While jazz fans from all over the world will be taking note of the long-awaited unveiling of the Miles Davis statue Saturday in Alton, IL, there also will be plenty of other interesting jazz and creative music events happening all around the St. Louis area. Let's go to the highlights...
Wednesday, September 9
In his first St. Louis show in more than a decade, pianist Monty Alexander(pictured, top left) and his trio will perform for the first of two evenings at Jazz at the Bistro.
Alexander, who was born in Jamaica and came to the US as a child, began his jazz career in the mid-1960s, working as a sideman for musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie, Milt Jackson, Benny Golson, Jimmy Griffin and Frank Morgan. He began leading his own bands in the 1970s, and past editions of his trios have included highly-regarded players such as John Clayton, Jeff Hamilton, Herb Ellis, Ray Brown, Ed Thigpen and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen.
More recently, Alexander has become known for making music specifically connected to his Caribbean roots, recording several times with Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin and also issuing several albums of his own mixing jazz with reggae and other regional sounds.
Thursday, September 10
Italian pianist Antonio Figura returns to St. Louis to play a free concert kicking off this semester's Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University.
Friday, September 11
There's no jazz at the Bistro until Sunday this weekend, as Friday is the folk/bluegrass installment of Grand Center's "Music at the Intersection" series, and a Saturday show that was set to feature bassist Jahmal Nichols got scrubbed a while back due to Nichols' tour schedule with singer Gregory Porter.
Saturday, September 12
After more than a year of anticipation, the Miles Davis Memorial Project will unveil the statue of the legendary trumpeter created by sculptor Preston Jackson, which finally will be installed in its permanent location on Third St. in downtown Alton.
The unveiling ceremony will be preceded and followed by live music from trumpeter Kasimu Taylor's quartet on an outdoor stage near the statue, and several bars and restaurants nearby will feature live jazz on Saturday evening. Most notably, the veteran trumpeter Bobby Shew(pictured, center left) will be as a guest performer with drummer Montez Coleman's band at Elijah P's, with gigs featuring trumpeters Jim Manley and Dan Smith, guitarist Tom Byrne with singer Erika Johnson, and others happening at various other downtown spots.
If you're looking for something to do during the day, the early fall edition of the St. Louis Record Collector and CD Show will take place at the American Czech Hall, while the Art Fair will feature performances from singer Wendy Gordon, trumpeter Dawn Weber, and Animal Children on the jazz stage and singer Tony Viviano on the main stage.
That evening, the Dave Dickey Big Band(pictured, lower left) will resume their monthly residency at Jazz at the Bistro, with the University of Missouri's jazz band, directed by saxophonist Arthur White, as the intermission performers.
(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.)