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Jazz this week: Antonio Hart, Glenn Miller Orchestra, Norah Jones, St. Louis Piano Festival, and more


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With spring winding down and summer just ahead, this week's calendar of jazz and creative music is a bit back-loaded, with several of the more noteworthy musicians visiting our town scheduled to perform early next week rather than over the weekend.

Fortunately, St. Louis' local musicians and singers also have a few things planned between now and then. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, May 31

With Jazz at the Bistro now on its weekends-only summer schedule, there's no live music there this Wednesday, but the weekly Grand Center Jazz Crawl will include music from Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes at KDHX's Magnolia Cafe, pianist Phil Dunlap at the Curtain Call Lounge, the jam session led by bassist Bob Deboo at the Kranzberg Arts Center, and trumpeter Kasimu Taylor at The Dark Room.

Elsewhere around town, trumpeter Jim Manley will be playing his weekly gig at Sasha's Wine Bar, and guitarist and singer Tommy Halloran will entertain diners at The Shaved Duck.

Thursday, June 1

Pianist Adam Maness' trio returns to Thurman's in Shaw, and pianist Ptah Williams and guitarist Eric Slaughter will hold forth at at The Dark Room.

Friday, June 2

On Friday morning, Jazz St. Louis will celebrate the annual observance of “National Donut Day" with an event featuring free donuts, live music from students in the JazzU program, and more, at Jazz at the Bistro.

That evening, the JazzU students will be back on stage for the first evening of their annual weekend of performances at the Bistro, with alto saxophonist Antonio Hart (pictured, top left) as guest soloist. Hart, who first gained notice as a collaborator with trumpeter Roy Hargrove, bassist Dave Holland, and others, has recorded nine albums as a leader and also teaches jazz studies at Queens College City University of New York.

Saturday, June 3

The Funky Butt Brass Band will be playing at two different faux-New Orleans events in one day, providing the music for “Crawfish Fest 2017" in late afternoon at Ballpark Village, then heading a few blocks over to the Old Rock House to wrap up their “Summer Gras," an afternoon-into-evening affair also featuring music from Al Holliday and the The East Side Rhythm Band, The Grooveliner, The Provels, and Big Mike Aguirre and The Blu City All Stars.

Also on Saturday, pianist Carolbeth True and Two Times True with saxophonist Larry Johnson will perform at the Parkside Grille.

Sunday, June 4

Following up on the weekend's Scott Joplin Festival, an annual event held in Joplin's birthplace of Sedalia, MO, the Friends of Scott Joplin will present an “Afterglow Party" featuring festival performers and St. Louis players at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site's New Rosebud Cafe.

Monday, June 5

Also capitalizing on the aftermath of the Joplin festival, the second year of pianist Ethan Leinwand's St. Louis Piano Festival will pay tribute to a famed St. Louis ragtime pianist and historian with the “Trebor Tichenor Ragtime Concert," featuring Tichenor's daughter Virginia Tichenor, Marty Eggers, Terry Parrish and John Reed-Torres, at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups.

Tuesday, June 6

Singer/songwriter, pianist and guitarist Norah Jones will perform at the Peabody Opera House.

Jones is touring in support of her most recent album Day Breaks, which was released in October of last year on the Blue Note label and offered something of return to the jazz-influenced sound featured on her first album 15 years ago.

Day Breaks features guest performances from well-known jazz musicians including drummer Brian Blade, bassist John Patitucci, saxophonist Wayne Shorter, and organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, and includes Jones' interpretations of Horace Silver's “Peace" and Duke Ellington's “African Flower," both of which seem like good candidates for her set list at the Peabody.

Also on Tuesday, the Glenn Miller Orchestra “ghost band" will perform a “Salute to D-Day" at the Webster Groves Concert Hall (formerly the Ozark Theatre); and the St. Louis Piano Festival wraps up with an evening of blues pianists including Silvercloud, Carl “Sonny" Leyland, Gene Taylor, Ethan Leinwand and Christopher Parrish, at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups.

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