Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Jazz this week: Sean Jones, Sylvie Courvoisier & Mark Feldman, Roseanna Vitro, and more

Even as presenters prepare to go into full holiday mode, it's going to be a busy week for jazz and creative music in and around St. Louis, with visits from several major touring musicians in the next few days, plus special seasonal performances from a number of local favorites. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, December 2
Trumpeter Sean Jones returns to Jazz at the Bistro for the first evening of a four-night engagement in which he'll be recording tracks for a planned live album for his longtime label Mack Avenue Records. Jones (who was the subject of video showcase posts here previously in 2009 and 2011) performed here most recently last November at the Bistro, co-leading a band with saxophonist Tia Fuller and vibraphonist Warren Wolf.

He first came to St. Louis as lead trumpeter for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and since leaving that job in 2010, he's become chair of brass at Berklee College of Music and the artistic director of the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestras. Also, this past August Jones (pictured, top left) joined the SF Jazz Collective octet, succeeding Avishai Cohen. That means he'll be coming back to St. Louis and the Bistro in the spring for the Collective's annual tour, which next year will feature interpretations of the music of Michael Jackson.

Also tonight, saxophonist Daniel Bennett's trio will play a free concert at the St. Louis County Library's Daniel Boone Branch in Ellisville; and this year's procession of holiday-themed performances begins with the Gateway City Big Band playing their annual Christmas concert at Sky Music Lounge in Ballwin, while pianist Peter Martin joins St. Louis Symphony violinist David Halen and friends to "Celebrate the Holidays" at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Thursday, December 3
Singer Kim Fuller will sing songs associated with Billie Holiday in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University, and guitarists Brian Vaccaro and Tim Fischer will play duets at the Pat Connolly Tavern in Dogtown.

Friday, December 4
New Music Circle presents pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and violinist Mark Feldman (pictured, center left) in concert at The Stage at KDHX.

Working the territory where contemporary composition meets free improvisation, Courvoisier and Feldman have earned a reputation as serious players in both contexts. You can find out more about them and see some video samples of their duo performances in this post from the Saturday before last.

Also on Friday, trumpeter Randy Holmes and his quintet anticipate and pay tribute to the December 14 birthday of the late trumpeter Clark Terry by performing his music at the Ozark Theatre; Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will play swing and jump blues at Evangeline's; and the Original Knights of Swing perform for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom.

Over in Illinois, Miss Jubilee will play at Edwardsville's Wildey Theatre, while the Midwest Jazz-tette brings their West Coast jazz sound to The Abbey in Belleville.

Saturday, December 5
Singer Roseanna Vitro (pictured, center left) will perform at the Ozark Theatre. Vitro is a savvy and swinging vocalist who was nominated for a Grammy Award for her 2012 album interpreting the music of Randy Newman.

For more about her, plus some video samples of some live performances, see this post from last Saturday.

Sunday, December 6
The University of Missouri St. Louis music department presents "UMSL's Jazz for the Holidays," a free concert featuring the UMSL Jazz Ensemble, directed by bassist Jim Widner, the Vocal Point ensemble and University Orchestra at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

Also on Sunday, the Dave Dickey Big Band turns their regular monthly gig at Jazz at the Bistro into a "Big Band Christmas" with a little help from guest vocalist Olivia Neal and an intermission set from the Pattonville HS Jazz Ensemble; and saxophonist and clarinetist Victor Goines will perform in a benefit for the North County Big Band at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Monday, December 7
Guitarist Tom Byrne and singer Erika Johnson perform at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

Tuesday, December 8 
The eclectic acoustic band The 442s will present their "Holiday Spectacular" with guest performers including pianist Peter Martin and singer Erin Bode at the 560 Music Center.

Also on Tuesday, the Saxquest Jazz Orchestra returns to the Tavern of Fine Arts; guitarist Vincent Varvel plays at Evangeline's; and pianist Pat Joyce will perform at The Wine Press.

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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