Thursday, February 26, 2015

Jazz this week: Peter Martin & Federico González Peña, Byron Stripling, and more

This week's calendar of jazz and creative music in St. Louis includes a duo concert pairing two prolific pianists, a return visit from a top trumpeter, three different big band performances, and more.

Let's go to the highlights...

Thursday, February 26
Pianist Kara Baldus, guitarist William Lenihan, and drummer Steve Davis will play a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University, with Wash U provost Holden Thorpe also sitting in on piano. In keeping with the evening's theme of different approaches to improvisation, they'll reportedly be using Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt's infamous Oblique Strategies as inspiration for a freeform piece or two.

Also tonight, the Tavern of Fine Arts presents their monthly "Experimental Arts Open Improv Night" with live improvised music.

Friday, February 27
Pianist Peter Martin (pictured, top left) will wrap up this season of his eponymous series at the The Sheldon performing a duo concert with keyboardist Federico González Peña, who's played with Marcus Miller, Grégoire Maret and Gene Lake, Sting, Chaka Khan and Meshell Ndegeocello.

Also on Friday, trumpeter Jim Manley and guitarist Randy Bahr will be duet at Thurman Grill; singer Joe Mancuso leads a quartet at Nathalie's; and the Ambassadors of Swing will play for dancers at Casa Loma Ballroom. Over on the east side, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will be perform in concert at the Wildey Theatre, and keyboardist Matt Villinger leads a quartet at Cigar Inn.

(In case you were wondering, Friday also is when Jazz St. Louis will hold their annual fundraising gala at the Ritz Carlton, with music by Jonathan Batiste and Stay Human and an "after-hours cabaret" with Denise Thimes. While tickets for the event were sold in advance, if you've got the requisite $500 per person and want to attend, you can contact JSL's development director Wendy Rosenblum at wendy at jazzstl dot org or 314-881-3085 to see if any seats remain available.)

Saturday, February 28
Trumpeter Byron Stripling (pictured, center left) who's been in town this week doing educational events for Jazz St. Louis, will play two sets at Jazz at the Bistro. For some video of Stripling in action, check out this post from before his appearance here in 2012

Also on Saturday, Miss Jubilee will play swing and jump blues at Casa Loma Ballroom, and Wack-A-Doo returns to Thurman Grill.

Sunday, March 1
The Friends of Scott Joplin present their monthly "Ragtime Rendezvous" at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site; and the Dave Dickey Big Band will play their monthly gig at Jazz at the Bistro. Dickey will be featuring charts from the late trumpeter Clark Terry's Big Bad Band, and student jazz ensembles from Seckman High School and Middle School will perform at intermission.

Monday, March 2
Guitarist Tom Byrne and singer Erika Johnson will perform at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

Tuesday, March 3
The St. Louis Jazz Orchestra, directed by bassist Jim Widner, will feature guest vocalist Mardra Thomas (pictured, lower left) performing material associated with Billie Holiday at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

For more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, which can be found on the left sidebar of the site or by clicking here. You also can keep up with all the latest news by following St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at or clicking the "Like" icon on the StLJN Facebook page.

(If you have calendar items, band schedule information, news tips, links, or anything else you think may be of interest to StLJN's readers, please email the information to stljazznotes (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you have photos, MP3s or other digital files, please send links, not attachments.)

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