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Jazz This Week: Regina Carter's Reverse Thread, Banu Gibson, Dave Pietro, Christopher McBride, and More


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This week's jazz and creative music offerings in St. Louis would seem to have something of a nostalgic bent, with several shows recalling early New Orleans or Swing Era jazz, and one headliner who's reaching all the way back to the music's African roots. However, there also are some more modern sounds happening around town; you just have to know where to look. So, let's go to the highlights:

Tonight, violinist Regina Carter (pictured) opens a four-night stand at Jazz at the Bistro with her current project Reverse Thread, which draws inspiration from African folk music and features kora player Yacouba Sissoko. You can see some videos of Reverse Thread in action here, and read a brief interview with Carter, done last week by Calvin Wilson of the Post-Dispatch, here.

Thursday's quite busy, as the touring Swing Era musical In The Mood is in town for two shows at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, and saxophonist Dave Pietro, who's played with many modern-day big bands including Toshiko Akiyoshi, Woody Herman, Lionel Hampton, Maynard Ferguson, Maria Schneider, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, and Arturo O'Farrill, will perform with the Webster Groves HS combos at Highway 61 Roadhouse.

That same evening, clarinetist Scott Alberici plays a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University, and the Sheldon Concert Hall hosts its annual “Artsounds" benefit, which this year is themed “Jazz in Black and White" and will feature a performance of new music from pianist Kim Portnoy.

On Friday, singer, pianist and percussionist Al Ox (aka Alan Oxenhandler) is putting on what's being billed as a “classic stage variety show" of “songs, schtick and soft-shoe" at 560 Music Center; and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Anderson will deploy his tenor sax at Robbie's House of Jazz, backed by guitarist Eric Slaughter, bassist Nick Jost and drummer Marty Morrison.

Also of note: The Sands, located just outside the city limits in Shrewsbury, recently has expanded its musical offerings to a third day of the week and now is presenting trad jazz, ragtime and other vintage sounds from Banjos and Brass every Friday. The group includes Bobby Grimm and Al Lehman on banjos, Pat Arana on trombone, and Steve Hoog on tuba.

On Saturday, Robbie's has the young Chicago-based saxophonist Christopher McBride, who has played the club once before with his group the McMoore Movement. This time, McBride will front a quartet with pianist Matt Villinger, plus the aforementioned Nick Jost and Marty Morrison.

Then on Sunday afternoon, singer Banu Gibson and her band, the New Orleans Hot Jazz, will perform a matinee at the Sheldon. Her show “Meet Me At The Corner of Broadway and Jazz" will pay tribute to “classic Broadway and jazz songs of the 1920s, '30s and '40s."

As the new week begins, the Webster University Student Jazz Combos 2 get their turn on Monday to perform a free concert at the university's Community Music School, 535 Garden Avenue; and the Next Generation Jazz Band plays at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups.

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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