Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Jazz this week: Laurence Hobgood, three young St. Louis jazz stars come home, COCA goes "Uptown," and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis includes a visit from a fine veteran pianist, a homecoming gig for three St. Louis natives who have earned international recognition, a dance production with live music paying tribute to the Harlem Renaissance, and more.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, April 5
Pianist Laurence Hobgood and his trio will perform for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro.

Known to many jazz fans primarily for his long tenure working behind singer Kurt Elling, Hobgood (pictured, top left) stepped into the spotlight himself a few years ago, and has enjoyed success as a solo performer, bandleader, composer, and producer.

For more about his work as a solo artist, plus some videos of him playing in some different musical contexts, see this post from a couple of Saturdays ago.

Thursday, April 6
The Vernacular String Trio will promote the release of their new album Parlance with a performance at Foam; and the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University finishes the spring semester with a free concert featuring two Chicago-based musicians, saxophonist Rob Denty and drummer Tim Mulvenna, with St. Louis guitarist Vincent Varvel.

Friday, April 7
An ad hoc ensemble featuring three St. Louis natives now living in NYC - trumpeter Keyon Harrold, pianist Lawrence Fields, and drummer Kimberly Thompson (pictured) - plus saxophonist Adam Larson, who's originally from Normal, IL, will perform for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro.

These four rising jazz stars with Midwestern roots are back home this week for an educational residency with Jazz St. Louis, working with students in the organization's JazzU program and at local schools, and closing out their stay with a weekend of performances at the Bistro. 

Since this weekend is a one-off for this ensemble, it's difficult to preview in the usual way, but you can find out more about what Keyon Harrold has been up to since his last shows here (as a guest with pianist Robert Glasper in 2015), and see some videos from some recent performances of his in last Saturday's video showcase post.

Also on Friday, COCA presents the first of five performances this weekend of  "Uptown,"  a work about the Harlem Renaissance created by Alvin Ailey dancer/choreographer Matthew Rushing.

Described as "an episodic tour through 1920s Harlem bringing to life the rich artistic activity of the era," the production features students from COCA's dance programs accompanied by a live band including Phil Dunlap (piano), Andy Hainz (bass), Kaleb Kirby (drums), Adam Hucke (trumpet), Kwanae Johnson (tenor sax), Ben Reece (alto sax), and Cody Henry (trombone).

Elsewhere around town, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes return to Evangeline's; singer Joe Mancuso brings his Organ Trio to @Nesbys, and Miss Jubilee will perform for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom, with special guest, Cincinnati blues pianist Ricky Nye.

Saturday, April 8
Trumpeter Jim Manley's trio will perform for brunch at Evangeline's, and saxophonist Tim Cunningham will play an afternoon show at Mount Pleasant Winery in Augusta.

Monday, April 10
Dizzy Atmosphere plays swing and Gypsy jazz for diners at The Shaved Duck.

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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