Jazz This Week: Regina Carter, a Trio of Big Bands, a Benefit for Tony Simmons, and More


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This week's notable jazz and creative music performances in St. Louis include the return of the premier violinist in jazz; concerts by three different local big bands; and more. Let's go to the highlights...

The violinist in question is, as you might suspect,  Regina Carter, who opens a four-night engagement this evening continuing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro.

Carter (pictured) was here last in 2010, touring with a band that included accordion and kora players in support of her album Reverse Thread, which featured compositions by musicians from Kenya, Mali, and Senegal. This time, she'll be accompanied by a more conventionally configured trio, including Xavier Davis on piano, Gayelynn McKinney on drums, and Jesse Murphy on bass, and presumably will be drawing on her repertoire of straight-ahead, swing and funk tunes as well. For more about Carter plus a video sample of her current band and some retrospective clips, please see this post from a couple of Saturdays ago.

Also tonight, Cabaret Project St. Louis presents their monthly Open Mic Night at the Tavern of Fine Arts.

Tomorrow night, pianist Carolbeth True and her trio will play a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University, and pianist/singer Jesse Gannon performs in a showcase at the Kranzberg Arts Center.

On Friday, pianist and Jazz St. Louis education director Phil Dunlap finally gets to bring his new quintet to the Saint Louis Art Museum, playing a free concert for their “Art After 5" series to make up for an outdoor show back in June that was canceled due to bad weather. In addition to Dunlap, the group features Danny Campbell (trumpet), Ben Reece (tenor sax), Jahmal Nichols (bass), and Montez Coleman (drums).

Also on Friday, singer and actress Liz Murphy will present the first of two performances of her cabaret show “The Best Is Yet To Come" at the Kranzberg Arts Center; Miss Jubilee performs at The Wine Press; bassist Darrell Mixon leads a trio at Cigar Inn; and drummer Chuck Kennedy will debut a new ensemble featuring saxophonist Jerry Greene, pianist Arthur Toney and bassist Marc Torlina, plus some special guest performers, at Robbie's House of Jazz.

On Saturday, trumpeter Randy Holmes brings his quintet to Robbie's, while a couple of blocks away, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will play at C.J. Muggs. Also on Saturday, singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Dave Black will duet at Candicci's Italian Restaurant in Ballwin, and singer Ann Dueren's trio performs at Il Bel Lago.

Then on Sunday afternoon, a number of local musicians and singers will team up to present a benefit performance for keyboardist Tony Simmons at Union Memorial United Methodist Church, 1141 Belt Ave. The show will raise money toward Simmons' medical expenses, incurred earlier this year when his legs had to be amputated due to complications from diabetes. Scheduled performers announced so far include Denise Thimes, Joe Mancuso, Anita Jackson, Tim Cunningham, Jeremiah Allen, Cheryl Brown and Joy Bryant.

On Sunday evening, the Dave Dickey Big Band plays their monthly gig at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company, with an intermission performance by the Lindbergh High School jazz band; and pianist Tony Suggs and drummer Montez Coleman will co-lead a quartet for two sets at the Bistro at Grand Center, the first of which already is sold out.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday Dizzy Atmosphere will play at The Shaved Duck, and saxophonist “Blind" Willie Dineen and the Broadway Collective return to BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

Then on Tuesday, there's a double dose of big band action, as the St. Louis Jazz Orchestra, directed by Jim Widner, performs as part of the “Notes From Home" series at the  Sheldon Concert Hall, while the Genesis Jazz Project, under the baton of Bob Waggoner, will play a concert at Midwest Music in Ballwin. 

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