Thursday, June 12, 2014

Jazz St. Louis announces 2014-15 season

Jazz St. Louis has announced the 2014-15 season schedule for Jazz at the Bistro, and while the room will have a new look when it reopens in October, the musicians trodding the boards will be largely familiar ones.

As previously announced, the renovated and expanded Bistro will reopen in October with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, who will front the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra for two performances, one public and one invitation-only.

Another Marsalis, Wynton's brother Branford (pictured, top left), will make his debut at the venue this season with a one-nighter in February. Both men have played in St. Louis before on several occasions, but these will be their first official performances at the Bistro.

Also making their debuts at the Bistro next year will be pianist Arturo O'Farrill (pictured, center left), who will lead his Latin-jazz sextet; saxophonist Jeff Coffin and his band, the Mu'tet; and Kneebody, an eclectic young quintet whose music incorporates elements of funk, punk and fusion.

Singer Rene Marie, who was an early signing years ago to the St. Louis based MAXJAZZ label, will return to the Bistro for the first time in more than a decade, and saxophonist Joshua Redman also will be back after duetting with pianist Brad Mehldau a couple of seasons ago.

The rest of the schedule looks quite familiar, with returning acts including saxophonist and St. Louis native David Sanborn (pictured, lower left), guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli (as tipped in this space a few weeks ago); trumpeter Terence Blanchard (ditto); The Bad Plus, who will perform in January at the Bistro for the ninth consecutive season; keyboardist Joe Sample, making good on some cancelled dates from May of this year; organist Joey DeFrancesco; keyboardist Jeff Lorber; singer Kurt Elling; and violinist Regina Carter, who will play music from her new album Southern Comfort.

Other musicians coming back, but in slightly different configurations this time, are saxophonist Tia Fuller, trumpeter Sean Jones and vibraphonist Warren Wolf, who will be teamed for dates in November; trumpeter Terell Stafford and saxophonist Victor Goines, who will work together in January; pianist Kenny Barron and vibraphonist Stefon Harris; and organist Dr. Lonnie Smith and guitarist Lionel Loueke.

In addition, trumpeter Jeremy Davenport will return from New Orleans to play his usual Thanksgiving weekend shows, and Erin Bode once again will perform for Valentine's Day weekend.

Other local acts booked so far for 2014-15 include pianist and Jazz St. Louis education director Phil Dunlap's quintet; pianist and singer Jesse Gannon, who will make his Bistro debut on Halloween weekend; trumpeter Jim Manley, who will present a Christmas-themed show with his band Mad Brass and Rhythm; Good 4 The Soul; and the Funky Butt Brass Band, who will play the first weekend of 2015. The rest of the local acts filling out the 2014-15 schedule will be announced at a later date.

All in all, it's certainly a solid schedule in terms of musical quality, but with very few surprises, and only one act - Kneebody - that deviates even slightly from the Bistro's well-established formula.

In short, while the new room may have a different look, the sounds coming from the stage are going to be pretty much the same as at the old Bistro. Whether or not that's an unequivocally good thing, we leave for you, the reader, to judge.

It's also worth noting that there's no mention made in the season announcement of the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival, for which Jazz St. Louis has provided programming assistance in recent years. Although the GSLJF has not announced dates for 2015, the weekend of April 24 and 25 would line up with when the event has been held in years past. There's nothing yet for that weekend on the Jazz St. Louis schedule, so there may be further developments yet on that front.

Here's the 2014-15 Jazz at the Bistro schedule in chronological order:

Friday, October 3 & Saturday, October 4: Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
Wednesday, October 8 - Saturday, October 11: David Sanborn
Friday, October 17 & Saturday, October 18: Phil Dunlap Quintet
Wednesday, October 22 - Saturday, October 25: John Pizzarelli
Friday, October 31 & Saturday, November 1: Jesse Gannon & Truth

Wednesday, November 5 - Saturday, November 8: Joshua Redman Trio
Friday, November 14 & Saturday, November 15: Tia Fuller, Sean Jones & Warren Wolf
Tuesday, November 18: SIUE Concert Jazz Band & SIUE Alumni Jazz Band
Wednesday, November 19 - Saturday, November 22: Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet
Friday, November 28 & Saturday, November 29: Jeremy Davenport

Wednesday, December 3 - Saturday, December 6: Joey DeFrancesco Trio
Friday, December 12 & Saturday, December 13: Jim Manley’s Mad Brass & Rhythm
Wednesday, December 17 - Saturday, December 20: Joe Sample
Monday, December 22 & Tuesday, December 22: Jazz St. Louis Big Band plays Ellington’s “Nutcracker”
Friday, December 26 & Saturday, December 27: Good 4 The Soul

2015

Friday, January 2 & Saturday, January 3: Funky Butt Brass Band
Wednesday, January 7 - Saturday, January 10: The Bad Plus
Friday, January 16 & Saturday, January 17: Jazz at Lincoln Center Group with Terell Stafford, Victor Goines, Chris Crenshaw & Alvin Atkinson
Wednesday, January 21 - Saturday, January 24: Arturo O’Farrill Sextet

Wednesday, February 4 - Saturday, February 7: Kenny Barron & Stefon Harris
Monday, February 9: Branford Marsalis
Friday, February 13 & Saturday, February 14: Erin Bode
Wednesday, February 18 - Saturday, February 21:  Jeff Lorber Fusion with Eric Marienthal & Jimmy Haslip
Saturday, February 28: Byron Stripling

Wednesday, March 4 - Saturday, March 7: Rene Marie
Wednesday, March 18 - Saturday, March 21: Kneebody

Wednesday, April 1 - Saturday, April 4: Freddy Cole Quintet with Harry Allen
Wednesday, April 15 - Saturday, April 18: Kurt Elling
Wednesday, April 29 - Saturday, May 2: Benny Green Trio

Wednesday, May 13 - Saturday, May 16: Regina Carter’s Southern Comfort
Wednesday, May 27 - Saturday, May 30: Dr. Lonnie Smith with Lionel Loueke

Wednesday, June 10 - Saturday, June 13: Terence Blanchard

Subscription information and order forms are online now at the Jazz St. Louis website. Single tickets will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 3 via Metrotix and the Jazz St. Louis box office.

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