While St. Louis currently may lack a large-scale annual jazz festival with the scope and diversity of those found in Chicago, Detroit, Rochester, or even Indianapolis, over the past decade a number of smaller events have come along to at least partially fill the void.
This fall, three of those smaller-scale festivals will spotlight three different sub-genres from within the jazz and improvised music universe:
* This coming Sunday, September 6 and Monday, September 7, the St. Louis Jazz Club's Gateway Jazz Festival will feature a variety of local acts playing traditional, pre-WWII jazz and swing at the DoubleTree Hotel in Westport.
* Later this month, the Tavern of Fine Arts will host "3 Nights in September," an event organized by cellist Tracy Andreotti that will feature St. Louis musicians presenting free improv and experimental sounds on Tuesday, September 22; Wednesday, September 23; and Thursday, September 24.
Tuesday's scheduled performers include Brain Transplant, NNN Cook, Michael Williams, and the Hess/Cunningham Duo. Wednesday's concert will feature Ghost Ice & Mister Ben; Dave Stone with Henry Claude, Glenn "Papa" Wright & Joe Hess; and the Perhelion Ensemble. The Experimental Arts Ensemble STL, Vernacular String Trio, and the STL Free Jazz Collective(pictured, center left) will wrap things up on Thursday.
* Last but not least, singer Eve Seltzer and her husband, guitarist Ben Wood - both of the Gypsy jazz band Franglais - have organized a Gypsy Jazz Festival that's scheduled to take place Friday, October 23 through Sunday, October 25 at Evangeline's.
All three nights will feature evening performances and late-night jam sessions, with brunch-time performances also set for Saturday and Sunday.