This June, area jazz fans will be offered plenty of choices in terms of national jazz acts performing in our city. Counting the headliners booked for the third annual U.S. Bank Saint Louis Jazz Festival on June 20 & 21, a total of 14 top jazz bands and singers are on tap during the month.
Let’s begin with the lineup for the Jazz Festival, which once again will take place at Shaw Park in Clayton, located just a few miles directly west of the St. Louis riverfront. The national music acts will be featured alternately on two main stages – with local bands performing on a smaller third stage between sets. Friday’s lineup features contemporary jazz trumpeter Chris Botti from 5:30 – 7, followed by the Dave Holland Big Band from 7:30 – 9 on an adjoining stage, and finishes up with Dianne Reeves from 9:30 – 11. Friday’s local entertainment features the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Jazz Sextet in two sets, 7 to 7:30 and 9 to 9:30 – with such powerhouse faculty members as Tom Kennedy on bass, Reggie Thomas on keyboards and Rick Haydon on guitar.
Saturday’s Fest lineup includes the Joe Lovano Quartet from 3:30 – 5, Marlena Shaw from 5:30 – 7, Arturo Sandoval playing from 7:30-9, and Al Jarreau closing things out from 9:30 – 11. The Webster University Jazz Ensemble playing from 5 to 5:30 and 7-7:30, with talented musicians like Paul DeMarinis on sax, Carolbeth True on piano and Kevin Gianino on drums. The Jeanne Trevor Trio rounds out the local stage entertainment from 9 – 9:30. Tickets for the U.S. Bank Saint Louis Jazz Festival are $20 per day, and are available at the gate or through MetroTix (314-534-1111), www.metrotix.com.
There’s plenty of contemporary jazz and fusion on tap at the Pageant as well. Bela Fleck and the Flecktones are scheduled for Saturday, June 14, and Greg Adams headlines the venue on the 15th. Stanley Clarke makes his first St. Louis appearance in five years on Tuesday, June 24, and Spyrogyra plays the Pageant on Friday, the 27th. Rounding out the schedule are Joey DeFrancesco at generations on Thursday, June 19, Garage a trios – featuring Charlie Hunter – at Mississippi Nights on Saturday the 7th, and pianist Peter Martin at the Missouri Botanical Garden on Wednesday the 18th.
By the way, the Peter Martin concert is free, and is part of the Whitaker Music Festival at the Garden, which runs every Wednesday throughout the summer and features jazz acts in June. Other June jazz dates at the Garden feature the Dixieland sounds of the St. Louis Stompers on the 4th, Hard Bop heritage on the 11th and sax great Willie Akins on June 25.
A host of excellent retired St. Louis jazz educators will be honored on Sunday, June 8th in a concert performance featuring the Jazz Edge Orchestra at 3 p.m. at the Metro High School Auditorium, 4015 McPherson Avenue. will present a tribute concert to area retired music educators. Honorees will include: Allen Ivey, Hughie Ellison, Herman Morgan, Ernest Nashville, Vernon Nashville, Paul Overby, Richard Overby, Charles Rose, Harold Wayne, Walter Lathen and Ed Nicholson. Special recognition will also be given to Leo Chears and Don Wolff for their musical contributions to the community. The Jazz Edge Orchestra will be led by Thomas Moore and will feature vocalist Anita Jackson. A reception will follow and admission is free.
For more info on these shows:
U.S. Bank Saint Louis Jazz Festival
Missouri Botanical Garden