As St. Louis prepares to mark the turn of seasons into autumn, the jazz and creative music presenting season is starting to roll, with offerings this week ranging from the return of one of the foremost interpreters of the "Great American Songbook" to a three-day gathering of local improvisors and experimentalists. Let's go to the highlights...
Thursday, September 17
Trumpeter Danny Campbell and band will perform in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University; and guitarist Dave Black and friends, featuring singer Feyza Eren, will return to Nathalie’s.
Also on Thursday, New Music Circle will anticipate the beginning of their 57th season with a "welcome/fundraiser" event at the Tick Tock Tavern, 3459 Magnolia Ave. The event is free to attend, and will feature "drinks, live DJs (Josh Weinstein and Jeremy Kannapell), and raffle prizes such as vinyl LPs, CDs, and tickets to NMC concerts." Bar proceeds from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. will go into NMC's coffers to help fund their concert season and associated programs.
Friday, September 18
Drummer Montez Coleman will lead a quintet for a one-night stand at Jazz at the Bistro that originally was billed as a date to be co-led by saxophonist Willie Akins.
Instead, the evening has been re-purposed as a tribute to Akins, whose recently worsening health issues have left him unable to perform. With the veteran saxophonist unavailable, Coleman (pictured, center left) has enlisted two up-and-coming alumni of Jazz St. Louis' all-star student ensemble, trumpeter Brady Lewis and saxophonist Carlos Brown Jr, with guitarist Eric Slaughter and bassist Bob DeBoo completing the ensemble.
Saturday, September 19
Beginning at mid-day and continuing until well past dark, the annual Old Webster Jazz and Blues Festival will feature two stages of music in the area around the intersection of Lockwood and Gore Avenues in Webster Groves' Old Webster Business District.
Then on Saturday evening, legendary singer Tony Bennett(pictured, center right) will make his first appearance in the St. Louis area since 2011, performing at the J. Scheidegger Center For The Arts on the Lindenwood University campus in St. Charles.
If you don't have tickets already, though, you may be out of luck, as the Scheidegger Center's website currently shows the concert as a sellout. You can find out about potential returns, cancellations, and/or any other last-minute availabilities by calling the box office at (636) 949-4433.
Also on Saturday evening, the Jim Manley/Randy Bahr All-Star Group will return to Nathalie's.
Monday, September 21
The Webster University jazz faculty ensemble will pay tribute to one of the key jazz record labels of the 1960s and '70s with "On Impulse - A Celebration of Impulse Records" at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster campus.
The ensemble, featuring Keith Moyer (trumpet), Paul DeMarinis (flute, alto and tenor saxophones), Steve Schenkel (guitar), Kim Portnoy (piano), Willem von Hombracht (bass), Kevin Gianino (drums), and Debby Lennon (vocals), will perform St. Louis native Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments" from Nelson's classic Impulse album Blues and the Abstract Truth, plus eight more selections recorded for Impulse by John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Keith Jarrett and others.
Tuesday, September 22
It's the first of "3 Nights in September," a mid-week festival of improvised and experimental music organized by cellist Tracy Andreotti at the Tavern of Fine Arts. Tuesday's program will include performances from Brain Transplant, NNN Cook, Michael Williams, and the Hess/Cunningham Duo (pictured, bottom left).
The festival then continues on Wednesday and Thursday with two more completely different lineups of bands and musicians; see the event's Facebook page for the latest details.
(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.)