This weekend offers St. Louis fans of jazz and creative music a nice opportunity to see four different touring acts in four days at four different venues, plus a variety of performances from local players. Let's go to the highlights...
Martinez (pictured, top left) is a 41-year-old Cuban native who moved his homeland first to Canada in 1998, and then to the United States, where he came to public attention in 2000 for winning that year's Thelonious Monk Institute Competition.
He subsequently helped found the band Yerba Buena, and has gone on to perform with well-known jazz, Latin and pop musicians including Paquito D’Rivera, Wynton Marsalis, Paul Simon, Eddie Palmieri, Bebo Valdés, Bruce Springsteen, Cassandra Wilson, Arturo O’Farrill, Joe Lovano, and numerous others.
Martinez' own group released their first album in 2013, and has performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Newport Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Montreal Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Fest, and numerous other major festivals and venues.
Friday, May 8
If you're free during the day on Friday (or able to play hooky from work or school), you can head over to the St. Louis Zoo and take in a free concert by the Mizzou New Music Ensemble*. They'll be visiting from down the road in Columbia for a 2:00 p.m. performance at The Living World featuring new works from Mizzou composers that were inspired by the Zoo.
Berne's reputation as a top-flight improvisor notwithstanding, Snakeoil is mainly a vehicle for his compositions, which can be intricate multi-part affairs that may seem perplexing at first but ultimately reward close listening. For more about Berne and Snakeoil, and some very recent clips of them in action, please see this post from last Saturday.
Also on Friday, Miss Jubilee will make her debut at Jazz at the Bistro, for the first of two nights in which the popular retro-style songstress and band will bring their blend of jump blues, pre-WWII jazz, and early rock & roll to the Bistro stage.
Saturday, May 9
Guitarist Todd Mosby presents the first-ever '"East West Fusion Festival"at the Kranzberg Arts Center, featuring a headlining performance from renowned fusion/New Age bassist Michael Manring (pictured, bottom left), plus sets from Mosby's own new fusion sextet Axis, and the husband-and-wife duo Bryan & Lola.
Sunday, May 10
This year for her annual Mother's Day show at the Sheldon Concert Hall, singer Denise Thimes has enlisted as her special guest the fine pianist Cyrus Chestnut, who by now should be familiar to many St. Louis jazz fans from his frequent appearances at Jazz at the Bistro. Proceeds from the event benefit the Mildred Thimes Foundation, a charity named after Thimes' late mother that raises money to fight pancreatic cancer.
(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.)
* Full disclosure: In addition to being an alumni of the University of Missouri, yr. humble StLJN editor also is employed by the public relations firm Slay and Associates to assist the University's Mizzou New Music Initiative in publicizing its various events and programs, including the Mizzou New Music Ensemble.