From free improv to fusion to big band to neo-soul/hip-hop influenced experimentation, this week's schedule of jazz and creative music in St. Louis has a variety of offerings to suit different musical tastes. Let's go to the highlights...
Tonight, New Music Circle presents saxophonist Larry Ochs and Kihnoua in concert at Kranzberg Arts Center. In addition to Ochs, the group features Scott Amendola on drums and electronics, Dohee Lee on vocals, and special guest bassist Trevor Dunn.
Also tonight, trumpeter/multi-instrumentalist Nicholas Payton opens a four-night stand at Jazz at the Bistro, fronting a trio with bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Corey Fonville.
On Thursday, the reunited original lineup of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones (pictured) will perform at the Sheldon Concert Hall. You can read more about the reunion and see some video footage of the Flecktones playing material from their most recent album here.
Also on Thursday, the Genesis Jazz Project plays at Robbie's House of Jazz; and Washington University's jazz combo students will perform a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series.
On Friday, cabaret performers Donna Weinsting and Lara Buck team up for the first of two nights of Bold, Bawdy, Blondeand Funny," a new show staged under the auspices of the Presenters Dolan at the Kranzberg Arts Center.
Also on Friday, the Saint Boogie Brass Band, a relatively new local group working in the New Orleans brass band tradition, plays at Robbie's; guitarist Tom Byrne leads a trio with drummer Paul Shaw and bassist Chris Watrous at Cigar Inn; and the St. Louis Big Band plays for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom.
Then on Saturday, Shades of Jade, a Kansas City band blending jazz with hip-hop and neo-soul, will perfrom at Robbie's; and singer Dean Christopher will do his Rat Pack and More" thing with help from pianist Carolbeth True at Frontenac Grill
On Sunday, singer Erin Bode will perform in concert at St. Peter's United Church of Christ.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday Webster University's jazz combo students will show off their semester's work in a concert at Winifred Moore Auditorium; and Tom Byrne brings his Pat Metheny-inspired project Have You Heard? back to BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups.
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