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June and Jazz Fests

AAJ Staff By

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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 performing together once again, vocalist Lizz Wright and the Craig Russo Latin Jazz Project.

Local musicians on Friday's bill include vocalist Denise Thimes, Carol Schmidt & Friends, LaMar Harris and Readus Miller. Saturday's lineup of local talent features vocalist Anita Rosamond, Rick Haydon and the SIUE Jazz Ensemble and New World Harmonica Jazz featuring Sandy Weltman. Admission is $20 a day for lawn seating, as well as $35 a day for Pavilion seating in shaded areas, and $75 per day for VIP seating—which includes access to a tent with complimentary beverages and snacks. Tickets can be purchased at the Fest, or in advance at local Borders stores or through Metrotix.

Jazz at the Bistro winds up its tenth anniversary season in June with pianist Taylor Eigsti on Friday and Saturday, June 9 and 10... Followed by the return of Yellowjackets (featuring homeboy Marcus Baylor on drums) June 14-17.

Another annual summer music event, the Whitaker Music Festival, kicks off Wednesday, June 7 at Missouri Botanical Garden. The free concert series begins with pianist Peter Martin in the company of bassist Neal Caine, drummer Herlin Riley and guest vocalist Brian Owens... followed by the Dixieland of the St. Louis Stompers on June 14, guitarist Tom Byrne on June 21 and Reggie and Mardra Thomas on June 28. All concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. and are free. The beautiful environment of the Botanical Gardens provides an ideal setting for picnicking and checking out some fine jazz.

Finale features several local and regional jazz acts this month, including smooth sax stylist Tim Cunningham on June 9, the Leslie McLean Trio on June 15, guitarist Corey Christiansen on June 28 and Philadelphia singer Rosie Carlino on June 29.

Check out much more June jazz in the area at St. Louis Jazz Notes, a blog created by local musician and writer, Dean Minderman.


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