This week's schedule of jazz and creative music in St. Louis is jam-packed, with three notable big band performances, two shows benefiting an ailing elder statesman of the local jazz scene, an evening of free-form music from two intriguing improvisors, and much, much more.
Thursday, October 1
Guitarist Tom Byrne will lead a quartet in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University, serving up "original compositions, some Pat Metheny tunes, some Jobim" and more.
Elsewhere on Thursday night, there are a couple of opportunities for some short-distance road-tripping for those so inclined. In DeSoto, MO, the fourth annual Mel Bay Jazz Festival begins with a show from guitarist Larry Bay and Sugar Moon at the Fountain City Grille on Main St.
The festival continues for two more nights with music from singer Joe Mancuso, guitarists Eric Slaughter and Dave Black, singer Lena Seikaly, and pianist Chris Grasso on Friday at the Fountain City Grille and on Saturday at The Arlington Inn event space, also on Main St.
At the same time across the river in Lebanon, IL, the Count Basie Orchestrawill be performing for the first of two nights at McKendree College's Hettenhausen Center for the Arts. Friday's show is sold out, but some tickets apparently still remain available for Thursday's concert.
For more about Parker and Evans, see this video post from last Saturday. (While they're here, both men also will take part in a free workshop and Q&A session on Saturday morning at Foam on South Jefferson.)
And as if all that weren't enough for one evening, Jazz St. Louis education director Phil Dunlap will bring his quintet to Jazz at the Bistro for the first of two nights showcasing material from his forthcoming album. Along with the leader on piano, Dunlap's group features trumpeter Danny Campbell, saxophonist Ben Reece, bassist Nathan Pence, and drummer Montez Coleman.
Marsalis and JaLCO (pictured, top left) have just released Live in Cuba, a two-disc set recorded earlier this year, and the first album on Jazz at Lincoln Center's new in-house imprint Blue Engine Records.
Also on Saturday, drummer/multi-instrumentalist and U City native Ronnie Burrage will be back home from his current residence in Pennsylvania to reactivate his RoBu Big Band(pictured, lower left) for the first of two performances at Voce, 212 S. Tucker.
The group will include Burrage and fellow St. Louis expat, guitarist Kelvyn Bell, plus saxophonists Jeff Anderson, Stanley Coleman, Chad Evans, and Jerome "JDubz" Williams; trumpeter Khamali Cuffie-Moore; bassist Darrell Mixon; pianist Ptah Williams; percussionist Henry Claude; and vocalist Charisse Swan.
The RoBu Big Band also will play a matinee on Sunday afternoon, and both gigs will be recorded on video for what promo material for the shows describes as "a larger film documentary initiative to explore the rich cultural history of St. Louis and to tell the stories of numerous artists that have come from the region." You can read more about that at the GoFundMe page that Burrage has set up for the film project.
Along with Byrne on guitar, the list of prospective performers includes drummers Montez Coleman and Kyle Honeycutt, bassists Bob DeBoo, Ben Wheeler, and Willem von Hombracht; trumpeters Danny Campbell and Randy Holmes, saxophonist Paul DeMarinis, guitarist Eric Slaughter, singer Erika Johnson, and, crossing over from Ronnie Burrage's matinee gig, Jeffrey Anderson, plus sit-ins and/or special guests TBA.
In addition to Gordon and Trevor, the announced list of performers includes singers Marty Abdullah, Elaine Donahoe, Marsha Evans, Chuck Flowers, Linda Kennedy, Joe Mancuso, Diane Vaughn, and Ron Wilkinson, along with keyboardists Arthur Toney and Pauline Stark, bassists Jimmy Hinds and Willem Von Hombracht, saxophonist Kendrick Smith, trumpeter Adrian Bowers, guitarist Eric Slaughter, and drummer Alfred Barnes.
Also on Tuesday, the Spiritual Revolution Ensemble plays free jazz at Tavern of Fine Arts; and the First Tuesday Composers Club will have their monthly meeting at The Dark Room.
(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.)