This week's lineup of jazz and creative music performances in St. Louis encompasses musicians with a vast range of experience, from young teenage players getting their first chances onstage at a showcase club to an elder statesman who got his start more than a half-century ago in the fabled Gaslight Square entertainment district. Let's go to the highlights...
Friday, June 5
If there's a sentimental favorite among this week's jazz and creative music attractions, it would have to be singer, multi-instrumentalist and St. Louis native Don Cunningham.
Cunningham (pictured, top left), a veteran of the Gaslight Square era who now lives in Las Vegas, is returning to his hometown this weekend for his first performances since his wife and musical partner, singer and pianist Alicia Cunningham, passed away back in December.
He'll be joined by singer Jeanne Trevor and a local rhythm section for shows paying tribute to his wife and the late St. Louis singer Gene Lynn on Friday and Saturday nights, plus a Sunday matinee, at the Ozark Theatre.
Also on Friday, trumpeter Chris Botti(pictured, center left) returns to St. Louis for the first time since 2012 for a performance with the St. Louis Symphony at Powell Hall; and the students from Jazz St. Louis' JazzU and Jazz St. Louis All-Stars programs will begin their annual weekend showcase at Jazz at the Bistro, with a little help from special guest vibraphonist Stefon Harris(pictured, lower left).
Saturday, June 6
Starting mid-afternoon and continuing through the evening, the annual U City Jazz Festival in Heman Park will present free performances by drummer Demarius Hicks' quartet, the Silverman Brothers Band, trumpeter Anthony Wiggins with drummer Maurice Carnes, pianist Philip Gomez' trio, and the student band Nexus.
Also on Saturday, pianist Greg Mills and the Perihelion Ensemble return to the Tavern of Fine Arts; and The People's Key offer instrumental interpretations of the music of Michael Jackson at the Kranzberg Arts Center.
Sunday, June 7
The Friends of Scott Joplin present their monthly "Ragtime Rendezvous" matinee at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site, this month welcoming performs who will have just played the annual Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Sedalia; and Good 4 The Soul plays their monthly show at BB's Jazz, Blues & 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.)