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March Music Heats Up St. Louis

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It's been a LONG winter in St. Louis. And even though it's officially March, we're enduring yet one more cold front threatening to drop several inches of snow on us. Maybe if it hadn't been 75 degrees this past weekend, it wouldn't be so hard to get through this—hopefully—last blast of winter.

Thankfully, there were some hot musical highlights over the past couple of months that have brightened up the area jazz scene. The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Wynton Marsalis made a rare appearance at the intimate, 700-seat Sheldon Concert Hall in February. And pianist Michael Wolff and his trio with special guest Badal Roy) played the Sheldon later that month as well.

Highlights at Jazz at the Bistro included the Javon Jackson Superband (with the great Jimmy Cobb on drums) in January and Terell Stafford's group in February.

There's plenty of interest for jazz fans coming up in March and early April as well. Anita Rosamond headlines Washington University's Jazz at Holmes concert series on March 6, followed by the BAG Trio on March 20 and Jeanne Trevor on March 27. All concerts are free and start at 8 pm in Ridgley's Hall's, Holmes Lounge.

Jazz at the Bistro features what promises to be some great jazz in March—starting with pianist Cyrus Chestnut and his trio on March 7 and 8, followed March 12-15 by guitarist Mike Stern, backed by former St. Louisans Tom Kennedy on bass and Dave Weckl on drums. Rounding out the month, the legendary Heath Brothers —Jimmy and Albert—perform at the Bistro March 26-29. And don't forget the Legacy Jazz Quintet, a group of talented local musicians led by pianist Phil Dunlap and featuring Jason Swagler on sax, Tony Wiggins on trumpet, Nick Jost on bass and Marty Morrison on drums. They'll be featured at the Bistro March 21 and 22.

Guitarist Frank Vignola returns to the Sheldon on March 7 to record a live DVD for Mel Bay. He'll be backed by his group, the Rhythm Machine.

Check out many more listings for the fine local jazz musicians appearing in the St. Louis area in the coming weeks at Dean Minderman's St. Louis Jazz Notes.

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