Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Whitaker Music Festival announces 2013 schedule of free summer concerts

The Whitaker Music Festival has announced their 2013 schedule of free concerts to be presented on Wednesdays this summer at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Although over the years the series has expanded from its origins as "Jazz in June" to include various other musical genres, this year's schedule does feature several acts that will be of interest to local jazz listeners, most notably trumpeter Terence Blanchard (pictured), who will perform on Wednesday, June 12.

The New Orleans native, who's played here in recent years at Jazz at the Bistro and The Sheldon, will return to St. Louis for an extended visit this year as Opera Theatre St. Louis prepares for the world premiere of his new commissioned work Champion, which opens on June 15.

Also playing at the Botanical Garden this year will be the Funky Butt Brass Band, who will kick off this year's Whitaker Music Festival series on Wednesday, June 5; the Montez Coleman/Willie Akins Project (July 17); and Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes (July 24).

The remainder of the schedule will include blues singer Kim Massie (June 19); rock band Ransom Note (June 26); singer-songwriter Beth Bombara (July 3); Kansas City "antique pop" duo Victor & Penny (July 10); blues singer and harmonica player Big George Brock (July 31); and "greasy bayou blues rock" band The Scandaleros (August 7).

All Whitaker Music Festival concerts are free and open to the public, and begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Cohen Amphitheater at Missouri Botanical Garden. For more information, visit the series' website or call 314-577-5100.

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