Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Jazz this week: Jimmy Greene, The Wee Trio, Nevermore Jazz Ball, and more

This weekend will see swing dancers from all over the country converging on St. Louis for the annual Nevermore Jazz Ball, plus the local debut of a Grammy nominated saxophonist, a homecoming gig for a St. Louis expat with a new recording to promote, and much more. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, November 2
Saxophonist Jimmy Greene (pictured, top left) makes his St. Louis debut as a bandleader with the first of four nights of performances at Jazz at the Bistro.

The 41-year-old Connecticut native has appeared on more than 75 recordings with well-known artists such as Freddie Hubbard, Horace Silver, Harry Connick, Jr., and Jackie McLean. He has also recorded eight albums as a leader, including his latest Beautiful Life, released in 2015 and nominated for two Grammy Awards this year.

Inspired by his six-year-old daughter Ana, who was killed in the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the album incorporates the influence of traditional spirituals and contemporary Christian music into Greene's jazz sound.

Also on Wednesday, the Sidney Street Shakers will celebrate the release of their debut CD Laugh My Weary Blues Away with a performance at The Stage at KDHX.

Thursday, November 3
The Wee Trio plays a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University.

Featuring St. Louis native Dan Loomis on bass, The Wee Trio (pictured, center left) currently are touring in support of their recently released album Wee + 3. For more about that, and some video previews of some of the material on the album, see this video post from last Saturday.

Elsewhere around town, the aforementioned Nevermore Jazz Ball gets underway with music from New Orleans-based singer Meschiya Lake and The Little Big Horns at 2720 Cherokee. Though festival passes for the Nevermore Jazz Ball have been sold out for some time, tickets are available for most of this year's individual events; see their website for details.

Also on Thursday, guitarist Dave Black will feature singers Feyza Eren and Joe Mancuso in his final Thursday night gig at Nathalie's, which is closing permanently after service on Saturday.

Friday, November 4
Nevermore Jazz Ball continues with Miss Jubilee playing for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom, followed by an early morning show by the Sidney Street Shakers at the South Broadway Athletic Club.

Also on Friday, the Gaslight Cabaret Festival resumes with actor and singer Karen Irwin performing the first of two nights of "A Janis Joplin Tribute" at the Gaslight Theater.

Saturday, November 5
The Nevermore Jazz Ball presents the Cherokee Street Jazz Crawl, featuring free performances starting at noon and continuing into early evening, featuring more than a dozen local acts at various venues along Cherokee Street.

The festival continues Saturday evening with Michael Gamble and the Rhythm Serenaders (pictured, bottom left), a swing band from Asheville, NC, at the Casa Loma Ballroom, followed by late night/early morning sounds from Los Angeles-based guitarist Jonathan Stout's Midnighters at the South Broadway Athletic Club.

Also on Saturday, trumpeter Jim Manley and guitarist Randy Bahr will lead their All-Star Band for one last performance at Nathalie's; the Liberation Organ Trio plays at The Dark Room; and The WirePilots will be joined by multi-instrumentalist Sandy Weltman to play some original jazz-fusion at 1900 Park.

Sunday, November 6
The St. Louis Record & CD Collector Show presents their last event of 2016 at the American Czech Hall; the Friends of Scott Joplin will host the duo Ivory and Gold at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site; and the Jim Widner Big Band will be joined by singer Brian Owens for "A Tribute to Ray Charles" 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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