Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Jazz this week: Dee Dee Bridgewater & Irvin Mayfield, Tammy McCann, Joe Krown, Pink Martini, and more

With the weather taking a timely spring-like turn, it's a very busy week for jazz and creative music in St. Louis, with a couple of touring headliners in town plus visits by some lesser-known but worthy musicians from NYC, Chicago, Boston and New Orleans.

Let's go to the highlights...

March 16
Singer Dee Dee Bridgewater and trumpeter Irvin Mayfield (pictured, top left) will perform for the first of four nights at Jazz at the Bistro.

The two have been touring together since last year in support of Dee Dee's Feathers, a collaborative album featuring contemporary interpretations of famous songs associated with Mayfield's hometown of New Orleans. For more about that, and some video samples of Bridgewater, Mayfield and their touring band, the New Orleans 7, in action, see this post from a couple of Saturdays ago.

Wednesday also is the opening night for Satchel Paige and the Kansas City Swing, a play at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis that includes in its cast saxophonist and St. Louis native Eric Person, who's in from NYC to make his theatrical debut in the production.

Set in 1947, the play by Trey Ellis and Ricardo Khan is a story of "baseball by day and jazz by night as the impassioned and devoted players tried to find their place in a country on the verge of change." Playing a character called simply "Jazzman," Person will act and perform music composed for the play by Kansas City saxophonist and former Jazz Messenger Bobby Watson. The production runs through April 10 on The Rep's main stage.

Also on Wednesday, Cabaret Project St. Louis presents their monthly "Open Mic Night" at Tavern of Fine Arts, and Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will be deploying an unusual lineup up of vocals, vibes and bass at The Feasting Fox.

Thursday, March 17
The critically acclaimed Chicago-based singer Tammy McCann (pictured, center left) will kick off the weekend's Gaslight Cabaret Festival shows with a performance of "The Storytellers - Sarah, Ella, Dinah and Billie" at the Gaslight Theater, while another Chicago native now based in Boston, drummer Yoron Israel, will bring his band High Standards to the Kranzberg Arts Center.

Friday, March 18
The touring theatrical production "In The Mood", a nostalgic evocation of the Swing Era featuring live music from an onstage big band, will be presented in matinee and evening performances at the Touhill Peforming Arts Center; and singer Marissa Mulder returns from NYC to present the first of two performance of a new show, "Fragments of Marilyn" at the Gaslight Theater.

Also on Friday, The 442s will perform at Cyrano's; the Sentimental Journey Dance Band plays for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom; singer Erika Johnson and guitarist Tom Byrne return to Montrey's Cigar Lounge; and the Funky Butt Brass Band will play their monthly show at Broadway Oyster Bar.

Saturday, March 19
Another Chicago-based singer, Keri Johnsrud, will be making her St. Louis debut in concert with her quartet at The Chapel, while New Orleans keyboardist Joe Krown and his organ trio, featuring guitarist Walter "Wolfman" Washington and drummer Russell Batiste Jr. will bring the funk to the Broadway Oyster Bar.

Also on Saturday, guitarist Matthew Von Doran makes a rare live appearance with his trio at the gallery and event space 1900 Park; singer Danita Mumphard will performs in a benefit concert for North Side Community School; Franglais plays Gypsy jazz and swing at Evangeline's; and trumpeter Jim Manley and guitarist Randy Bahr's All-Star Band returns to Nathalie's

Sunday, March 20
Pianist Jon Weber, in town to accompany Tammy McCann and Melissa Mulder, gets his own moment in the spotlight with "From Joplin to Jarrett: 100 Years of Piano Jazz" at the Gaslight Theater; and the Dave Dickey Big Band plays their monthly gig at Jazz at the Bistro.

Also on Sunday, NYC-based saxophonist Michael Eaton will perform with organist Brad Whiteley and drummer Shareef Taher at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups. They'll be playing music from Eaton's 2014 album Individuation and previewing material from his planned next album Dialogical, which is scheduled to be recorded at live sessions next month in Brooklyn.

Monday, March 21
The eclectic ensemble Pink Martini (pictured, lower left), which draws on jazz, classical, Latin, and pop music to create a singularly suave sound, will make their St. Louis debut in a performance at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Also on Monday, guitarist Steve Schenkel and pianist Kim Portnoy will perform in Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium.

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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