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Jazz this week: Clayton Brothers Quintet, Nick Finzer, "Sculptures in Sound," and more


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The news in St. Louis jazz and creative music this week is coming mostly from Grand Center, as the district rolls out an expanded version of their weekly Wednesday night “jazz crawl."

The first week includes a promising young musician making his St. Louis debut at a new venue for the event, the return of a popular group of seasoned jazz veterans to Jazz at the Bistro, and more. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, March 1

The Clayton Brothers Quintet performs for the first for four night continuing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro.

Led by bassist John Clayton and saxophonist Jeff Clayton, and also including John's son, the talented pianist Gerald Clayton, the CBQ offers a spirited update of the classic hard bop sound. For more about them, and some video samples of live performances, see this post from last Saturday.

Also on Wednesday, NYC-based trombonist Nick Finzer will make his St. Louis debut, helping inaugurate the expanded version of the Grand Center Jazz Crawl with a performance at the Curtain Call Lounge.

Finzer is touring in support of his “politically charged" third album Hear & Now, released in February on his label Outside in Music. His set at the Curtain Call officially marks that venue's addition to the expanded Jazz Crawl, which is adding Wednesday sets there from local (and some touring) bands and a weekly swing dance event hosted by Lindy Hop St. Louis at the newly reopened Grandel Theatre.

The event will continue to include weekly happy hour sets at KDHX's Magnolia Cafe, guitarist/singer Tommy Halloran playing this week; a jam session led by bassist Bob Deboo at the Kranzberg Arts Center, trumpeter Kasimu Taylor's trio at The Dark Room, now officially re-located in the Grandel Theatre; and the free video simulcasts in Jazz St. Louis' first-floor lounge when there's live music at the Bistro.

Elsewhere around town, pianist Curt Landes, bassist Glen Smith and drummer Chuck Kennedy will be hosting their weekly Wednesday jam session at @Nesby's in South County.

Thursday, March 2

The Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University presents a free concert featuring vocalists Katie Greenberg, a Wash U student, and R. Scott Bryan interpreting music from a number of rock and pop songwriters, backed by a group including keyboardist Jay Oliver and a string trio.

Friday, March 3

During the afternoon, trombonist and St. Louis native Michael Vlatkovich will present an open rehearsal and masterclass at the St. Louis Artists' Guild in Clayton. (He'll perform at the same venue Saturday night; see below.)

That evening, saxophonist Harvey Lockhart has a new Friday happy hour gig weekly at The Dark Room; the Jazz Troubadours play at Thurman's in Shaw; and jazz/fusion band SpaceShip returns to The Abbey in Belleville.

Saturday, March 4

Michael Vlatkovich helps launch the new “Sculptures in Sound" series at the Artists' Guild, with some help from saxophonists Christopher Braig and Jay Hutson.

Also on Saturday, guitarist Cory Christiansen, who lived in St. Louis in the early 2000s while working for Mel Bay Publishing, returns for a public concert at Webster Groves High School.

Sunday, March 5

The St. Louis Record and CD Collector Show will hold their March event at the American Czech Educational Center, and the Friends of Scott Joplin present their monthly “Ragtime Rendezvous" at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site's Rosebud Cafe.

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