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Jazz This Week: Bucky Pizzarelli and John Pizzarelli, Tatsuya Nakatani, Bhob Rainey, Dave Dickey Big Band, and More


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This weekend's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis includes a few final chances to hear some holiday jazz, as well as music from a famed father-and-son team of guitarists and two evenings featuring touring free improvisors. Let's go to the highlights...

Tonight, guitarists Bucky Pizzarelli and John Pizzarelli open a four-night engagement at Jazz at the Bistro, continuing through Saturday.  While John Pizzarelli is a St. Louis favorite who has appeared here many times at the Bistro and elsewhere, this will be the first time in recent years that he's played here with his dad. (For more about the Pizzarellis, and some video clips of them playing together, please check out this post from a couple of weeks ago.)

As you might expect, demand for tickets has been brisk, and as of this writing, Jazz St. Louis reports that the early shows for all four nights are essentially sold out, with just a few tickets remaining for the late shows.

Also tonight, singer Feyza Eren performs at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups; the Route 66 Jazz Orchestra performs big band versions of some holiday favorites at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company; and Cabaret Project St. Louis will hold their monthly open mic at the Tavern of Fine Arts.

Tomorrow night, downtown will reverberate with danceable swing and jump blues as played by Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups and/or Miss Jubilee at Thaxton Speakeasy.

On Friday, fans of adventurous improv will want to check out percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani (pictured) and his Gong Orchestra at Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center; while those still seeking additional Christmas spirit will find it in plentiful supply at the first of two nights of the Funky Butt Brass Band's annual Holiday Brasstravaganza at Off Broadway.

That same evening, pianist and St. Louis native John McDaniel has sold out two performances of his show “Home For The Holidays" at Kranzberg Arts Center, so if you don't have tickets, your only option at this point is to hope for a last-minute cancellation.

Elsewhere around town on Friday, singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Dave Black are back at Chaser's Lounge in the Chase Park Plaza Hotel; singer Ann Dueren and her trio will be at Il Bel Lago; and guitarist Tom Byrne leads a trio at Thurman Grill.  Also on Friday, singer Nicholas Brooks, who's originally from East St. Louis and has played Vegas and toured nationally as Sammy Davis Jr. in a “Rat Pack" themed show, will present the first of two Christmas-themed performances this weekend Robbie's House of Jazz.

On Saturday, crooner Gene Lynn will help inaugurate the upstairs performance space at Nathalie's, a new restaurant occupying the space at 4356 Lindell in the Central West End that formerly was home to Salt and before that, Savor and the Cabaret at Savor. Also on Saturday, keyboardist Jesse Prather and his band Jus4U with singer Adrianne Felton will present a “Smooth Jazz Christmas Concert" at Jazz on Broadway.

On Sunday, you've got a couple of final chances to get a holiday music fix, as percussionist Joe Pastor plays what's being billed as a “Christmas Jazz Show" at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups, and the Dave Dickey Big Band promises some seasonal sounds during their last monthly gig of the year at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company. As a bonus, the Webster Groves High School jazz ensemble will perform Duke Ellington's “Nutcracker Suite" during the Dickey band's intermission.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday Dizzy Atmosphere will play at The Shaved Duck, and the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center will present another concert in their new “Quiet Music" Series, incorporating the annual Christmas week visit from improvising saxophonist Bhob Rainey into a show that also will feature music from Greg Farough and Mark Sarich.

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