Jazz This Week: Tiempo Libre, Eric Person, Musica Slesa, and More


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Once again, there's a varied selection of jazz and creative music on tap this weekend in St. Louis, and time is short, so let's go to the highlights:

Tonight, there's a memorial for Blake Travis at the Sheldon Concert Hall, the first of two events this week honoring the late percussionist, singer and storyteller.

Though Travis didn't usually work in the jazz idiom per se, he played with all sorts of St. Louis musicians over the course of his career, and many of them, including pianist Carolbeth True and multi-instrumentalist Sandy Weltman, will gather tonight to pay tribute to him. The roster of performers also will include Lydia Ruffin, Tom Hall, Lisa Campbell, Tim Albert, the Road Apples, January Kiefer, Barton and Sweeney, Charlie Pfeffer, John Higgins and Colleen Heine.

This evening also is the first preview performance for the Black Rep's production of the Louis Jordan musical Five Guys Named Moe, which runs at the Grandel Theatre through April 25. For more about the show, see this post.

On Thursday, pianist Kara Baldus and her group will play a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University.

Then on Friday, the weekend takes on a distinct Latin flavor as the Miami-based band Tiempo Libre (pictured) brings their mix of jazz and Cuban rhythms to Washington University's Edison Theatre. For more about Tiempo Libre and some video of them in action, see this post from Saturday.

Meanwhile, a few miles to the east, the St. Louis-based Latin jazz band Musica Slesa will open a weekend stand at Jazz at the Bistro. Jazz St. Louis' Bob Bennett tells me that Musica Slesa has proved to be a good draw at the Bistro, and you can hear samples of their music on their MySpace page.

Also on Friday, the performance space Open Lot has a triple bill of ambient/noise music, featuring electronic musician Kyle Parker a.k.a. Infinite Body, the tape loops and guitar of Earn, and music and 8mm film from Ghost Ice.

On Saturday afternoon, drummer Jerome “Scrooge" Harris and his band will play the music of Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter at the Metropolitan Gallery as part of the Nu-Art Series' jazz composers shows. Saturday evening will provide a double dose of swinging vocals, as Jeanne Trevor performs at Robbie's House of Jazz and Denise Thimes takes the stage at Harris-Stowe State University in a benefit concert for the Delta Child Development Center.

On Sunday, saxophonist Eric Person is back in town to headline a show paying tribute to (and raising funds for) his father Thomas Person, who's recovering from a stroke. The event at the Ambassador, 9800 Halls Ferry Rd., will get started at 4:00 p.m. with a jam session, followed by sets featuring Philip Gomez, Ed Nicholson, Person and pianist Ptah Williams, and Willem Von Hombracht's X-tet.

Also on Sunday, there will be a “jazz funeral" for Blake Travis at the Schlafly Tap Room, with music from the Funky Butt Brass Band and others.

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 by becoming a “fan" of the StLJN Facebook page.

(If you have calendar items, band schedule information, news tips, links, or anything else you think may be of interest to StLJN's readers, please email the information to stljazznotes (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you have photos, MP3s or other digital files, please send links, not attachments.)

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