Friday, July 26, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* With a little more than 24 hours to go, KDHX (88.1 FM) yesterday met their Kickstarter campaign goal of $50,000 to build a 125-seat performance space at the station's new headquarters on Washington Ave in the Grand Center district.

The campaign's final days were marked by a social media push on Facebook and Twitter involving local music fans and bloggers, and also got some coverage from reporter Heidi Glaus of local NBC affiliate KSDK. The various premiums still are available to anyone who pledges before the campaign ends at noon on Friday.

* Metrotix and Tap Heritage, Inc. are offering a $5 discount on tickets for "All That Tap XXII," this year's installment of the annual tap dance festival to be held Saturday at the Edison Theater on the Washington University campus.

The event features tap stars of movies, Broadway and TV performing in tap dance styles from jazz to hip-hop, with live music from pianist Carolbeth True's trio. The regular ticket price is $25, so the discounted price is $20 per ticket. To access the offer, go to the Metrotix site and enter promo code ATT.  The offer ends at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.

* Quartette Humaine, the new album from David Sanborn and Bob James, was reviewed by Chris Parker for London Jazz News.

* Jim Widner (pictured)  - bassist, bandleader, educator and head of the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival - was the subject of a profile by Ruth Ezell of local PBS affiliate KETC's Living St. Louis, as well as a feature story by the UMSL Daily.

* And speaking of profiles, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes this week were the subjects of one written by Terry Perkins for the St. Louis Beacon.

* Perkins this week also wrote for the Beacon a preview of the upcoming St. Louis Cabaret Festival.

* And on the same subject, singer Jason Graae, who will be appearing at the Cabaret Festival and accompanying conference, was interviewed by KDHX's "Break A Leg" podcast.

* The St. Louis Stompers are headlining this weekend at the 21st annual Lakeside DixieFest in Clear Lake, IA.

* Jazz St. Louis this week announced that the organization posted double-digit percentage increases in subscription and single ticket sales revenues this past season, with total revenue for all Jazz at the Bistro activity up 17% over the previous year.

Subscription revenue grew by 13% to $151,417, with total subscription seats sold rising 8% to 5,755. New subscription seats sold for Jazz at the Bistro increased 26% over fiscal 2012, and average per-set attendance increased 7% compared to the previous year. In a press release, Jazz St. Louis' Bob Bennett attributed the growth to a record number of new subscription seats purchased, an 85% renewal rate, and an overall increase in the number of shows subscribers are purchasing.

JSL also announced this week that Wells Fargo Advisors will contribute $100,000 to be "presenting sponsor" of the 2013-14 Jazz at the Bistro season, marking the third year the company has made a "leadership gift" to the organization.

* Jazz radio update: This week at Radio Arts Foundation-St. Louis, saxophonist Joe Henderson's  achievements as a bandleader, composer and accompanist will be the subject of this week's episode of Calvin Wilson's "Somethin' Else." In addition to music from Henderson, the program also will feature sounds from saxophonist Marcus Strickland and singer Holly Cole. The program can be heard at 8:00 p.m. Saturdays via 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2 and online at

Elsewhere on the radio dial, Dennis Owsley's "Jazz Unlimited" program this Sunday will feature the music of Fats Waller, as interpreted by Waller himself and pianists James P. Johnson, Earl Hines and Dick Hyman, plus St. Louis’s own Ralph Sutton and his sister Barbara Sutton Curtis.

Owsley also will spin new music from Ralph Alessi, Melton Mustafa, the Joel Harrison 19, Mark Gross, Oliver Jones, Fred Hersch, Laszlo Gardony, Kenny Barron, Jacky Terrasson, Edward Simon, Scott Newman, Ben Monder, and RJ and the Association. "Jazz Unlimited" can be heard from 9:00 pm to midnight Sundays on KWMU (90.7 FM) or online at

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