It's another busy weekend for live jazz and creative music in and around the St. Louis area, with homecoming visits from a couple of distinguished expats, local festivals taking place in three different parts of the metro area, a performance from a notable participant in Chicago's thriving improvised music scene, and more. Let's go to the highlights...
Thursday, June 25
The Gateway City Big Band plays a free outdoor concert at Chesterfield Amphitheater, and the Tavern of Fine Arts presents their monthly “Experimental Arts Open Improv Night," this month featuring live improvised music performed with video art.
Also on Thursday, singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Tom Byrne perform at Thurman Grill; and yr. humble StLJN editor also has been meaning to mention that there's now an open jam session every other Thursday at The Night Owl, the bar upstairs above the vegetarian restaurant Tree House, 3177 S Grand Blvd.
Friday, June 26
Drummer and U. City native Ronnie Burrage, who's currently living in Pennsylvania, will be back home for a weekend of performances at Voce, 212 S. Tucker. Burrage (pictured, top left) will lead a small group with guitarist Eric Slaughter, bassist Nathan Pence and singer Kendra Mahr, plus trumpeter Danny Campbell on Friday, and Jeff Anderson on tenor sax on Saturday. For more about Burrage and some video samples of him performing, see this post from last Saturday.
Also on Friday, the annual Wine, Dine & Jazz Festival, held in the public square in downtown Belleville, kicks off its first night with sets from trumpeter Jim Manley, the Usual Suspects, and singer Anita Rosamond. Saturday's lineup will feature saxophonist Jim Stevens, trumpeter and singer Dawn Weber (pictured, center left), the Christian blues band Kingdom Brothers, and Soul Cafe.
Elsewhere around town, Tavern of Fine Arts will host “Soliloquy II," a program of solo and duo improvised performances featuring cellist Tracy Andreotti, percussionist Henry Claude, violinist Alex Cunningham, pianist Greg Mills, saxophonist Dave Stone, and flautist Fred Tompkins.
A bit further south, pianist and singer Carol Schmidt, multi-instrumentalist and singer Michele Isam, and singers Debbie Schuster and Katie McGrath team up to perform as “Women Under the Influence" at Soulard Preservation Hall, 1921 South Ninth St.
And back in midtown at Grand Center, Jazz at the Bistro is trying something a bit different this weekend, on Friday pairing a group of local burlesque dancers billed as the Randy Dandies with live music from the Funky Butt Brass Band for “Babes in Brassland." A similarly themed program titled “Tassles 'n Tunes," with music from Tommy Halloran’s Guerrilla Swing, is set for Saturday night.
Saturday, June 27
The Miles Davis Jazz Festival celebrates its tenth year with performances from drummer Montez Coleman's trio, trumpeter Danny Campbell's quartet, and saxophonist Fred Walker at the Jacoby Arts Center in Alton.
Also on Saturday, Chicago-based cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm will be in town to headline a show at the Schlafly Tap Room. Lonberg-Holm, who's collaborated with well-regarded improvisors such as Ken Vandermark, Joe McPhee, and Peter Brötzmann, will perform in a duo with percussionist Ståle Liavik Solberg. The Vernacular String Trio and DJ Ghost Ice also are on the bill.
Saturday also is the day for this year's edition of the Chesterfield Jazz Festival, a free event at the Chesterfield Amphitheater that will feature a headlining performance from saxophonist and St. Louis native Eric Person, backed by pianist Ptah Williams, bassist Darrell Mixon and drummer Gary Sykes, plus sets from Bach to the Future, singer Feyza Eren, bassist Bob DeBoo, and singer Tony Viviano.
Elsewhere around town, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will return to the Venice Cafe; Miss Jubilee performs for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom; and singer Eve Seltzer and band will host a late-night jam session at Evangeline's.
Sunday, June 28
The summer edition of the St. Louis Record Collector and CD Show will take place at the American Czech Hall, 4690 Lansdowne (at Kingshighway).
Also on Sunday, Ronnie Burrage leads his RoBu Big Band in a matinee performance at Voce. The ensemble will feature Danny Campbell and Jeff Anderson from the drummer's small-group shows, along with saxophonists Chad Evans, Jerome “JDubz" Williams, Stanley Coleman, and Willie Akins; pianist Ptah Williams; bassist Darrell Mixon; percussionist Henry Claude; singer Charisse Swan, and other special guests.