Jazz this week: Dr. Lonnie Smith & Lionel Loueke, Alarm Will Sound, a tribute to Billie Holiday, and more


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This week's lineup of jazz and creative music shows in St. Louis emphasizes collaboration, with several events presenting novel combinations of musicians for your listening enjoyment.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, May 27

Jazz St. Louis' latest combination of two headliners into one evening of music features organist Dr. Lonnie Smith teamed with guitarist and singer Lionel Loueke, who will perform this week through Saturday night at Jazz at the Bistro.

Both Smith and Loueke certainly share a penchant for grooves, and they have worked together before - you can see video evidence, plus each man leading his own band in several performance clips, in this post from last Saturday - but only briefly. The best guess here is that Smith's repertoire may predominate in terms of song selection, but whatever they end up playing, there should be some surprising moments for everyone this weekend onstage at the Bistro.

Budget-conscious fans take note: In addition to their evening performances, Smith and Loueke also will take part in a free, hour-long “performance and conversation" at noon on Friday at the Bistro. The Bistro won't have food or beverage service available, but listeners can bring in their own food and drink to enjoy along with the sounds.

Thursday, May 28

It's a night for large ensemble performances, as the Jim Widner Big Band plays a free concert at Chesterfield Amphitheater, while the new-music mini-orchestra Alarm Will Sound (pictured, center left) wraps up their third St. Louis season with a program of music from their “Alarm System" project at the Sheldon Concert Hall. The concert will feature the premieres of new works created with performers from several different musical genres, including St. Louis electronic electronic musician Adult Fur, Icelandic composer and producer Valgeir Sigurðsson, and jazz/funk keyboardist John Medeski.

Adventurous music fans also may want to check out the Tavern of Fine Arts monthly “Experimental Arts Open Improv Night," which this month will feature musicians improvising to new video works; or the triple bill featuring saxophonst Dave Stone, the Tory Starbuck Project, and electronic musician Kevin Harris at the Schlafly Tap Room

Friday, May 29

It's a busy night for female vocalists, as singer Debby Lennon and pianist Carolbeth True play a concert at Concord Trinity United Methodist Church in South County; Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will swing the Venice Cafe, and Erin Bode returns to Nathalie's.

Elsewhere around town, Lindy Hop St. Louis presents their “West End Stomp," this month featuring live music from Robbie and the Rockin' Fools, at the Mahler Ballroom; and The People's Key will play at the house concert venue KindaBlue.

Saturday, May 30

Singer Kim Fuller and trumpeter Randy Holmes (pictured, lower left) will present a “Tribute to Billie Holiday" at the Ozark Theatre.

The celebration of the 100th anniversary of Holiday's birth also marks the return of jazz to the Ozark, which briefly presented local jazz musicians in a series of performances last fall.

Also on Saturday, Miss Jubilee plays for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom.

Sunday, May 31

Students from several high schools in North County have joined together to form the North County Big Band under the leadership of saxophonist Harvey Lockhart, band director at Riverview Gardens High School, and they'll present a matinee concert showing off what they've accomplished over the past year at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

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