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Jazz this week: Take 6, Tatsuya Nakatani, Bonerama, Xmas jazz around town, and more


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It's going to be a busy few days for jazz and creative music in St. Louis, and though a couple of high-profile shows are sold out (or nearly so), there's still going to be plenty of music- holiday and other- available on local stages. Let's go to the highlights.

Wednesday, December 13

Acappella vocal group Take 6 returns for the first of four nights at Jazz at the Bistro. The run of shows was described by Jazz St. Louis on Tuesday as “nearly sold out," so if you want to hear the multiple Grammy winners in the intimate confines of the Bistro, you'll definitely need to call ahead for advance reservations, and perhaps a bit of luck as well.

As an alternative, you can see a live video stream of Wednesday's shows in the first floor lounge on the west side of Jazz St. Louis HQ, available with no cover charge in conjunction with the free, weekly “Grand Center Jazz Crawl".

This week's crawl also features the Jazz Troubadours at The Stage at KDHX, plus the jam session led by bassist Bob DeBoo at the Kranzberg Arts Center and trumpeter Kasimu Taylor's band at The Dark Room.

Also on Wednesday, the musical show “An Unforgettable Nat King Cole Christmas" resumes its run, continuing with performances through Sunday afternoon at the Playhouse at Westport Plaza.

Thursday, December 14

Singer Dianne Reeves, who had been scheduled to headline “Gospel Christmas: A Soulful Celebration" with the St. Louis Symphony at Powell Hall, announced on Thursday that she would be unable to perform due to an unspecified health issue. Simultaneously, the SLSO announced that the show would go on as scheduled, with St. Louis' own Brian Owens standing in for Reeves.

Also on Thursday, singer Erin Bode will be in Edwardsville for a holiday concert at the Wildey Theatre; guitarist Dave Black will play at The Pat Connolly Tavern; and trumpeter Keith Moyer and his quintet return to The Dark Room

Friday, December 15

Percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani will be back for what has become an annual convening here of his Gong Orchestra, in which he teams up with and trains a group of local musicians in specific techniques for each performance. This year's edition, presented at the William A Kerr Foundation on the riverfront, will feature a solo percussion set by Nakatani, followed by the Gong Orchestra set with him and 14 collaborators from St. Louis.

Also on Friday, the Funky Butt Brass Band kicks off their annual “Holiday Brasstravaganza" weekend at Off Broadway. As of this writing, a few tickets may remain for Friday, but the Saturday night show and a newly added, family friendly Saturday matinee are already sold out.

Elsewhere around town, the Original Knights of Swing play for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom; singer Feyza Eren performs at the house concert venue KindaBlue Club; and Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will play vintage swing, jump blues and more at the Venice Cafe

Saturday, December 16

New Orleans' trombone-centric band Bonerama returns to perform at The Bootleg at Atomic Cowboy.

Currently touring in support of their new album Hot Like Fire- their first release as part of a new deal with New Orleans' Basin Street Records- Bonerama have been regular visitors to St. Louis for most of this decade, playing at venues including the Old Rock House, Broadway Oyster Bar and The Sheldon. If you've missed out on their brass/funk/rock sound up until now, you can find our more and see some video samples of recent performances in this post from last Saturday.

Also on Saturday, Wack-A-Doo returns to Evangeline's; saxophonist Dave Stone's trio will play at Thurman's in Shaw; and Miss Jubilee performs at the Casa Loma Ballroom.

Sunday, December 17

There's more holiday jazz in the offing, as the Oikos Ensemble presents “Jazz Noel: A Child is Born" at the First Congregational Church of Webster Groves, while the Dave Dickey Big Band celebrates a “Big Band Christmas" with singer Anita Jackson and guest intermission performers, the North County HS Jazz Ensemble, at .ZACK in Grand Center.

Monday, December 18

Trumpeter Jim Manley plays his weekly Monday night gig at Momo's Greek Restaurant.

Tuesday, December 19

Still more holiday jazz on tap, as the Jazz St. Louis Big Bandwill play Duke Ellington's “Nutcracker" Suite (plus additional Ellingtonia) for the first of three nights at Jazz at the Bistro, and The 442s present their “Holiday Spectacular" at 560 Music Center

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