As 2014 marches inexorably toward its conclusion, it's shaping up to be another busy week for jazz and creative music in St. Louis.
This week's noteworthy performances include a visit from one of the top jazz organists in the business; the long-awaited return of a major jazz innovator, in duo with one of today's most in-demand keyboardists; plus a whole lot of holiday-themed jazz, and more. Let's go to the highlights....
Tonight, organist Joey DeFrancesco and his trio return to Jazz at the Bistro for the first evening of a four-night engagement continuing through Saturday. DeFrancesco is touring in support of a new seasonal album, Home For The Holidays, and word from Jazz St. Louis is that he'll be playing a vintage 1958 Hammond belonging to the late Richard McDonnell that's being used for the first time in the new Bistro space.
Also Thursday, Wash U's student jazz combos will wrap up the fall season with a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series on campus at Ridgely Hall; and singer Feyza Eren, pianist Curt Landes and bassist Ric Vice will play at Joe's Cafe.
On Friday afternoon, Mitchell will give another free public presentation, "NONAAH: From Solo to Full Orchestra," at Wash U's Music Classroom Building, Room 102. The lecture will track the evolution of one of Mitchell's best-known compositions over four-plus decades.
On Saturday afternoon, the Oikos Ensemble will present "What Child is This? A Jazz Nativity" at the First Congregational Church in Webster Groves, the first of three performances of the show this holiday season. (For a guide to all the holiday jazz going on around town this month, see this post.)
Saturday evening, trumpeter/vibraphonist Joe Bozzi's band will be at Evangeline's; Wack-A-Doo will take the stage at Tavern of Fine Arts; the Ann Dueren Trio bids adieu to Il Bel Lago, as the West County restaurant is revamping its live music policy; and trumpeter Jim Manley and guitarist Randy Bahr will duet at Thurman Grill.
Sunday morning, pianist and Jazz St. Louis education director Phil Dunlap's trio will be taking over the live music duties for brunch at the Bistro through the end of December.
Later on Sunday, holiday jazz proliferates, as the Oikos Ensemble reprises "What Child is This? A Jazz Nativity" at Parkway United Church of Christ; and the Funky Butt Brass Band joins forces with St. Louis Community College - Meramec's orchestra, symphonic band and concert choir for a free concert at the Meramec Theatre on campus.
Also on the seasonal tip, jazz-fusion band Common Time and guest singers will present a holiday show at Blueberry Hill; and the Dave Dickey Big Band will tackle some original arrangements of Christmas tunes for their monthly gig at Jazz at the Bistro, with the Webster Groves HS Jazz Band performing at intermission.
And also of note on Sunday night, veteran bassist and former St. Louisan Steve Kirby, who now teaches at the University of Manitoba in Canada, will be back in town to lead a quartet at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups.
(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.)