Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Jazz St. Louis announces
2017-18 season schedule

Jazz St. Louis has announced the touring performers scheduled for the 2017-18 season at Jazz at the Bistro.

In what is undoubtedly the season's biggest "get," the organization will be one of the presenters for the previously announced concert by pianist Herbie Hancock in August at Powell Symphony Hall.

Also as announced earlier this year, the Bistro will host pianist Orrin Evans' debut as a member of The Bad Plus next January.

With those bits of news already public for weeks, the season announcement (which covered only touring acts and did not include any of the locally based performers that presumably will be playing the venue next year) contained very few surprises, but here are the key takeaways:

* Kicking off in late September with a four-night run from Yellowjackets, the schedule is heavy on familiar names such as Terrell Stafford, Cyrus Chestnut, Sean Jones, Houston Person, Benny Green, Freddy Cole, and Poncho Sanchez, all of whom have performed at the Bistro multiple times over the years.

Other than Hancock, the season's most notable shows would seem to be the return of vocal group Take 6 (pictured, top left), who performed at the Bistro in 2011 and will be back for a week in December; and the quartet co-led by guitarist John Scofield and saxophonist Joe Lovano (pictured, center left), who will play the club in April.

* Just three acts - the fewest ever that yr. StLJN editor can remember - will be making their Bistro debuts as headliners. Saxophonist and singer Grace Kelly (pictured, bottom left) and Cuban pianist Harold Lopez-Nussa are the complete newbies to the venue, while singer and St. Louis native Alicia Olatuja, who co-headlined a show this year at the Bistro with harmonica player Gregoire Maret, will be appearing at the club for two weeks next season.

She'll headline shows under her own name during Valentine's Day week (taking the slot occupied for years by Mardra and Reggie Thomas, and more recently by Erin Bode) and then will turn up again in April as a featured singer with drummer Ulysses Owens Jr.

* In addition to Olatuja, three other St. Louis area natives also will return next season to headline at the Bistro. Trumpeter Russell Gunn, who grew up in East St. Louis, will return from his current home in Atlanta to play a week in November with a band including drummer Jimmy Cobb, the last surviving musician who played on Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.

Later that month, trumpeter Jeremy Davenport will be back from New Orleans to perform his usual Thanksgiving weekend shows. And next spring, drummer Marcus Baylor's Baylor Project will be featured for a week of performances in March.

Here's the lineup of announced shows in chronological order:

Thursday, August 10: Herbie Hancock (at Powell Symphony Hall)

Wednesday, September 20 - Saturday, September 23: Yellowjackets

Wednesday, October 4 - Saturday, October 7: Grace Kelly
Friday, October 13 & Saturday, October 14: Arturo Sandoval
Wednesday, October 16 - Saturday, October 21: Harold Lopez-Nussa Trio

Wednesday, November 1 - Saturday, November 4: Houston Person Quartet
Wednesday, November 15 - Saturday, November 18:: Russell Gunn w/ Jimmy Cobb
Friday, November 24 & Saturday, November 25: Jeremy Davenport
Wednesday, November 29 - Saturday, December 1: Jane Monheit

Wednesday, December 3 - Saturday, December 6: Freddy Cole Quintet
Wednesday, December 10 - Saturday, December 13: Take 6


Wednesday, January 3 - Saturday, January 5: Joshua Redman Quartet
Wednesday, January 17 - Saturday, January 20: The Bad Plus
Wednesday, January 31 - Saturday, February 3: Cyrus Chestnut Trio

Wednesday, February 14 - Saturday, February 17: Alicia Olatuja
Wednesday, February 21 - Saturday, February 24: Benny Green Trio

Wednesday, March 14 - Saturday, March 17: Sean Jones Quartet
Wednesday, March 28 - Saturday, March 31: The Baylor Project

Wednesday, April 11 - Saturday, April 14: “Songs of Freedom” w/ Ulysses Owens Jr., Alicia Olatuja & Joanna Majoko
Wednesday, April 25 - Saturday, April 28: John Scofield-Joe Lovano Quartet

Wednesday, May 9 - Saturday, May 12: Terell Stafford Quintet
Wednesday, May 23 - Saturday, May 26: Poncho Sanchez

Various season subscription packages can be purchased now via the Jazz St. Louis website or by calling 314-571-6000, with single tickets scheduled to go on sale on Thursday, August 10. 

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