As 2014 marches inexorably toward its conclusion, it's shaping up to be another busy week for jazz and creative music in St. Louis.
This week's noteworthy performances include a visit from one of the top jazz organists in the business; the long-awaited return of a major jazz innovator, in duo with one of today's most in-demand keyboardists; plus a whole lot of holiday-themed jazz, and more. Let's go to the highlights....
Tonight, organist Joey DeFrancesco
and his trio return to Jazz at the Bistro
for the first evening of a four-night engagement continuing through Saturday. DeFrancesco is touring in support of a new seasonal album, Home For The Holidays
, and word from Jazz St. Louis is that he'll be playing a vintage 1958 Hammond belonging to the late Richard McDonnell that's being used for the first time in the new Bistro space.
On Thursday, there's the first of three events this week featuring Roscoe Mitchell
, as the composer and multi-instrumentalist will sit down with KWMU's Dennis Owsley
and Wash U's Paul Steinbeck
for a Q&A session at the Tavern of Fine Arts
. The event is free and open to the public.
Also Thursday, Wash U's student jazz combos will wrap up the fall season with a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes
series on campus at Ridgely Hall; and singer Feyza Eren
, pianist Curt Landes
and bassist Ric Vice will play at Joe's Cafe
On Friday afternoon, Mitchell will give another free public presentation, NONAAH: From Solo to Full Orchestra," at Wash U's Music Classroom Building, Room 102. The lecture will track the evolution of one of Mitchell's best-known compositions over four-plus decades.
Then that evening, he'll team up with keyboardist Craig Taborn (pictured)
for a much-anticipated duo concert presented by New Music Circle
at The Stage at KDHX
. For much more about Mitchell and why this show is a big deal, check out this video showcase post from last Saturday
Also on Friday, the Funky Butt Brass Band
returns for their monthly gig at Broadway Oyster Bar
; guitarist John Farrar
will play at Evangeline's
; saxophonist Kendrick Smith leads a trio at Cigar Inn
; and keyboardists Ptah Williams
and Matt Villinger will team up for a performance at Thurman Grill
Meanwhile, Friday evening options for dancers include Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes
at the Venice Cafe; Miss Jubilee
at the newly refurbished Boo Cat Club
, and the Ambassadors of Swing
at the venerable Casa Loma Ballroom
On Saturday afternoon, the Oikos Ensemble
will present What Child is This? A Jazz Nativity" at the First Congregational Church
in Webster Groves, the first of three performances of the show this holiday season. (For a guide to all the holiday jazz going on around town this month, see this post
Saturday evening, trumpeter/vibraphonist Joe Bozzi
's band will be at Evangeline's; Wack-A-Doo
will take the stage at Tavern of Fine Arts; the Ann Dueren
Trio bids adieu to Il Bel Lago
, as the West County restaurant is revamping its live music policy; and trumpeter Jim Manley
and guitarist Randy Bahr will duet at Thurman Grill.
Sunday morning, pianist and Jazz St. Louis education director Phil Dunlap's trio will be taking over the live music duties for brunch at the Bistro through the end of December.
Later on Sunday, holiday jazz proliferates, as the Oikos Ensemble reprises What Child is This? A Jazz Nativity" at Parkway United Church of Christ; and the Funky Butt Brass Band joins forces with St. Louis Community College - Meramec's orchestra, symphonic band and concert choir for a free concert
at the Meramec Theatre
Also on the seasonal tip, jazz-fusion band Common Time
and guest singers will present a holiday show at Blueberry Hill
; and the Dave Dickey Big Band
will tackle some original arrangements of Christmas tunes for their monthly gig at Jazz at the Bistro, with the Webster Groves HS Jazz Band performing at intermission.
And also of note on Sunday night, veteran bassist and former St. Louisan Steve Kirby
, who now teaches at the University of Manitoba in Canada, will be back in town to lead a quartet at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups
Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday drummer Matt Wilson
's Christmas Tree-O will kick off a week-long educational residency for the Webster Groves school district
with a public concert at Joe's Cafe
; the Webster U jazz singers
will perform at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster campus; and trumpeter Keith Moyer
's group returns to BB's.
Then on Tuesday, singer Joe Mancuso
and bassist Willem von Hombracht will play at Tavern of Fine Arts.