Saturday, June 20, 2015

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
The return of Ronnie Burrage

This week, let's take a look at some video clips featuring University City native Ronnie Burrage, who's coming back home next weekend to perform on Friday, June 26; Saturday June 27; and Sunday, June 28 at Voce, 212 S. Tucker.

A percussionist, keyboardist and composer who currently teaches at Penn State University, Burrage has drummed with a long list of well-known jazz musicians, including McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, Archie Shepp, and many others. He's also appeared on gigs and recordings with noteworthy St. Louis musicians such as Lester Bowie, Hamiet Bluiett, Kelvyn Bell, and Joseph Bowie's band Defunkt.

For his shows here next week, Burrage will be accompanied by three different lineups of players, leading a quintet for two sets per night on Friday and Saturday, and then fronting a big band for a Sunday matinee. These groups are being assembled specifically for the gigs, so there's really no video of them to share, but what we can do is show you some clips from various other things Burrage has done since the last time he performed here a couple of years ago.

The first clip, recorded in 2013 at the Penn State Jazz Festival, goes behind the drum kit with Burrage as he plays his original composition "Martinique" with saxophonist Rick Tate, bassist Nimrod Speaks, and guitarist Eric Slaughter, a St. Louisan who's been part of his touring group Band Burrage for the past several years.

After the jump, you can see three more excerpts from recent shows by Band Burrage, starting with an excerpt from a 2013 gig at the Philadelphia Free Library.

Then there's a version of Michael Jackson's "I Can't Help It," recorded at the Blue Note in NYC with Burrage, Speaks, Tate, singer Shenel Johns, and guitarist David Gilmore; and "Flight Endless," from a show at Shapeshifter Labs in Brooklyn.

That's followed by a sort of behind-the-scenes promo video that Burrage put together a couple of years ago before heading out on a summer tour that included a concert at the Aime Cesaire Cultural Festival in Fort-de-France, Martinique; and a complete performance of "World Harmony," a collaboration with poet Sonia Sanchez recorded in 2013 at Penn State.

Along with Burrage, Sanchez and Slaughter, the ensemble for "World Harmony" also includes bassist Bob DeBoo and a former St. Louisan, trumpeter Rasul Siddik, as well as saxophonists Rick Tate and Rene McLean, singers Eric Farmer and Melody Stringer, and dancers Kendra Vie Beheme Dennard and Kikora Franklin.

For more about Ronnie Burrage, read this interview with him published in the October 2014 issue of Jazz Times magazine.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

No comments: