Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Jazz this week: The Bad Plus, Ryan Hoffman Trio, Jim Manley's birthday bash, and more

The first part of January isn't a particularly active time for touring artists, so this week's calendar of jazz and creative music in St. Louis features just a couple of visiting acts - one quite well-known, the other seemingly new to these parts - plus the usual assortment of performances from our hometown players and singers. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, January 2
In what has become an annual tradition over the past decade-plus, The Bad Plus (pictured, top left) will be the first touring band of the the new year to play at Jazz St. Louis, with five nights of performances continuing through Sunday night.

It's been a year since pianist Orrin Evans officially joined the group, replacing founding member Ethan Iverson - in fact, Evans' first-ever gig with TBP was here in St. Louis. Since then, the consensus of critics and fans seems to be that, while their sound is unquestionably different, it's still The Bad Plus, which, in the words of Rolling Stone's Hank Shteamer, "has always been about putting distinctive, memorable songs first and letting them guide the band’s exploratory, idiosyncratic improvisations."

Also on Wednesday, the first "Grand Center Jazz Crawl" of the year features saxophonist Austin Cebulski and friends at The Stage at KDHX, plus the weekly jam session hosted by bassist Bob Deboo at the Kranzberg Arts Center, and trumpeter Kasimu Taylor's quartet at The Dark Room.

Thursday, January 3
Saxophonist Vince Sala leads a trio at The Pat Connolly Tavern, and trumpeter Brady Lewis and band will perform at The Dark Room.

Friday, January 4
Seattle-based guitarist Ryan Hoffman (pictured, bottom left) will play vintage swing, Gypsy jazz and more with his trio at Evangeline's; Mike Dillon Band plays at Pop's Blue Moon; bassist Darrell Mixon leads a trio at Cigar Inn, and pianist/singer Jesse Gannon returns to The Dark Room.

Saturday, January 5
Trumpeter Jim Manley and his band will celebrate Manley's birthday with a performance at Evangeline's.

Sunday, January 6
The St. Louis Record Show will present their first event of the new year in the usual location, the American Czech Center.

Also on Sunday, you can take in jazz brunch with singer Anita Jackson at The Dark Room or Miss Jubilee at Evangeline's; hear a matinee by the Genesis Jazz Project at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups; or catch an early-evening performance by the Jazz Troubadours at Evangeline's.

Monday, January 7
Drummer Keith Bowman and his quartet resume their Monday night residency at The Dark Room.

Tuesday, January 8
Meanwhile, keyboardist Owen Ragland and his band have inherited the Tuesday night spot at The Dark Room, held for most of last year by multi-instrumentalist and singer Tonina Saputo.

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.)

Edited 1/3/19 to add info on Mike Dillon Band. 

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