Jazz This Week: Poncho Sanchez, Paula West, Morton Subotnick, and More


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There's lots going on this week with jazz and creative music in St. Louis, so let's get right to the highlights, starting with three touring performers who are playing in the Gateway City over the next few days.

Tonight, Latin-jazz percussionist Poncho Sanchez begins a four-night stand at Jazz at the Bistro. You can see a couple of videos featuring Sanchez and his band in this post from last Saturday, and Jazz St. Louis also has a podcast interview with Sanchez here.

On Saturday, singer Paula West performs at the Sheldon Concert Hall. You can see and hear West in a couple of video clips here; also, note that the Sheldon is offering online buyers a $10 discount on tickets to West's concert.

Also on Saturday, New Music Circle and St. Louis Community College-Forest Park will present pioneering electronic musician and composer Morton Subotnick (pictured) in concert at the college's Mildred E. Bastian Performing Arts Center. Subotnick will perform “Until Spring Revisited," a remaking of an electronic music/video composition originally created for solo synthesizer in 1975.

In addition to these three headliners, there are a number of other noteworthy shows this week. On Thursday, the mysterious FO(U)R PEACE BAND does a free show for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University. I call them “mysterious" because I haven't been able to find out anything about them on the 'Net, nor have Wash U or the Jazz at Holmes series released anything about who they are or what sort of music they play. Still, given the series' deserved reputation for presenting good stuff, the show seemed worth a mention here, but caveat lector.

Also on Thursday, world music fans may want to check out the UMSL University Percussion Ensemble and Afro-Cuban Ensemble and their special guest Adam Rugo, who will perform percussion music from Africa, Cuba, Japan and the United States in a free concert at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

Moving on to Saturday, the Kemper Museum presents a free concert by guitarist Teddy Presberg and his band the Red Note Revivalists as part of the series of live performances accompanying the museum's current “Birth of the Cool" exhibit.

On Sunday, the Nu Art Series presents the Tayammum Falah Art Orchestra in concert at the Metropolitan Gallery, 2936 Locust St. The group features the leader on drums and percussion, plus bassist Raymond Eldridge, pianist Christopher Evans, and an intriguing front line of veterans Floyd LeFlore on trumpet and Willie Akins on saxophones.

That same afternoon, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra presents its annual “Explosions" percussion concert at the TouPAC. And that evening, BAG II sponsors a free performance at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site featuring poets Marsha Cann, Joyce Blue and Deborah Mashibini and music from bassist/mbira player Zimbabwe Nkenya.

Looking beyond the weekend, the first part of next week offers a couple of shows of particular interest to big band fans. On Monday, the Sessions Big Band continues its ongoing series of gigs at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups, and on Tuesday, the Genesis Jazz Project does one of its semi-annual free concerts at the TouPAC.

You can find more jazz-related events in St. Louis this weekend and beyond by visiting 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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