Ronnie Burrage is coming back home to perform on Friday, June 26; Saturday, June 27; and Sunday, June 28 at Voce, 212 South Tucker Blvd. downtown.
A 1978 graduate of University City High School, Burrage (pictured) worked local gigs with visiting luminaries such as Arthur Blythe, Jackie McLean, Andrew Hill, and McCoy Tyner while still a teenager living in St. Louis.
After moving to NYC, he played with trumpeter Woody Shaw's quintet in the mid-1980s; formed Third Kind of Blue with saxophonist John Purcell and bassist Anthony Cox in 1986; and gigged with an impressive roster of jazz greats, including Tyner, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, and more.
During the 1990s, Burrage recorded with Courtney Pine, Sonny Fortune, Gunther Schuller, Hamiet Bluiett, the World Saxophone Quartet, and Billy Bang. More recently, he's been teaching at Penn State University while releasing a series of recordings as a leader, including Just Natural (2001), In It (2004), Blue Noise (2010), Spirit Guides (2011) and Heal (2013). Despite that busy schedule, Burrage has managed to make it home to perform most summers in recent years, including a weekend of gigs in 2013 supporting the release of Heal.
On this visit to St. Louis, he'll start by playing shows with a small band at 9:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. That ensemble will feature Burrage on drums and keyboards fronting two slightly different lineups of local musicians, with Eric Slaughter (guitar), Nathan Pence (bass), Kendra Mahr (vocals), and Danny Campbell (trumpet) on Friday, and then with Jeff Anderson (tenor sax) in for Campbell on Saturday.
To cap off the weekend, Sunday's matinee at 3:00 p.m. will feature the 10-piece-plus RoBu Big Band, with Campbell, Anderson, saxophonists Chad Evans, Jerome "JDubz" Williams, Stanley Coleman, and Willie Akins; pianist Ptah Williams; bassist Darrell Mixon; percussionist Henry Claude; singer Charisse Swan, and other special guests.
Tickets are $20 per set on Friday and Saturday, and $25 on Sunday, with a service fee of $1.49 per ticket for online purchases, and are on sale now.