Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Jazz this week: Poncho Sanchez, Charlemagne Palestine, Ramsey Lewis, Nevermore Jazz Ball, Storm Large, and more

It's an extremely busy week for jazz and creative music in and around St. Louis, with major touring musicians in town offering Latin jazz, cabaret, soul jazz, and experimental music, plus a big event drawing swing dancers from around the country, and a varied assortment of shows from local musicians.

Here's a brief look at some of the most notable performances coming up:

Wednesday, November 4
Percussionist Poncho Sanchez and his Latin jazz band return to open a four-night stand at Jazz at the Bistro.

The popular conguero and his cohorts are one the busiest and best groups in the genre, performing here most recently in April of last year at the Bistro. You can see some video samples of Sanchez (pictured, top left) and the band in concert in this post published before that 2014 appearance.

As part of Jazz St. Louis' education and community outreach efforts, Sanchez also will present a free percussion workshop at 1:00 p.m. Saturday afternoon at the Bistro. There's no advance reservation required, and it's open to the general public. 

Thursday, November 5
The biggest swing dance event of the year in St. Louis, the weekend-long Nevermore Jazz Ball, gets underway with a "welcome party" featuring music from the the Sidney Street Shakers at the Mahler Ballroom.

The festival continues through Sunday night, and though all-event passes have been sold out for a number of weeks, there may be tickets available for some of the shows. Those will include dances featuring Miss Jubilee on Friday night and bassist Michael Gamble’s Rhythm Serenaders, from Asheville, NC, on Saturday and Sunday nights, plus after-parties on Friday and Saturday. For the latest on ticket availability, check the event website and/or Facebook page.

Also, Saturday's Cherokee Street Jazz Crawl has been expanded this year, and remains free and open to the public. The event starts at lunchtime and continues through the afternoon with 10 different acts performing at various venues and businesses starting in the 1900 block of Cherokee and going west to the 2700 block. For a complete list of performers and venues, check the link above.

Elsewhere on Thursday, the Gaslight Cabaret Festival's fall series resumes with a performance from indie rock duo Sleepy Kitty, aka singers and multi-instrumentalists Paige Brubeck and Evan Sult, at the Gaslight Theater. Brubeck and Sult also will repeat the show a week from Thursday at the same venue.

Friday, November 6
During the day on Friday, musician, composer and sound artist Charlemagne Palestine (pictured, center left), here under the auspices of New Music Circle for performances on Saturday and Sunday nights, will preface those shows with free, public artist's talks at Webster University and Washington University.

Elsewhere around town, the Gaslight Cabaret Festival continues with singer Storm Large in the first of two performances at the Gaslight Theater. Large played St. Louis most recently last September for the 2014 edition of the festival; for more about what she's been up to since then, check out check out this brief interview she did with Alive magazine.

Also on Friday, the experimental/noise duo Ahleuchatistas are back to headline a three-act bill at Foam; and the Genesis Jazz Project will be at St. Louis Union Station for "Fall In Love at Grand Hall - An Evening of Jazz, Comedy & Dancing" featuring a number of guest singers and performers including Dawn Weber and Anita Jackson.

Saturday, November 7
The veteran pianist Ramsey Lewis, celebrating 50 years since "The In Crowd" made his reputation as a popular crossover artist, returns to perform for the annual ArtSounds! benefit at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Lewis (pictured, lower left) has made a couple of St. Louis appearances in recent years, but his last stop in 2014 included just one public show at the Bistro, so look for his fans to turn out in force for this one. As of this writing, some concert-only tickets remain, but you should contact the Sheldon box office for the latest on what's available. For more about Lewis, see this video showcase post from Saturday before last, and this week's Music Education Monday post featuring a master class with him.

Meanwhile, just down the street in Grand Center, Charlemagne Palestine will perform on piano at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation. You can see performances from Palestine on both piano and organ and learn more about him in this video showcase post from last Saturday.

Elsewhere around town, The Wire Pilots will play original fusion music at the Tavern of Fine Arts.

Sunday, November 8
The fall edition of the St. Louis Record Collector and CD Show begins bright and early in the morning at the American Czech Hall, and later that afternoon, pianist Carol Schmidt and friends from the Webster University faculty will present a concert with the theme of "Music and Humor" at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster campus.

Sunday evening, singers Joe Mancuso and Charles Glenn will headline "Voices for the MS Cure," a benefit raising money for the fight against multiple sclerosis, at the Ferring Jazz Bistro; and Charlemagne Palestine will perform on the organ at Trinity Lutheran Church in Soulard.

Monday, November 9
"A Celebration of Gene Lynn," organized by the late singer's longtime companion Maria Vera, will begin mid-afternoon and continue through the evening at Bar Italia.

The event will feature performances from a long list of St. Louis singers and "more than 20" musicians who played with Lynn over the years, with proceeds benefiting a fund to be managed by the National Blues Museum "ensuring that students from public schools in underserved communities across the St Louis region continue to learn about Gene Lynn's life and songs."

Also on Monday, Webster University's Student Jazz Combos will perform at Webster's Community Music School.

Tuesday, November 10
The STL Free Jazz Collective will perform for the "Notes From Home" series at the Sheldon, while a couple of blocks away, the SIUE Concert & Alumni Jazz Bands will return to Jazz at the Bistro.

For more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, which can be found on the left sidebar of the site or by clicking here. You also can keep up with all the latest news by following St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at or clicking the "Like" icon on the StLJN Facebook page.

(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.)

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