As is typical for this time of year, the calendar of upcoming jazz performances in and around St. Louis over the next few days is a bit light on touring acts.
Fortunately, our local musicians have plenty going on in a variety of genres, from straight-ahead and swing to funk to cabaret to big band to experimental. Let's go to the highlights...
Tonight, drummer Alan Evans' trio, renamed Playonbrother since their last St. Louis appearance, will perform at The Gramophone, with Belagroove opening. With the group's latest recordings seemingly edging them toward a heavier, more guitar-oriented sound, and Evans singing lead on a number of tunes, there have definitely been some changes beyond just the name. So check out some video samples of their recent performances and read more about the two albums they've put out this year in this post from last Saturday.
Also tonight, singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Dave Black will perform a free concert for Washington University's Jazz at Holmes series at Tisch Commons in the Danforth University Center; the Funky Butt Brass Band plays a free outdoor concert at Bluebird Park in Ellisville; and up-and-coming cabaret performers Michaela Wolz, Sam Krausz, Tom Fields and Haylee Capstick will be showcased in the First Stage Cabaret" at Kranzberg Arts Center.
On Friday, pianist Tony Suggs - originally from East St. Louis, veteran of many years with the Count Basie Orchestra, and lately a resident of Tokyo, Japan - is back home for a visit and will team up with drummer Montez Coleman and Chris Thomas for a trio session at Cigar Inn.
Also on Friday, the Joe Bozzi Band will perform at Evangeline's; the St. Louis Big Band plays for dancers at Casa Loma Ballroom; Wack-A-Doo will return to the Tavern of Fine Arts; and Miss Jubilee will be swinging at the Venice Cafe.
Elsewhere around town, singer Tony Viviano returns to Fortel’s in Creve Coeur; singer Erika Johnson, guitarist Tom Byrne and saxophonist Christopher Braig will be at EdgeWild Restaurant and Winery in Chesterfield; and guitarist Brian Vaccaro's trio with bassist Marc Torlina and Kyle Honeycutt will host a jam session, now recurring monthly, at the Wolf Public House.
On Saturday, saxophonist Jim Stevens and band will be funking it up by the river at The Loading Dock in Grafton; and trumpeter Jim Manley and pianist Arthur Toney will play in the old Just Jazz" space, now called the Mahogany Grill, at the Omni Majestic Hotel downtown.
Also on Saturday, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes return to action at C.J. Muggs in Webster Groves; and saxophonist Willie Akins will be this week's guest with bassist Bob DeBoo and friends at the Kranzberg Arts Center.
On Sunday, pianist Ptah Williams' trio will play a free outdoor concert at Ivory Perry Park, 800 N. Belt; and the Dave Dickey Big Band will play their regular fourth-Sunday show at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company, this month featuring singer Tom Heitman performing Frank Sinatra hits, plus an open dance floor.
Also on Sunday evening, Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center will present what's being billed as a night of experimental music featuring improvising saxophonist Curt Oren, Dear Rabbit, Lions Eat Grass, and saxophonist Dave Stone's Free Jazz Unit.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday night saxophonist Blind" Willie Dineen and the Broadway Collective will check back in for their monthly gig downtown at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.
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