Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Jazz this week: A benefit starring Johnny O'Neal, free outdoor concerts, and more

It's mid-summer in St. Louis, and though as usual for this time year, it's mostly another slow week with regard to touring musicians visiting St. Louis, the fine pianist and singer Johnny O'Neal (pictured) will be in town for a benefit show on Sunday.

And of course, St. Louis' hometown musicians keep on keepin' on no matter what, with a variety of jazz and creative music performances happening around town over the next few days.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, July 27
The Grand Center "jazz crawl" starts this week with singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Dave Black at KDHX's Magnolia Cafe, and continues as usual with bassist Bob DeBoo and friends at the Kranzberg Arts Center and trumpeter Kasimu Taylor's trio at The Dark Room.

Thursday, July 28
Singer Erin Bode will perform in a free outdoor concert at Kirkwood Station Plaza in downtown Kirkwood, and bassist Glen Smith will lead a trio in a concert at Tisch Commons in the Danforth University Center at Washington University, wrapping up this year's free "Jazz in July" concerts from Wash U's Jazz at Holmes series.

Also on Thursday, singer/guitarist Tommy Halloran and his Guerrilla Strings will be recording in public view at the Gaslight Lounge; and this month's edition of the Bruxism experimental music series, with Blank Thomas, Alberto Patino, Schievvf, will be presented at the Schlafly Tap Room.

Friday, July 29
Soul-jazz/funk quartet The Service returns for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro; and guitarists Farshid Soltanshahi and Dave Black will team up with multi-instrumentalist Sandy Weltman for a concert at Focal Point.

Elsewhere around town, the Midwest Jazz-tette performs West Coast-style cool jazz at Evangeline's; Miss Jubilee plays for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom; and trumpeter Jim Manley will be back at One 19 North Tapas and Wine Bar.

Also on Friday, singer Ken Haller presents his cabaret performance "The TV Show" at The Emerald Room at The Monocle. Haller will return to the same venue on Saturday night to perform his show "Song by Song by Sondheim".

Saturday, July 30
Take your pick of R&B-influenced saxophonists doing free outdoor concerts, as Tim Cunningham performs at Carondelet Park while Jim Stevens plays at Lafayette Park.

Also on Saturday, the Funky Butt Brass Band will play their monthly gig at the Broadway Oyster Bar.

Sunday, July 31
The Community Women Against Hardship will present their annual jazz benefit concert at the Ferring Jazz Bistro, this year featuring pianist and singer Johnny O'Neal.

The Detroit native, now based in NYC after many years living in Alabama, has been compared to Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum. Now 59 years old, O'Neal worked early in his career with Clark Terry and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, but geography, bad health, and bad luck mostly kept him from gaining wider recognition until this decade, when he re-established his presence on the NYC scene with weekly gigs in Manhattan.

For this show, O'Neal will be accompanied by a contingent of St. Louisans including singer Anita Jackson, guitarist Eric Slaughter, bassist Jeff Anderson, and drummer Jerome “Scrooge” Harris.

Monday, August 1
Singer and impresisonist Dean Christopher will present his "Rat Pack & More" show at One 19 North Tapas and Wine Bar.

Tuesday, August 2
The Jazz Troubadours, featuring vibraphonist Tom Rickard, bassist Guy Cantonwine, and drummer Steve Helfand, have begun a weekly Tuesday late-night gig and jam session at Evangeline's, continuing until further notice.

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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