Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Spruill's becomes Lavish, ending long run of Saturday jazz matinees

One of St. Louis' longest running weekly jazz gigs, the Saturday afternoon sessions by saxophonist Willie Akins at Spruill's, has come to a final ending with the closing of the club.

In a story published yesterday, the Post-Dispatch's Kevin Johnson wrote that the space at 1101 Jefferson formerly occupied by Spruill's is being refitted as a new nightclub, Lavish, by the owners of several other trendy local nightspots.

Akins' Saturday afternoon shows were a staple at Spruill's for many years, often attracting touring musicians passing through town as well as student players hoping for a chance to sit in.

He continues to play around town despite recent health problems that led friends and colleagues to stage a fundraiser for his medical expenses over Labor Day weekend. In addition to leading his own group, Akins (pictured) can be heard performing with bassist Bob DeBoo and others.

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