Monday, January 21, 2013

Jazz at Holmes series returns this Thursday, January 24 with Brian Vaccaro Trio

The Jazz at Holmes series of free concerts at Washington University will begin their winter/spring 2013 schedule of shows with a performance by guitarist Brian Vaccaro's organ trio at 8:00 p.m. this Thursday, January 24. Vaccaro (pictured) and his group will play some of their jazz/funk interpretations of music by The Beatles.

Usually by this time of year, there's been some announcement from the Jazz at Holmes series' organizers about the entire semester's schedule of concerts, and one may appear yet in the next day or two as classes resume at Wash U. (See below for update!) For now, there are two other Jazz at Holmes gigs this winter and spring in addition to Vaccaro's that have become public through other sources.

On Thursday, February 28, the series will present drummer Ronnie Burrage, playing some of his original music with pianist Ptah Williams and bassist Darrell Mixon. According to what Burrage told StLJN for this story, the trio also will be holding open rehearsals on campus for a couple of days before the concert; the details on that are yet to come.

The following week at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 7, the series will present the first local screening of the 2012 documentary film We Juke Up In Here and a performance by Mississippi blues singer and guitarist Jimmy "Duck" Holmes.

The film, produced by St. Louisan and Broke & Hungry Records founder Jeff Konkel and former St. Louisan and Cathead Delta Blues & Folk Art proprietor Roger Stolle, documents the dwindling number of juke joints in rural Mississippi. Holmes, who also owns the Blue Front Cafe in Bentonia, MS, has recorded several albums for the Broke & Hungry label and appears in the film. A discussion with Holmes and the filmmakers will follow the screening and performance.

As for the rest of the schedule, StLJN will have it for you right here as soon as it is released. Presented most Thursday evenings when school is in session, the Jazz at Holmes concerts are free and open to the public. Unless otherwise noted, concerts begin at 8:00 p.m. in Holmes Lounge, Ridgley Hall, located on Washington University’s campus at the west end of the Brookings Quadrangle, near the intersection of Brookings and Hoyt drives.

Update, 10:47 p.m., 1/21/13: A couple of hours after this post went up, an email hit the StLJN inbox with the rest of the winter/spring 2013 Jazz at Holmes schedule. Following Vaccaro's kickoff show this Thursday, the rest of the concerts in chronological order will be:

Thursday, January 31: At Once: Improvisation Ensemble and the Art of Improvisation
Thursday, February 7: Ben Thigpen Group
Thursday, February 14: Jan Shapiro & Nathan Jatcko: Love Songs of Porter, Gershwin, Rodger, Hart, Hammerstein, & Arlen
Thursday, February 21: Special Event: Amina Figarova Quintet
Thursday, February 28: Ronnie Burrage
Thursday, March 7: Screening of We Juke Up In Here with live performance by Jimmy "Duck" Holmes
Thursday, March 21: "Take Five" and the Music of Dave Brubeck
Thursday, March 28: Joe Mancuso Quartet
Thursday, April 4: Wire Pilots: New, Original Music of Dan Rubright
Thursday, April 11: Four in One: Thelonious Monk Project with Paul DeMarinis, Steve Schenkel, Alan Schilling and Ric Vice

Of particular note are the performances by Jan Shapiro, a singer and St. Louis expat who now heads the vocal jazz program at Berklee College of Music in Boston; and Amina Figarova (pictured at left), a classically trained pianist who was born in Azerbaijan, launched her career as an internationally touring musician while living in Europe, and currently resides in NYC.

Figarova, 46, has released a dozen albums as a leader since her recording debut in 1994, and composes much of her own material. She co-leads her touring group with her husband, flute player Bart Platteau. As best as can be determined right now, her Jazz at Holmes show will be Figarova's debut performance in St. Louis.

(Edited after posting.)

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