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Jazz This Week: Bhob Rainey, Rodney Lancaster and Doug Bert, Marcus Baylor and Free Day, and More


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As one might expect given that a number of local venues are closed for the Christmas holidays, the calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis is a bit sparse over the next week, but there still are a few performances worth noting wrapped around the holiday weekend. Let's go to the highlights...

On Thursday night, the annual “Noel-A-Thon" concert takes place at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups. The seven-hour show features an eclectic mix of St. Louis musicians playing short sets of blues, jazz, folk, rock and more, with proceeds from the $5-per-person cover charge going to local charities.

On Friday, the improvising saxophonist Bhob Rainey will be in town for what has become an annual pre-Christmas concert at Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center. Also on the bill are St. Louis' own Andrew Hefner, Jack Callahan and epicycle.

Also on Friday, drummer Montez Coleman will lead a trio with bassist Bob DeBoo and pianist Ptah Williams at the Cigar Inn; singer Charlie B. and trumpeter Jim Manley will perform for a “Rat Pack" themed dinner and show at LoRusso's Cucina; and trombonists Rodney Lancaster and Doug Bert will team up for a gig at Robbie's House of Jazz, backed by a band including bassist Willem von Hombracht, pianist Rick Zelle, and drummer Kevin Gianino.

On Monday evening, saxophonist “Blind" Willie Dineen of the Voodoo Blues Band will step out front to lead his own band, the Broadway Collective, in a performance at BB's.

On Tuesday night, drummer, ex-Yellowjacket and St. Louis native Marcus Baylor (pictured) returns home to perform with his new band Free Day at Lola. The group also includes his wife Jean Baylor, a singer who had some R&B hits a few years back as part of the group Zhane.

Also on Tuesday, Robbie's will host their weekly jam session, with a larger-than-usual crowd anticipated due to people visiting and/or returning home for the holidays.

On Wednesday afternoon, Bob Coleman's Legacy Big Band will perform at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Their “Sinatra Hit Parade!" show will feature singer Tom Heitman, plus a guest appearance by trumpet player Susan Slaughter, who retired last year after 40 years with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.

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