Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Jazz this week: Kurt Elling, Nicole Mitchell, Lubambo, Alves & Ribeiro, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis brings sounds from all over, including two prominent performers who each got their start in Chicago, one who made his name on Broadway, and three coming from Brazil via NYC. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, March 13
Singer Kurt Elling - one of the aforementioned Chicagoans, though he now lives in New York - performs for the first of five nights, continuing through Sunday at Jazz St. Louis.

Elling (pictured, top left) returns here for the first time since the release in 2018 of his most recent album The Questions, so it seems likely that a good portion of material from that recording will be part of his sets here. You can see videos of live performances of several of those tunes, and find out more about what Elling has been up to more recently, in this post from last Saturday.

Elsewhere around town, clarinetist and former St. Louisan Chloe Feoranzo, now residing in New Orleans, will be back in town for a concert with her quartet at Focal Point, and guitarist Brian Vaccaro leads a trio at Evangeline's.

Thursday, March 14
Pianist Jim Hegarty returns with his quintet to the The Dark Room; guitarist Dave Black and singer Erika Johnson perform at The Pat Connolly Tavern; and pianist Adam Maness' trio is back at Thurman's in Shaw.

Friday, March 15
Pianist, singer and Tony Award-winning musical theater composer Jason Robert Brown performs in concert at the Grandel Theatre; and the Original Knights of Swing play for dancers at Casa Loma Ballroom.

Saturday, March 16
Flute player and composer Nicole Mitchell’s Liberation Narratives, featuring poet Haki Madhubuti, performs in a concert presented by New Music Circle at Xavier Hall on the St. Louis University campus.

A composer and conceptualist with wide-ranging interests, Mitchell (pictured, bottom left) is a past president of Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians and recently was appointed head of the jazz program at the University of Pittsburgh, succeeding the late Geri Allen.

Mitchell has been involved in a constantly evolving variety of musical projects over the years, with her latest collaboration with poet Haki Madhubuti offering "an unabashed take on the state of the nation" via her compositions and the poet's spoken word performances.  For a bit more about that, plus some videos of Mitchell performing in various contexts, see this post from a couple of Saturdays ago.

Elsewhere around town, pianist Peter Martin's Open Studio will present a concert of Brazilian jazz featuring guitarist Romero Lubambo, pianist Helio Alves, and drummer Edu Ribeiro, along with St. Louis' own Bob DeBoo on bass.

Also on Saturday, the Coleman Hughes Project celebrates six years as a band with a gig at Lowes Entertainment; and trumpeter Jim Manley and keyboardist Chris Swan will play at One 19 North Tapas & Wine Bar.

Sunday, March 17
Friends have organized a benefit for saxophonist Fred Walker, who no longer can perform due to recent health issues, for late Sunday afternoon at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups, with announced performers including Walker's former band Mystic Voyage, saxophonist Kendrick Smith, blues singers Kim Massie, Eugene Johnson, and Lady J Huston, and more.

Monday, March 18
Pianist Carol Schmidt and saxophonist Paul DeMarinis will team up for a concert of duets at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster University campus.

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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