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Jazz This Week: Godfathers of Groove, Eastern Blok, Dixie Daredevils, Paul Demarinis, and More

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This week brings another eclectic mix of jazz and creative music performances to St. Louis. Here's a look at some of the highlights happening over the next few days:

Tonight, the all-star soul-jazz ensemble Godfathers of Groove begin a four- night stand at Jazz at the Bistro. Comprised of veteran organist Reuben Wilson (pictured), drum legend Bernard Purdie and guitarist Grant Green Jr., the Godfathers emphasize the bluesy, funky side of jazz, offering a 21st century take on the jazz organ group sound popularized in the 1950s and 1960s. For some video of the Godfathers of Groove in action, see this post.

If your mood this evening is more free jazz than funky, saxophonist Jay Zelenka's Squid Choir Orkestra is performing at the South Side alt-rock haven the Way Out Club, 2525 S. Jefferson, with electronic musician Eric Hall's new group as opening act.

Tomorrow night, saxophonist Paul DeMarinis and singer Debby Lennon team up to do a free concert for Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University, and multi-instrumentalist Sandy Weltman and Hot Club Caravan bring their gypsy jazz sound to Brandt's.

On Saturday, the Chicago-based group Eastern Blok featuring guitarist Goran Ivanovic returns to St. Louis, bringing their “Balkan Jazz" to The Gramophone. Also on Saturday, singer and guitarist John Pizzarelli will be in town to play a benefit for the Susan G. Komen Foundation at the Ritz Carlton; however, with tickets priced at $250 per person, only the well-heeled and/or truly fanatical would seem inclined to attend.

Then on Sunday afternoon, the St. Louis Jazz Club presents a traditional jazz concert from Peoria, IL's Dixie Daredevils at the Moolah Shrine Center.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday night Paul DeMarinis has another concert, performing with his sextet at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium, while the Sessions Big Band takes the stage at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups.

And next Tuesday brings three events of note, with the Gerry Mulligan/Bob Brookmeyer-inspired quartet Utter Chaos playing at The Gramophone; radio and television personality Don Wolff doing a live cablecast of his I Love Jazz TV show from the Kemper Museum; and the first meeting of Jazz St. Louis' new CD Listening Club at Borders Books and Music in Brentwood.

As usual, these are just some of the week's highlights, so to see listings of more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis this weekend and beyond, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar.

(If you have calendar items, band schedule information, news tips, links, or anything else you think may be of interest to StLJN's readers, please email the information to stljazznotes (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you have photos, MP3s or other digital files, please send links, not attachments.

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