This week's lineup of jazz and creative music performances in St. Louis includes a rare nightclub appearance by a favorite hometown pianist, several noteworthy touring performers, and a rather eclectic selection of tribute shows.
Let's go to the highlights....
Wednesday, May 18
Pianist Peter Martin will lead his trio for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro, the first time he's played the room since it was expanded and renovated in 2014.
Martin (pictured, top left) will be joined by bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, both first-rate players who contributed to his most recent album What Lies Ahead and have been working with him on some touring dates as well, so they should be primed and ready from the first downbeat. Given Martin's local popularity - he grew up in U City, and continues to live in St. Louis while touring internationally as music director for singer Dianne Reeves - tickets may be hard to get, so advance reservations are recommended.
Thursday, May 19
The New Orleans-based band Nutrio makes their St. Louis debut at Evangeline's. The group, which includes saxophonist and clarinetist Byron Asher, bassist Trey Boudreaux, and drummer Shawn Myers, is touring the Midwest in support of their self-titled debut EP.
Friday, May 20
The Jazz Edge Orchestra will present a concert paying tribute to Kansas City jazz at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, featuring as special guests the veteran alto saxophonist Bobby Watson (pictured, center left), who once was a key part of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and now co-leads the jazz program at UMKC's conservatory of music; and vocalist and KC native Angela Hagenbach.
Elsewhere on Friday, the funk/jazz quartet Good 4 the Soul will join forces with keyboardist Reggie Thomas for the first of two nights of a tribute to the late keyboardists Joe Sample and George Duke at Jazz at the Bistro; Western swing favorites Asleep At The Wheel will be in town to perform at the Old Rock House, and guitarist Eric Slaughter and bassist Glen Smith will play duets at Tavern of Fine Arts.
Saturday, May 21 Saxquest continues their series of free performances and workshops with a matinee from the New Horizon Saxophone Quartet, which features faculty members from the University of Cincinnati, Drake University, and Colorado State University and "combines the rhythmic and improvisatory language of jazz with elements of modern chamber composition."
Sunday night, composer and multi-instrumentalist Rhys Chatham will be visiting for a rare solo performance at The Luminary, with St. Louis' Vernacular String Trio as opening act.
A seminal figure in NYC's experimental music scene of the 1970s and '80s, Chatham (pictured, bottom left) has lived in France for the past 30 years, and his appearances stateside are infrequent and often confined to the coasts. For more about Chatham and some video samples of his music, see this post from last Saturday.
Also on Sunday night, the Dave Dickey Big Band will play their regular monthly show at Jazz at the Bistro, with an intermission performance from the Sperring Middle School Jazz Ensemble.
(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.)