Jazz this week: Joey DeFrancesco, George Benson, Denise Thimes, and more


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As the not-for-profit presenting season and the spring academic semester both approach their ends, this week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis nevertheless features performances from two major touring headliners, plus a number of other noteworthy shows.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, May 10

Organist Joey DeFrancesco returns to Jazz at the Bistro for the first of four nights, continuing through Saturday.

DeFrancesco recently expanded his band from a trio to a quartet, and has just released an album, Project Freedom, featuring the new lineup. For more about that, and some recent videos of him in performance, see this post from Saturday before last.

Also on Wednesday, new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound closes out their St. Louis season with a performance at the Sheldon Concert Hall; and NOiSETTE 2017: Spring Edition! will present a slew of experimental, improvisational and/or noise performers, including Alex Cunningham, Bitchfit, Brain Transplant, Chelsea Gray, Corrigan Brothers, Dave Stone Ensemble, Eric Donte, Grain and NNN Cook, in a free show at Blank Space.

Thursday, May 11

Singer Jenna Bauer and guitarist Dave Black return to The Pat Connolly Tavern; percussionist David A. N. Jackson will be sitting in with the Ptah Williams/Eric Slaughter Quartet at The Dark Room; and pianist Adam Maness and his trio will be back at Thurman's in Shaw.

Friday, May 12

Guitarist and singer George Benson will headline the annual benefit gala raising funds for the Sheldon Concert Hall.

It's been nearly six years since Benson last played here (in October 2011 at the Touhill), and judging from the more recent performances caught on video in this post from last Saturday, he's still delivering the goods both vocally and instrumentally. While the long gap since his last show here should spur the demand for seats, there may be some concert-only tickets still available; contact the Sheldon box office for the latest information.

Also on Friday, the City of Clayton's “Music in the City" event will feature free happy-hour performances at various restaurants and bars in the area, including Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes at Morton's and Tommy Halloran at Remy's Kitchen & Wine Bar.

Saturday, May 13

New Music Circle closes out their 2016-17 season with a bill of solo electronic-music performers from the Midwest, including Louisville's Robert Beatty, Matchess (aka Chicago's Whitney Johnson), Hylidae (St. Louis' Jon Burkhart), and Nadir Smith, aka Biggie Stardust (Thomas Olanrewaju Osunsami, also of St. Louis) at the William A Kerr Foundation on Laclede's Landing.

Sunday, May 14

Singer Denise Thimes presents her annual Mother's Day show raising money to fight pancreatic cancer at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

Thimes' guest performers this year will include St. Louis singer and pianist Theo Peoples, who formerly toured with latter-day versions of both the Temptations and the Four Tops, and New Jersey-born teenage phenom Matthew Whitaker, a blind multi-instrumentalist who's drawn comparisons to a young Stevie Wonder.

Also on Sunday, Israeli composer and improviser Ofir Klemperer will perform at Kismet Creative Center, with opening sets from Chelsea Gray and Alex Cunningham.

Monday, May 15

Trumpeter Jim Manley continues his weekly residency at Momo's Greek Restaurant.

Tuesday, May 16

Singer Wendy Gordon presents her latest production, “Remembering the Legends," at the Sheldon Concert Hall, with guest performers including Linda Kennedy, Jeanne Trevor, Rosemary Watts-Dreyer, Joe Mancuso, Jerome Davis and Marty Abdullah.

Also on Tuesday, the twice-monthly St. Louis Gypsy Jazz Jam, hosted by guitarist Paul Davis of Wack-A-Doo, has a new night of the week and a new home at Stone Spiral Coffee House & Gallery.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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