Jazz This Week: Jon Wirtz and Nuskool, Darin Gray with Mars Williams and Tyler Damon, Dave Dickey Big Band, and More


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Along with the return of something resembling more typical St. Louis weather for this time of year, this late-summer weekend offers an eclectic selection of live jazz and creative music in and around St. Louis. Let's go to the highlights...

Tonight, the Denver based pianist Jon Wirtz and his trio Nuskool will be in town to perform at Robbie's House of Jazz. Wirtz (pictured) is doing some Midwest dates in support of his recently released album Tourist, which covers territory ranging from funk to Methenyesque fusion to more straight-ahead trio pieces. After years performing mostly as a sideman, he was nominated in 2013 as one of the best Denver artists for the “Best of the Westword Showcase" in the jazz category. You can hear samples of Wirtz's music on his SoundCloud page.

Also tonight, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes are at the Schlafly Bottleworks; singer Erika Johnson fronts a trio at Herbie's Vintage 72;  and drummer Andre Boyd, a St. Louis native who performs with one of the international touring companies of Cirque du Soleil, will present a clinic covering drum techniques and the use of PreSonus software products at Mozingo Music.

Tomorrow night, St. Louis bassist Darin Gray will join forces with saxophonist Mars Williams and drummer Tyler Damon for a concert of improvised music presented by New Music Circle on Art Hill, outside the St. Louis Art Museum. For more on Williams, his involvement in Chicago's busy improv and free jazz scene, and some videos of him in action, check out this post from last week.

Also on Friday, the Funky Butt Brass Band plays a free outdoor concert for the St. Louis Zoo's “Jungle Boogie" series; singer Erin Bode will perform in a free concert at Moody Park in Fairview Heights; Miss Jubilee plays jump blues and swing at the Wine Press; and the Original Knights of Swing will take the stage at the Casa Loma Ballroom

On Saturday, trumpeter Randy Holmes' quintet will play the music of Charlie Parker at Robbie's; singer Feyza Eren will team up with saxophonist Sam Hargadine's quartet at Bar Italia; singer Ann Dueren's trio performs at Il Bel Lago, and the quartet Danbury Street, featuring saxophonist Angie Kraft, plays at the Tavern of Fine Arts.

On Sunday, trombonist Dave Dickey's big band will play their monthly gig at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company, with student group Tenor Madness performing at intermission; and funk/jazz trio The People's Key performs at The Gramophone.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday saxophonist “Blind" Willie Dineen and the Broadway Collective will play at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups.

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