster University. Check your TV provider's program guide for channels, dates and times, or watch online at

* Jazz radio update: On this Saturday's episode of Radio Arts Foundation-St. Louis' "Somethin' Else," host Calvin Wilson spotlights New Orleans trumpeters including Louis Armstrong, Derrick Shezbie, Joe Newman, Terence Blanchard and Wynton Marsalis. You can listen at 8:00 p.m. Saturdays via 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2, and online at

(Edited after posting to add the KWMU "CityScape" link.)

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