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Jazz This Week: Lionel Loueke, Snarky Puppy, Trinity Piano Trio, Denise Thimes, and More


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From Africa to outer space to New Orleans to NYC and beyond, this week's menu of upcoming live performances in St. Louis reflects the wide variety of influences in jazz and creative music today. Let's go the highlights:

Tonight, guitarist and singer Lionel Loueke opens a four-night gig at Jazz at the Bistro. The Benin-born, Berklee-educated guitarist and singer has played in St. Louis before as a sideman with Herbie Hancock, but this will be his local debut as a leader fronting his own trio. For more about Loueke, and some video samples of him in action, check out this video post from the week before last.

Also tonight, singer Joe Mancuso leads a quartet at Frontenac Grill; and the St. Charles Community College Jazz Band plays a free show at the Shook Fine Arts Building on the SLCC campus. The concert also will feature some music from the faculty sextet, which includes trombonist Dave Dickey, trumpeter Keith Moyer, pianist Carolbeth True, guitarist Randy Bahr, bassist Eric Warren, and drummer Kevin Gianino.

Tomorrow night, the jazz/funk/world-music band Snarky Puppy returns to St. Louis, this time to perform at The Demo. The group's expansive sound defies easy description, but you can get a feel for what they're all about by checking out this video post from last Saturday.

Also on Thursday, Good 4 The Soul plays an early evening set at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups; and Miss Jubilee performs at the Thaxton Speakeasy.

On Friday, New Music Circle presents what's being billed as “a celebration of Sun Ra's 99th birthday" featuring the Trinity Piano Trio (pictured) at the William A. Kerr Foundation, 21 O'Fallon St. on Laclede's Landing.

Violinist Manuela Kaymakanova, cellist Tracy Andreotti and pianist Amanda Kirkpatrick will perform a program of original works from area composers, inspired to varying degrees by the legacy of the visionary pianist, composer and bandleader. The more explicit references include a Fred Tompkins piece based on the melody of Ra's “Space Is The Place", and something from Jim Hegarty incorporating ideas from several of Ra's pieces, but there also will be new compositions by Eric Hall, Robert Wykes, Michael F. Hunt, Adam Maness, Serban Nichifor, and Andreotti herself.

Also Friday, drummer Marty Morrison leads a quartet with saxophonist Jason Swagler, trumpeter Ross McCliff and bassist Bob DeBoo, playing the music of Ornette Coleman at Cigar Inn; singer and pianist Al Oxenhandler joins forces with saxophonist Jay Hutson and his band Da Wolvez for a gig at Robbie's House of Jazz; and the Funky Butt Brass Band plays at the Broadway Oyster Bar.

On Saturday afternoon, saxophonist Joel Vanderheyden and Koplant No will play a free concert at Saxquest. Vanderheyden is assistant professor of music and director of jazz at Jefferson College in Hillsboro; Koplant No, which mixes jazz, electronic music, and prog rock, also includes Brian Lewis Smith on trumpet and laptop, Drew Morton on bass, and Rob Baner on drums and samples.

Then on Saturday evening, trumpeter Randy Holmes will lead a quintet performing music from the Miles Davis groups of the 1950s and 1960s at Robbie's House of Jazz.

On Sunday afternoon, singer Denise Thimes will star in her annual Mother's Day show at the Sheldon Concert Hall. The concert will be preceded by an optional buffet dinner; for more about that, see the event page on the Sheldon's website.

Also on Sunday afternoon, the Kirkwood United Church of Church presents another concert in their “Inner Jazz' series, featuring music from the B-V-D Trio with bassist Dave Troncoso, vibraphonist Tom Rickard, drummer Brian May, and the series' host, Rev. Cliff Aerie, on saxophone.

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