This week's schedule of jazz and creative music in and around St. Louis features performances from two talented touring pianists, as well as an eclectic assortment of shows featuring local bands and musicians. Let's go to the highlights...
Wednesday, February 17
Pianist Marcus Roberts and his trio (pictured, top left) will play the first of four nights continuing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro.
After first gaining wide attention in the 1980s as a member of trumpeter Wynton Marsalis' band, Roberts has evolved into something of a keeper of the jazz piano tradition, incorporating re-imaginations of the works of Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller, and many other historically important pianists into his sets alongside his original material.
His last gigs in St. Louis were in 2012 and 2014 at The Sheldon, and compared to the relatively concise format required in a concert hall performance, playing eight sets this week at the Bistro should give Roberts ample opportunity to delve into that extensive catalog of tunes.
Friday, February 19
Trumpeter Kasimu Taylor will pay tribute to an influential trumpeter of the hard bop era with "Here's Lee Morgan - The Music of A Jazz Legend" at the Kranzberg Arts Center. The songlist will include Morgan's signature 1960s hit “The Sidewinder” plus other tunes such as “Ceora” and “Since I Fell for You” that are associated with him, as interpreted by Taylor, tenor saxophonist Kwanae Johnson, pianist Adam Maness, bassist Ben Wheeler, and drummer Montez Coleman.
Saturday, February 20
Kansas City's Shades of Jade, an up-and-coming act led by trumpeter and former St. Louisan Joshua Williams that mixes jazz with hip-hop and neo-soul, will return to St. Louis for a concert presented by Robbie's House of Jazz at Kranzberg Arts Center.
(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.)