Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Fall festivals spotlight diverse styles

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.

Performers will include Cornet Chop Suey (pictured, top left)Michael Lacey's New Orleans Swing, Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi, Pat Joyce and Friends, the St. Louis Stompers, Red Lehr's Powerhouse 5, and the Funky Butt Brass Band. Bands will play in three separate sessions, on Sunday afternoon, Sunday night, and Monday afternoon, with every group except the Funky Butt Brass Band playing at least two sets over the two days.

Tickets are $35 per session or $80 for an all-events pass. For more details, call 314-972-8298 or visit

* 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.

Admission to "3 Nights in September" is just $5 per night, payable in cash only, at the door.

* 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.

In addition to Franglais (pictured, lower left) the musical lineup will include accordionist Dallas Vietty, singer Miles Griffith, bands Swing '39, Bedlam Swing, and Coco Rico, and more.

Admission prices and ticket info for the event are TBA; watch this space for more details.

Edited 9-3-15 to fix a typo.

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