Jazz this week: Cyrus Chestnut; Peter Martin, Brian Owens & Terence Blanchard; and more


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This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis features a couple of first-call piano players- one visiting, one home-grown- plus the usual assortment of performances in a variety of musical styles from the city's talented contingent of local players.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, January 31

Pianist Cyrus Chestnut returns with his trio for the first of four nights at Jazz at the Bistro.

Chestnut has applied his virtuoso technique to all sorts of material over the course of his career. He's recorded original compositions influenced by blues and gospel music, and plenty of standards drawn from the Great American Songbook, as well as “high concept" projects like an album of songs made famous by Elvis Presley, and a 21st century take on pianist Vince Guaraldi's music for A Charlie Brown Christmas.

With such a varied catalog, it's hard to predict precisely what Chestnut may get into over the course of four nights, but chances are he'll spotlight at least some of the music from his 2010 recording Journeys, which included nine of his own compositions. You can see and hear some video samples of Cyrus Chestnut playing with a trio and solo in this post from last Saturday.

Also on Wednesday, guitarist Dave Black plays at Evangeline's, and this week's “Grand Center Jazz Crawl" features guitarist Joe Park's trio at The Stage at KDHX, along with the jam session led by bassist Bob Deboo at the Kranzberg Arts Center and trumpeter Kasimu Taylor and his band at The Dark Room.

Thursday, February 1

Saxophonist Freddie Washington and guitarist Tom Byrne will lead a quartet in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University, and percussionist Joe Pastor's trio returns to The Dark Room.

Friday, February 2

Saxophonist Dave Stone's trio will be joined by guitarist Eric Slaughter for a concert at Focal Point, and singer/guitarist Tommy Halloran continues his weekly gig at Das Bevo Underground.

Saturday, February 3

Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will play a mid-day concert at The Sheldon, while The Sidemen perform for the brunch crowd at Evangeline's.

On Saturday evening, pianist Peter Martin (pictured, bottom left), singer Brian Owens and special guest trumpeter Terence Blanchard will headline a benefit concert for Metro Theater Company at the Grandel Theatre.

The company's production of Bud, Not Buddy, a “concert play" with a musical score by Blanchard that will be played live on stage by a 13-piece band, opens Sunday and continues through February 25 at the Grandel.

Sunday, February 4

The Bonbon Plot will play bossa nova and French-influenced jazz for brunch at The Dark Room, and the Friends of Scott Joplin will present their monthly “Ragtime Rendezvous" at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site's Rosebud Cafe.

Monday, February 5

Dizzy Atmosphere plays swing and Gypsy jazz for diners at The Shaved Duck, and Webster University presents drummer Nick Savage's quartet with singer Paige Alyssa Hegwood in a Black History Month tribute to “The First Ladies of Song" at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster campus.

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