Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Jazz this week: New Year's Eve in St. Louis

As noted in this space last week, most touring jazz performers are off the road this time of year, and many of St. Louis' not-for-profit venues that present jazz are on hiatus until the new year as well.

Most notably, Jazz at the Bistro, the city's most prominent spot for live jazz, will be dark again this weekend as the First Night celebration takes place in the surrounding Grand Center district.

So, given all that, what options are available for someone who'd like to hear some jazz this New Year's Eve in St. Louis?

Well, once place to look would be the aforementioned First Night. Billed as a family-friendly, alcohol-free event, First Night offers a variety of entertainment both outdoors on the streets of Grand Center and indoors at various venues around the district for a single price. This year's indoor performance spaces include the Sheldon Concert Hall and Ballroom, Kranzberg Arts Center, the Grandel Theatre, Third Baptist Church, SLU's Busch Student Center, St. Francis Xavier College Church, and the Scottish Rite Auditorium. (Powell Hall is not included, as the Symphony has its own New Year's Eve concert scheduled.)

Performers at this year's First Night who are of potential interest to jazz fans include trad jazz and swing band Cornet Chop Suey; singers Jeanne Trevor (pictured) and Wendy Gordon; the contemporary quartet Nu Element; saxophonist James Warfield's trio; cabaret performers Rosemary Watts and Joe Dryer; Elsie Parker and the Poor People of Paris; stride/ragtime pianist Stephanie Trick; the Friends of Scott Joplin; and singer Kim Massie. For a complete schedule of who's playing where and when, see the First Night website.

Elsewhere around town on NYE, guitarist Eric Slaughter's trio will perform at Robbie's House of Jazz, and the Funky Butt Brass Band will be part of a multi-act bill with Hip Grease, the Dogtown All-Stars, and three DJs at 2720 Cherokee.

Also, keyboardist Mo Egeston's All-Stars will play downtown at Lola; The Sands will feature Gaslight Square veterans Banjos and Brass; and Iron Barley will present Sins of the Pioneers, who blend New Orleans jazz and Western swing with rock and various other strains of American roots music.

(For more on other New Year's Eve entertainment around St. Louis, see the Riverfront Times' coverage here, and the Post-Dispatch's here. )

Here at StLJN HQ, yr. humble editor continues to work on year-end posts and various housekeeping-type matters, as well as updating the site calendar as new info comes in for next month and beyond. While things may seem a bit slow right now, updates will be ongoing.

So, for more jazz-related events in St. Louis this weekend and beyond, we encourage you to 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 http://twitter.com/StLJazzNotes 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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