Jazz This Week: Ralph Towner, Sto Jazz Orchestra, Sherman Irby, Clayton Brothers Quintet, Rebirth Brass Band, and More


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Along with Halloween and the conclusion of baseball's World Series, there's a whole lot of jazz and creative music happening in St. Louis over the next few days. So, without further ado, let's go straight to the highlights:

On Thursday, Ralph Towner, known for his work with the Paul Winter Consort and Oregon as well as his own recordings, will perform a free solo guitar concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University.

Also on Thursday, Robbie's House of Jazz will present the STO Jazz Orchestra, a student big band from the Czech Republic that's currently touring the USA; and jazz radio host and historian Dennis Owsley begins his workshop on “Miles Davis: Jazzman" at the Ethical Society.

On Friday, after spending the week working with student musicians from the area and giving school performances for Jazz St. Louis, alto saxophonist Sherman Irby wraps up his stay fronting his quartet for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro. For more about Irby, a modern exponenet of the alto tradition of Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt and Cannonball Adderley, plus some videos of him in action, see this post from last Saturday.

That same evening and just around the corner, New Music Circle will present a concert of the music of James Mobberley and Paul Rudy at the Kranzberg Arts Center. Both composers are affiliated with the Conservatory of Music at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and their work will be performed by Rudy (various instruments, voice and electronics), Keith Benjamin (trumpet), John Leisenring (trombone) and Carter Enyeart (cello).

Also on Friday, saxophonist Jim Stevens will be at Jazz on Broadway in Alton; guitarist Dave Black will lead a trio with bassist Willem von Hombracht and drummer Kevin Gianino at the Cigar Inn in Belleville; and saxophonist Willie Akins and his band will play at Robbie's.

On Saturday, the Clayton Brothers Quintet (pictured) comes to town for a performance at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Headed by John Clayton on bass and Jeff Clayton on saxophone, the group also includes the fine trumpeter Terell Stafford, John's son Gerald Clayton on piano, and drummer Obed Calvaire. As demonstrated on their Grammy nominated album Brother to Brother, the Claytons offer a swinging, straight-ahead sound with occasional tinges of hard bop and Latin jazz.

Also on Saturday, the Alton Landing Jazz Quartet plays at Jazz on Broadway; saxophonist Rod Tate is at the Halls Ferry Inn Jazz Cafe; and Robbie's has two separate shows: a late afternoon set featuring Dave Black and saxophonist Christopher Braig, followed by an evening performance from a sextet of young musicians led by saxophonist Matt Leininger.

On Sunday, New Orleans' Rebirth Brass Band returns to town for a late afternoon show at The Gramophone, with St. Louis' own Funky Butt Brass Band opening (and perhaps even joining forces at some point with the headliners).

Looking beyond the weekend, on Tuesday keyboardist Brock Walker performs at the Sheldon to promote the release of his new CD 25th & State.

For more jazz-related events in St. Louis this weekend and beyond, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, which can be found on the left sidebar of the site or by clicking here. You also can keep up with all the latest news by following St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at http://twitter.com/StLJazzNotes or clicking the “Like" icon on the StLJN Facebook page.

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