With a forecast for spring-like weather in the offing, it should be a good weekend to get out and hear some live music in St. Louis.
However, if you're headed down to the annual Mardi Gras parade on Saturday, don't expect to find much jazz or blues among the musical options.
With the notable exception of the Funky Butt Brass Band, who will make appearances at the Mayor's Ball on Friday night, at the parade tent in Soulard on Saturday afternoon, and at the Old Rock House on Saturday, the corporate-dominated event unfortunately continues to rely mostly on DJs and rock cover bands, ignoring the genres most associated with Mardi Gras in the popular imagination.
That said, if you want to find some live jazz around St. Louis this week, you're in the right place. Let's go to the highlights...
Known individually for their work in jazz (Lage) and bluegrass (Eldridge), the two joined forces a few years back for an album, and have continued the project with intermittent touring between their commitments to other bands.
Now, with a new record, Mount Royal, set for release on Friday, they're doing a series of live dates in support of the release. For more about that, and some video samples of them in action, see this post from last Saturday.
A childhood friend of Dave Weckl, Oliver was a member of Weckl's band in the 1990s, recording four albums with the drummer, but he's had his greatest commercial successes as a producer, programmer and songwriter for rock acts including Sheryl Crow, Jimmy Buffett and the Eagles.
More recently, Oliver's "world music" project Aomusic has released four albums of original compositions and also created theme music for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Given all the time he spends in the recording studio, this show should give Oliver a good opportunity to cut loose in a live situation, and given his hometown connection, there should be a good turnout. (Note that while most Jazz at Holmes shows are free, this show will have a $10 admission charge at the door.)
Saturday, February 25
Two veteran local musicians whose careers stretch back to the Gaslight Square era, pianist Dave Venn and singer Jeanne Trevor, will take the stage for one night only at Jazz at the Bistro; pianist Greg Mills will present new compositions for solo piano at Jackson Pianos; and Miss Jubilee will perform at Jacoby Arts Center in Alton.
(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.)