Friday, September 26, 2014

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Pianist Reggie Thomas, who left St. Louis a couple of years ago to teach at Michigan State University, has a new job a bit closer to home this fall. Thomas (pictured) is the new head of the jazz studies program at Northern Illinois University, taking over after the retirement of the program's former director, saxophonist Ronald Carter (who also was Thomas' former high school band director in East St. Louis).

* The September edition of HEC-TV's I Love Jazz, hosted by Don Wolff, is available now for viewing on the cable network and online. The episode includes video of Miss Jubilee performing at Casa Loma Ballroom, a "day in the life" feature about trumpeter Sean Jones, and more. Check your TV provider's listing for days, times and channel, or watch online here.

* The Tuesday jazz jam sessions formerly held at Robbie's House of Jazz, which ended earlier this year when the club closed, have returned to Webster Groves at the Ozark Theatre, where former Robbie's GM Dorothy Edwards now is presenting jazz performances on the weekends. The newly revived jam sessions will begin at 7:30 p.m. each Tuesday, with no admission or cover charge.

* Six St. Louis area classical music organizations are teaming up to offer a program for students called the Concert Pass Collaborative (CPC). For a $15 annual fee, students with a valid ID can purchase the pass, which is good for admission to any event produced by the six participating organizations (as long as there's a seat available). Groups taking part include the Chamber Music Society of St. Louis, The Sheldon's classical series, St. Louis Classical Guitar Society, Chamber Project St. Louis, St. Louis Women’s Hope Chorale, Saint Louis Chamber Chorus, and you can get more information on the offer here.

* The Kranzberg Arts Center will present a screening of the new film Finding Fela, a documentary about Afrobeat musician and bandleader Fela Kuti, next Friday, October 3.

* In conjunction with the label's 65th anniversary, Prestige Records is giving away a set of 20 CDs reissue of albums remastered by famed engineer Rudy Van Gelder. Get details and enter to win here.

* Jazz radio update: This Saturday on Radio Arts Foundation - St. Louis' “Somethin’ Else,” host Calvin Wilson will feature the music of saxophonist, composer and former St. Louisan Julius Hemphill via Hemphill's recordings asa  leader and as a member of the World Saxophone Quartet, plus interpretations of his work by others including saxophonist Tim Berne. The program can be heard at 8:00 p.m. on 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2, and online at

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