Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Jazz this week: All That Tap XXIV, "Swinging for the Fences," Good 4 The Soul, and more

It's another sultry mid-summer week in St. Louis, and though there are no major touring headliners in town this week, there's plenty of activity involving local jazz and creative musicians, offering sounds ranging from nostalgic to experimental. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, July 29
Tonight, the Spiritual Revolution Ensemble will make their official debut at the Tavern of Fine Arts. Formed after a jam session in May at ToFA, the group of free improvisors features a core band of saxophonists Jerome “J-Dubz” Williams, Aaron Parker, and Rahtu Johnson, pianist David Parker and percussionist Glenn "Papa" Wright, augmented for this performance by guests including guitarist Kendra Mahr, poets Pacia Anderson and Jana Thomas, and pianist Greg Mills.

Also tonight, Tommy Halloran's Guerrilla Swing will play a free outdoor concert for the Missouri Botanical Garden's Whitaker Music Festival; and guitarist Vincent Varvel leads a trio at Nathalie's.

Thursday, July 30
Jazz St. Louis continues their series of events looking at the relationship between jazz and baseball with "Jazz & the Negro Leagues", a free lecture by author and Washington University professor Gerald Early, followed by a reception at Jazz at the Bistro.

Also on Thursday, drummer Montez Coleman leads a quartet in a free concert wrapping up the summer edition of the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University; and the St. Louis Big Band and singer Joe Scalzitti will open the second weekend of performances of their tribute show "Sinatra at 100" at the Kranzberg Arts Center.

Elsewhere around town, Miss Jubilee will make up for a rainout earlier this summer with a free concert at Ellisville's Bluebird Park, and singer Erin Bode returns to Nathalie's.

Friday, July 31
Good 4 The Soul (pictured, upper left) returns to Jazz at the Bistro for the first of two evenings, with guitarist Shaun Robinson, bassist John King and drummer James Jackson joined for the weekend by keyboardist Pete Ruthenberg, subbing for Adaron "Pops" Jackson.

Also on Friday, singer Tony Viviano will serenade diners at Fortel's, guitarist Eric Slaughter and bassist Glen Smith will take the stage at Thurman Grill; and Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will be swinging at the Venice Cafe.

Saturday, August 1
The annual St. Louis Tap Festival culminates with All That Tap XXIV, an evening of tap dance performances and music at the Grand Center Arts Academy's Sun Theatre.

This year's event serves as a tribute to Tap Festival founder Robert L. Reed, who died earlier this month in Oklahoma City, and will feature Reed's daughter Robin Reed (pictured, lower left) performing in his stead.

Pianist Carolbeth True's trio once again will provide the music for a lineup of featured dancers including Charon Aldredge, Christopher Broughton, Omar Edwards, Anthony LoCascio, Avi Miller & Ofer Ben, Jason Samuels Smith, and Dorneshia Sumbry-Edwards. You can read a brief preview of the performance from St. Louis magazine here.

Also on Saturday, percussionist Joe Pastor and the St. Louis Legacy Ensemble will play a free outdoor concert at Lafayette Park

Sunday, August 2
The Friends of Scott Joplin will present their monthly "Ragtime Rendezvous," a free event at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site.

Also on Sunday, Jazz St. Louis wraps up their "Swinging for the Fences" series with a "Town Picnic" at Lafayette Park. The free event is open to the public and will feature a "vintage" baseball game played with period uniforms and rules, followed by Lindy Hop dance lessons and a concert of traditional jazz and swing by the Spats 'n' Flapper Speakeasy Orchestra, who are from Clear Lake, IA.  

Monday, August 3
Singer Erika Johnson and guitarist Tom Byrne will return to BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

For more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, which can be found on the left sidebar of the site or by clicking here. You also can keep up with all the latest news by following St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at or clicking the "Like" icon on the StLJN Facebook page.

(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.)

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