While the usual holiday-season dearth of touring jazz acts continues, St. Louis' own jazz and creative musicians nevertheless will be taking to local stages this week to celebrate New Year's Eve and subsequently usher in the first weekend of 2015. Here's what's on the schedule...
Wednesday, December 31
The annual First Night St. Louis will feature several bands and musicians of interest to StLJN readers, including both trumpeter Kasimu Taylor's quartet and pianist/singer Jesse Gannon at the Kranzberg Arts Center; the Funky Butt Brass Band at Sheldon Concert Hall; bassist Bob DeBoo & Friends at St. Xavier College Church (at Grand and Lindell); and The People's Key playing music from their "Jazz Memories of Michael Jackson" show at Third Baptist Church.
Unfortunately, these sets are timed and spaced so that it will be difficult to catch more than two of them during the evening, but of course, First Night also offers a variety of other performances and activities as part of the package. For details, see the event program on their website.
Friday, January 2
Though perhaps still nursing hangovers, assessing damage, and/or attempting to settle assorted legal disputes and moral conundrums arising in the aftermath of their annual "Holiday Brasstravanganza," the Funky Butt Brass Band, showbiz troopers that they are, will check in for the first of two nights of semi-organized revelry at Jazz at the Bistro.
Also on Friday, singer Wendy Gordon will perform her last monthly gig at DeLeo's Cafe & Deli, which is closing at the end of January; and Lindy Hop St. Louis will present their monthly "West End Stomp" swing dance at the Mahler Ballroom.
Saturday, January 3 The Sidemen will play swing and hot jazz at Evangeline's, while keyboardist Matt Villinger will enlist some old friends including vibraphonist Peter Schlamb for a "Cool Jazz Party" at Thurman Grill.
Also on Saturday, David Parker and Greg Mills' Society for Creative Survival presents "T 4 tú," an evening of duo performances at the Tavern of Fine Arts featuring Mills, Parker, Tracy Andreotti, Henry Claude, Ajay Khanna, Dave Stone, Fred Tompkins, and Joshua Weinstein.
Sunday, January 4
Singer and guitarist Tommy Halloran takes over the musical duties for the weekly Sunday brunch at Jazz at the Bistrountil further notice; and then later in the day, the Dave Dickey Big Band will return for the second gig in their new monthly series at the Bistro, with the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars student ensemble performing at intermission.
With both month-end and year-end fast approaching, StLJN HQ still is receiving info from musicians and venues about upcoming gigs in January, so for more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis, please check back and visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, which can be found on the left sidebar of the site or by clicking here. You also can keep up with all the latest news by following St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at http://twitter.com/StLJazzNotes or clicking the "Like" icon on the StLJN Facebook page.
(If you have calendar items, band schedule information, news tips, links, or anything else you think may be of interest to StLJN's readers, please email the information to stljazznotes (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you have photos, MP3s or other digital files, please send links, not attachments.)