Gateway Grooves


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 ...


St. Louis Swings into September

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Yes, jazz is still happening in St. Louis, despite the fact I didn't write a column in August. Which brings up the question... if the local daily decides to write about Nelly buying a new ride to some hippity-hoppin exclusive party instead of the concert at the Fox Theater featuring a very nice double bill of Chris Botti opening for Diana Krall in late August... does that mean that music never really happened? Somehow, I can still remember some very tasty solos by the likes of Botti and his band (University City's Peter Martin on piano and keyboards, ...


St. Louis Jazz Offerings Heat Up With the Weather

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July is usually a slow time for jazz in the St. Louis area, but this year there are a few more choices than usual. Jazz at the Bistro has extended its season through June and into July, and Finale is presenting several worthwhile jazz events as well.

The Greg Osby Four come to the bistro on Friday and Saturday, July 6th and 7th. It's a homecoming for St. Louis native Osby, who will also feature young area native Tommy Crane in his quartet. The following week, another saxophonist from a different generation, Red Holloway performs sets on July ...


Spring Music... and Memories

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It's been a strange spring weather-wise in the St. Louis area, but the music scene has seen plenty of highlights over the past couple of months. The Pat Metheny/Brad Mehldau concert at the Sheldon Concert Hall in early April was outstanding, and recent appearances by Ahmad Jamal and Mulgrew Miller at Jazz at the Bistro. over the past few weeks were memorable as well.

Now both the Sheldon and the Bistro are into the final weeks of their the 2006/07 seasons, but there are still some concerts that qualify as “don't miss music. Venerable piano legend Dave Brubeck ...


Late March and Early April Jazz Highlights

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This column may be a little late for March... but on the positive side, it's early for April. I'm thinking ahead, realizing that I'm going to be a little pre-occupied the next few weeks pulling together assorted invoices, receipts and forms and instructions in my annual effort to make sense of paying taxes as a self-employed freelance writer and producer. So let's move on quickly to the St. Louis area jazz highlights from mid-March through the end of April... because there's lots of good music headed our way.

Jazz at the Bistro has a very full calendar, with ...


Hot Jazz in the February Deep Freeze

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The deep freeze has settled in big time in the St. Louis area over the past couple of weeks. And temperatures and wind chill factors in the single digits--occasionally with a minus sign in front--certainly don't encourage jazz fans to bundle up and head out into the bitter cold to catch some live music. But for those willing to make the effort, there's certainly plenty of good stuff to hear in local clubs and concert halls this month.

Let's begin with Jazz at the Bistro, where vocalist Jeanne Trevor, whose St. Louis roots go back to the 1960s ...


2007 Finally Arrives!

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The holiday season may end in terms of the calendar, but it has a tendency to continue rolling pleasantly along in our mental outlook on life. That is, until the bills start showing up. And as freelance writers and musicians all know, that January 16th estimated tax deadline is always a major wakeup call.

It certainly worked for me... and this column is the result. So now that reality has gained the upper hand... and IAJE is over as well... let's see what's up in St. Louis for the rest of January and early February. The first part ...


Talented Local Musicians Dominate December Jazz Scene

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2006 wraps up with an interesting mix of live jazz dates on the St. Louis scene... with a strong emphasis on talented musicians who either grew up or still live in the area. December's lineup at Jazz at the Bistro is a prime example. Native St. Louisan Dave Weckl returns home to headline the Bistro with his quartet Nov. 29 through Dec. 2. The band also includes two more area products, bassist Tom Kennedy, who still calls St. Louis home base, and keyboard player Jay Oliver, who now lives in the LA area. St. Louis-based singer Erin Bode and her ...


October Jazz Heats Up St. Louis Autumn

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October has already seen St. Louis appearances by the world Saxophone Quartet, Tierney Sutton and Kevin Mahogany during the first week of the month. And the jazz action continues with some more interesting musical events on tap over the next few weeks.

Jazz at the Bistro conrinues its concert series in October with a couple of fine local bands and the excellent Brazilian duo of vocalist Luciana Souza and guitarist Romero Lubambo. Souza and Lubambo perform Oct. 18 through the 21, and top local blues singer Kim Massie returns to the Bistro Oct. 27 and 28. And make ...


Fall on the St. Louis Jazz Scene

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September's Labor Day holiday marks the final end of the summer season, but that date is definitely good news for area jazz fans. September also means that Jazz at the Bistro, the Sheldon Concert Hall, Washington University's Edison Theater series and free Holmes Lounge jazz series, Webster University's jazz series and the University Of Missouri St. Louis' Touhill Performing Arts Center are all back presenting concerts after the summer break.

Jazz at the Bistro kicked into its regular schedule on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 15 and 16, with performances by St. Louis vocalist Denise Thimes. The first in ...


August: Slow... But Still Happenin'

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August usually vies with January as the slowest month for live jazz in almost every metropolitan area in the U.S., and St. Louis is no exception. Jazz at the Bistro is dark for almost the entire month, with one very interesting exception. But thanks to Finale, area jazz fans can check out an interesting mix of local, national and international jazz acts throughout the month.

Finale kicks off the month with a visit from British keyboard legend Brian Auger and his Oblivion Express on August 2. If you haven't checked out Auger on CD or on tour recently, he's still ...


July Jazz Calendar Sizzles

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Now that the annual U.S. Bank Saint Louis Jazz & Heritage Festival has concluded, you might expect happenings on the St. Louis jazz scene to slow down during July. That's what usually seems to happen every summer... but not this time. This July, the jazz events just keep on coming, thanks to three appearances by female vocalists at Jazz at the Bistro, a pair of smooth jazz concerts at The Pageant, and quite a few jazz bookings at Finale. Add a rare jazz concert at Principia College in nearby Elsah, Illinois featuring Ramsey Lewis, and you've got a full July ...


June and Jazz Fests

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The big jazz event in the St. Louis area in June--as it has been since 2001--is the sixth annual U.S. Bank Saint Louis Jazz & Heritage Festival. The name has changed this year to include “Heritage," with an obvious nod to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest. That tribute to New Orleans is also reflected in this year's schedule, which features Big Easy musical stalwarts Doctor John and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in main stage performances on Friday, June 23. Saturday's headliners include David Sanborn (born in the St. Louis suburb of Kirkwood), Stanley Clarke and George Duke ...


St. Louis Spring: A Jazz Soundtrack

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After several years in a row when spring seemed to only last a week or so before giving way to that famous St. Louis summer heat and humidity, we're finally enjoying a lengthy stretch of balmy, enjoyable weather. There are several interesting jazz events on the May calendar as well--ranging from some interesting offerings at Jazz at the Bistro as the 10th anniversary season winds down, to a tribute to the legendary Miles Davis in his hometown of East St. Louis.

Vocalist extraordinaire Kurt Elling returns to Jazz at the Bistro Wednesday, May 10 through Saturday the 13th, ...

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