Friday, November 29, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* News comes this week of a fund-raising campaign on behalf of pianist and Maplewood native Ray Kennedy (pictured), brother of bassist Tom Kennedy and formerly part of John Pizzarelli's band.

After being diagnosed with the neuro-muscular disease MS a few years ago, Ray Kennedy's condition now has progressed to the point where he no longer is able to perform and earn a living. As a result, friends and fans have set up a fund to assist with medical expenses and support for his family, which includes two young daughters. You can find out more about Ray Kennedy and make a contribution here.

* On a similar note, today's St. Louis Beacon has an article by Terry Perkins about the efforts to help another former St. Louisan, nonagenarian trumpeter Clark Terry, remain in his home by assisting with the cost of his daily home care visits.

* In happier news, The Baylor Project, the new band co-led by St. Louis native and drummer Marcus Baylor and his wife, singer Jean Baylor, has just released an official music video for their debut single "More in Love."

* Meanwhile, drummer and St. Louis native Kimberly Thompson will bring her band to the Kennedy Center in Washington DC for the first time in February.

* Pianist Peter Martin spent this Thanksgiving in Germany, performing yesterday with singer Dianne Reeves and the WDR Big Band in a nationwide broadcast from the Köln Philharmonie.

* Trumpeter Jim Manley's new album Short Stories & Tall Tales was reviewed for by Nicholas F. Mondello.

* The Wee Trio's recent release Live at the Bistro, recorded here in St. Louis by the group featuring native son Dan Loomis on bass, was reviewed by Jazz Weekly blogger George W. Harris.

* Dennis Owsley has a new post up on St. Louis magazine's Look/Listen blog, about seeing a performance by John Coltrane in Los Angeles the night after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

* In this week's Miles Davis news, the CD box-set reissue of Davis' Original Mono Recordings for Columbia/Legacy was reviewed by Music and More blogger Tim Niland, and an article by Sonia Saraiya for the AV Club examines the contrast between Davis' musical excellence and his history of spousal abuse.

* If you're a musician or artist looking for help getting health insurance and understanding the Affordable Care Act, the St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts (VLAA) and the Community Action Agency of St. Louis (CAASTL) will be offering free, in-person guidance from trained certified application counselors from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 11 at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar.

The one-on-one sessions are designed to provide unbiased information and de-mystify the enrollment process so you can compare plan prices and coverage details and see if you qualify for subsidies. Appointments will be made on a first -come, first-served basis, and reservations are required. To make an appointment, please send an email including your name and phone number to vlaa at stlrac dot org.

* Jazz radio update:  The weekend lineup on WSIE (88.7 FM) now includes "Saturday Night at The Chase Park-Plaza," a weekly broadcast of music from singers of the 1960s and 1970s featuring selections drawn from vinyl albums in the WSIE vault. The program, hosted by Evan Johnson, Kelly Hoffman and John Uzell, airs from 7:00 p.m to 10:00 p.m..

This Saturday on Radio Arts Foundation - St. Louis, Calvin Wilson's "Somethin' Else" delves into the Cole Porter songbook with tracks from singer Dianne Reeves, saxophonist Sonny Rollins, and trumpeter Wallace Roney. The program can be heard at 8:00 p.m. Saturdays via 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2 and online at

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