Looks like November will feature a harvest of great jazz to St. Louis. In addition to plenty of national acts rolling through town at Jazz at the Bistro, Finale and the Sheldonthere's a full month of appealing gigs featuring the best local musicians as well
There are a host of familiar faces at Jazz at the Bistro this month as the club celebrates its 10th anniversary by bringing back favorite musicians from years past. Harmonica legend Toots Thielemans returns Nov. 2-5 in the company of excellent pianist Kenny Wernerrecreating their duo performance that was a highlight of the 2003 season. Two other Bistro favoritiespianist Cyrus Chestnut and vocalist Carla Cookteam up on the Bistro stage for the first time Nov. 16-19. And University city native Jeremy Davenport reprises his annual Thanksgiving weekend sets at the Bistro Nov. 25-27. By the way, Davenport, who has had to relocate back home after more than a decade in New Orleans, will be playing a regular gig at Busch's Grove starting Nov. 30 and running through Feb. 2006. Davenport will be joined by his regular New Orleans band that backed him at his long-running French Quarter Bar gig at the Ritz-Carlton in the big Easypianist Thaddeus Richard, bassist David Pulphus (another native St. Louisan0 and drummer Troy Davis. Finally, saxophonist Javon Jackson headlines at the Bistro Nov. 11 and 12. Check out the all the details at jatb.
Finale in Clayton has an increasing focus on bringing in acts for one-night concerts rather than multiple night performances. Saxophonist Eric Person (another St. Louisan by birth and making his first hometown performance in five years) brings his band, Meta- Four to the club on Nov. 9, followed by pianist Beegie Adair on Nov. 12 and vocalist Karrin Allyson on Nov. 18. There is one extended gig on the Finale books. Trumpeter Maynard ferguson brings his band to Finale on Nov. 23, 25 and 26. For the complete Finale schedule, go to finale-stl.
November brings two talented jazz vocalists to the Sheldon Concert Hall. Jane Monheit makes a return visit to the acoustically excellent venue on Nov. 5... and Carmen Lundy performs on Nov. 13. Lundy's appearancefeaturing brother Curtis accompanying her on bass, by the way) is a benefit for the local non-profit group, Community Women Against Hardship. In addition, guitarist William Lenihan, Director of Jazz Performance at Washington University, will be performing at the Sheldon with his Italian band, Cyclo at a special Notes From Home concert on Nov. 16. Joining Lenihan are pianist Antonio Figura, drummer Marco Barsanti and special guest Tom Kennedy on bass. Find out more on these shows at finale-stl.
By the way, Lenihan and Kennedy will also be performing as a duo as part of Washington University's Holmes Lounge jazz series on Nov. 24. Carolbeth True will also perform at Holmes on Nov. 3. All concerts in the series are free, and the performances are held in Holmes Lounge in Ridley Hall on the Washington University campus. For more info, call 314-935-4841.