Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Jazz this week: Stefon Harris, Miles Davis Jazz Festival, Jeremy Davenport, and more

The unofficial start of summer in St. Louis this week brings with it several jazz and creative music events that local audiences have come to expect around this time of year, including the annual Miles Davis Jazz Festival in Alton; the start of the Whitaker Music Festival; benefit performances raising money for the Sheldon Concert Hall and for music scholarships awarded by Jazz St. Louis; and a gathering of ragtime musicians from all around the country. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, June 1
Tonight, singer Feyza Eren will perform in a free concert kicking off the summer-long Whitaker Music Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Thursday, June 2
Minnesota-based jump-blues and swing band Davina and the Vagabonds will play at the Broadway Oyster Bar

Friday, June 3
The fried-dough enthusiasts comprising the staff of Jazz St. Louis will celebrate "National Donut Day" on Friday morning with a free, public event at the Ferring Jazz Bistro, featuring free coffee, milk and donuts from 15 local shops and bakeries, plus live music from students in JSL's education programs, kids' activities, and more.

That evening, vibraphonist Stefon Harris (pictured, top left) will join students from Jazz St. Louis' JazzU program for their annual weekend of performances as Jazz at the Bistro, with two sets on both Friday and Saturday nights.

Also on Friday, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes return to Thurman Grill; the Original Knights of Swing play for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom; and saxophonist Austin Cebulski leads a quartet at Cigar Inn.

Saturday, June 4
On Saturday afternoon, Stefon Harris will lead a free workshop for musicians at Jazz at the Bistro, talking about the "Harmony Cloud" ear training system he's created with trombonist and software developer Clif Swiggett.

Saturday evening, the 11th annual Miles Davis Jazz Festival will take place at the Jacoby Arts Center in Alton, featuring pianist Phil Dunlap leading a nonet playing music from Davis' Birth of the Cool, plus sets from saxophonist Fred Walker, the Dilbert Caldwell Band, and the duo Me and Bob.

Elsewhere around town, South Korean saxophonist Lukas Insung Lee will play at Evangeline's; guitarist Dave Black will present a concert of his original music at Focal Point; and trumpeter Jim Manley and guitarist Randy Bahr's All-Star Band returns to Nathalie's.

Sunday, June 5
Sunday afternoon offers several noteworthy shows, starting with trumpeter, singer and U City native Jeremy Davenport (pictured, bottom left) who will be back home to headline the annual spring benefit for the Sheldon Concert Hall.

At about the same time, the Friends of Scott Joplin will present their "Ragtime Afterglow Party" at Scott Joplin House State Historic Site, featuring informal performances from various musicians involved in this weekend's Scott Joplin Festival in Sedalia, MO.

Meanwhile, Jazz St. Louis will be presenting the third annual Richard McDonnell Scholarship Concert at Jazz at the Bistro. The event, which raises money for music scholarships awarded in the name of the late founder of MAXJAZZ Records, runs from mid-afternoon through the evening, with performers including Jazz St. Louis' student All-Stars, alumni of JSL's JazzU program, pianist Carolbeth True's trio, Funky Butt Brass Band, Good 4 the Soul with singer Anita Jackson, a closing set featuring trumpeter Sean Jones and pianist Peter Martin, and more.

Monday, June 6
Trombonists Wayne Coniglio and Scott Whitfield will team up to lead a quintet at the Tavern of Fine Arts.

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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