Friday, May 29, 2015

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Bassist Nathan Pence, a senior at Bishop DuBourg High School in St. Louis, received the inaugural Rich McDonnell Scholarship in a presentation last Sunday during the concert at Jazz at the Bistro dedicated to McDonnell's memory.

Pence (pictured, with Jazz St. Louis executive director Gene Dobbs Bradford) will attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City in the fall, majoring in jazz performance.

"Rich was always extremely supportive of our JazzU students, so a scholarship in his name was a perfect fit," said Jazz St. Louis' Devin Rodino in an email to StLJN. "We haven’t finalized all of the guidelines for the scholarship, but do plan to continue to put dollars in and grow it into a sizable fund that can really make an impact each year for one or more students. We will be hashing out full details before next year’s award is given."

* In other news from Jazz St. Louis, Rodino and his pastry-loving colleagues at JSL will host a public celebration of "National Donut Day" from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. next Friday, June 5 at the organization's HQ in Grand Center. The event is free and open to all, and participants can enjoy a sampling of donuts from 15 local bakeries, plus milk and/or coffee.

Students from the Jazz U program will provide live music, and there will be various activities including a donut taste-test competition "with celebrity judges," a donut-themed photo booth, a raffle for tickets to Jazz at the Bistro, and more.

* And in today's last bit of news from Jazz St. Louis, their 2015-16 season brochure now can be viewed online at

* Grand Center has announced "Music at The Intersection,"  a free concert series that will bring live music to eight venues within the arts district on three Friday evenings this summer.  The first event on Friday, July 17 will spotlight jazz and blues performers including Marquise Knox, Mo Egeston, Dave Black, Bob DeBoo Trio, Lamar Harris, Big Mike Aguirre, Tom "Papa" Ray, Jesse Gannon, Phil Dunlap Quintet, The People's Key, and the Bottlesnakes.

Venues for the series, which will continue on August 14 and September 11 with events featuring other musical genres, include Strauss Park, The Dark Room, Vito's Sicilian Pizzeria & Ristorante, Lucha, Dooley's Beef N Brew House, Jazz at the Bistro, Kranzberg Arts Center, and The Stage at KDHX.

* As part of his effort to establish the St. Louis Black Radio Hall of Fame, veteran broadcaster and author Bernie Hayes has launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of raising $15,000. The money will used to finance a benefit concert in August, rent temporary space for a physical museum, and develop a "virtual" radio and media hall of fame.You can read more about the campaign and donate here.

* Jazz radio update:  This Saturday on Radio Arts Foundation-St. Louis, Calvin Willson's program “Somethin’ Else,” will focus on the music of composer Harry Warren ("Lullaby of Broadway, "At Last," "That's Amore") as performed by musicians including Sonny Rollins, Paul Motian, Diana Krall, and more. You can listen in at 8:00 p.m. Saturdays on 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2, and online at  

A few clicks to the left on your radio dial, Dennis Owsley's "Jazz Unlimited" program on St. Louis Public Radio this Sunday will present music from "jazz giants" including Bix Beiderbecke, Frank Trumbauer, Joe “King” Oliver, Fats Waller, Benny Goodman, Miles Davis, Shelly Manne, Freddie Redd, Betty Carter, Woody Herman, Eric Dolphy, Chick Corea, Bud Shank, Bill Holman, Betty Carter, and Sun Ra.  The program can be heard from 9:00 pm to midnight Sundays on KWMU (90.7 FM) and online at

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