Friday, July 29, 2011

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

Here's the latest wrap-up of assorted links and short local news items of interest:

* Fran Landesman (pictured), poet, songwriter, and former St. Louisan who co-owned Gaslight Square's Crystal Palace nightclub with her late husband Jay, died last Saturday at her home in London. She was 83 years old. Landesman was remembered locally in the St. Louis Beacon and the Post-Dispatch, and her passing also was noted by NPR's Fresh Air and the London Telegraph. Living in London since the mid-1960s, Landesman last returned to St. Louis in 2008 to perform a cabaret show at the Gaslight Theatre; you can read about that performance here and here.

* Guitarist Dave Black reported this past Tuesday on Facebook that jazz organist and singer Terry Williams, whose music career in St. Louis stretched back to the early 1960s, has passed away. "For many, memories of Terry go back to the Gaslight Square days when he backed up many of big name jazz & blues artists who performed there. I had the pleasure of working with him from the late '80s through the '90s," wrote Black. Funeral services were conducted on Wednesday at Serenity Memorial Chapel in Belleville; so far, neither the Belleville News-Democrat nor the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has printed an obituary for Williams, but if one is published, we'll update here with a link.

* In happier news, pianist Peter Martin was featured on the New Zealand website Artslink in advance of a trip down under next week with singer Dianne Reeves. Martin also is hosting a free jazz piano instructional "webinar" tomorrow (Saturday, July 30) on his website; to sign up, go here.

* The New Orleans band Bonerama will be in town Sunday to perform at the Sheldon Concert Hall's ballroom, and Calvin Wilson of the Post-Dispatch has a short article on the show here.

* Lastly, a statue of rock legend and St. Louis native Chuck Berry was unveiled this week on Delmar in the University City Loop area. Terry Perkins comments on the occasion for the St. Louis Beacon here, and closes with an excellent question: "Where's the statue of Miles Davis?"

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