Talented Local Musicians Dominate December Jazz Scene

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2006 wraps up with an interesting mix of live jazz dates on the St. Louis scene... with a strong emphasis on talented musicians who either grew up or still live in the area. December's lineup at Jazz at the Bistro is a prime example. Native St. Louisan Dave Weckl returns home to headline the Bistro with his quartet Nov. 29 through Dec. 2. The band also includes two more area products, bassist Tom Kennedy, who still calls St. Louis home base, and keyboard player Jay Oliver, who now lives in the LA area. St. Louis-based singer Erin Bode and her band follow Weckl into the Bistro Dec. 6 through 9, with sets featuring a holiday theme. Sax great Houston Person isn't from here, but he's got plenty of area fans and his Bistro shows Dec. 13 through 16 will also have a holiday theme as well.

Local musicians also are in the December spotlight at Finale as well. Bode plays a holiday show at the venue on Dec. 20, and Tom Kennedy adds his excellent bass playing to the band of vocalist Anita Rosamond at Finale on Dec. 6. Joining Rosamond in the CD release party for her new holiday recording, This is Christmas, will be drummer Miles Vandiver, Lew Winer III on saxophones, Keith Moyer on trumpet, pianist Corey Kendrick, and a few surprise guests who were on the recording. Other highlights this month at Finale include trumpeter Randy Holmes and Hard Bop Heritage paying tribute to Chet Baker on Dec. 23, and Nashville pianist Beegie Adair and her trio on Dec. 9.

Tom Kennedy also turns up at the Sheldon Concert Hall Dec. 7-10—this time in the company of brother Ray on piano as they support singer Jessica Molaskey in her performances at the Cabaret at the Savoy Room series (if you're confused, the venue is actually the upstairs ballroom at the Sheldon going under a new name.)

Finally, there is a major national act hitting town on December 5 at Mississippi Nights down on Laclede's Landing. It's Medeski, Martin and Wood joined by guitarist John Scofield.


Some up-and-coming musicians are worth checking out this holiday season as well. Pianist Kara Baldus and her trio perform at Erato on Friday, Dec. 22. And pianist Phil Dunlap and his trio play at Washington University in the Holmes Lounge jazz series on Thursday, Dec. 7. Catch both shows—you'll be glad you did.

As usual check out St. Louis Jazz Notes, a blog created by local musician and writer, Dean Minderman, for a complete jazz calendar of the St. Louis scene. And have a great holiday season!


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