Memorial Day weekend may be arriving a bit earlier than usual this year, but along with it, St. Louis fans of jazz and creative music can enjoy a couple of touring headliners, the return of some longtime local favorites, a day of performances paying tribute to an influential figure on the local scene, and more. Let's go to the highlights...
Wednesday, May 20 Moon Hooch(pictured, top left) returns to St. Louis for another gig at 2720 Cherokee. The difficult-to-categorize trio got their start busking in the subways and streets of NYC, and over the past couple of years have brought their funky, stripped-down sound to clubs, concerts and festivals.
Also featuring drummer Nasheet Waits, who's appeared on all three of the group's recordings, and bassist Linda Oh, subbing for Omer Avital, Triveni is featured on three of Cohen's recordings as a leader, the most recent of which is Dark Nights, released last October.
You can read more about Cohen and Triveni and see some samples of them in performance in this video post from last Saturday, and you can read a review of their show this week in Kansas City here.
Elsewhere around town, pianistPtah Williams and guitarist Eric Slaughter are continuing with themed shows in their weekly residency at The Dark Room, this week performing music from the songbook of Earth, Wind and Fire.
Friday, May 22
Former St. Louisans Mardra and Reggie Thomas, whose vocals and keyboards were staples of the local music scene for more than a decade, will be back in town to headline two nights of performances at Jazz at the Bistro.
After moving to Michigan several years ago, the Thomasas (pictured, bottom left) now are based in Macomb, IL, where last fall Reggie Thomas succeeded Ronald Carter as head of the jazz studies program at Northern Illinois University.
This weekend, they'll be showcasing some of the music from their most recent album, Matters of the Heart, accompanied by a band including three St. Louis musicians - saxophonist Jason Swagler, bassist Zeb Briskovich, and drummer Montez Coleman - plus backing vocalists Nicole Jonas, Olivia Neal, and Zelina Star, and Detroit native Perry Hughes on guitar.
(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.)