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Jazz This Week: Bill Watrous, Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, William Cepeda, "Jazz Heaven," and More

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This week's menu of jazz and creative music in St. Louis features visits from two very different touring trombonists, plus a traveling extravaganza featuring Wynton Marsalis fronting a cast of 85 musicians and singers, and as usual, plenty of homegrown talent, too.

Let's go the highlights...

Tonight, trombonist Bill Watrous will be at Mineral Area College in Park Hills for a concert at the college's Fine Arts Theater, backed by the MAC Kicks Band. Watrous performed early in his career with the likes of Woody Herman, Roy Eldridge and Count Basie, later going on to be a featured guest soloist on recordings by Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Arturo Sandoval and many others. He was voted best trombonist seven times in the DownBeat reader's poll, and his Manhattan Wildlife Refuge big band was a touchstone of the 1970s, showing off Watrous' virtuoso technique in a way analogous to how Maynard Ferguson's band displayed its leader's skills as a high-note specialist.

And speaking of Maynard Ferguson, his friend and fellow trumpeter Jim Manley also is playing tonight, at Joyia Tapas in the Grove neighborhood; while further downtown, Miss Jubilee will play jump blues and swing at the Thaxton Speakeasy.

Tomorrow night, Jazz St. Louis presents the touring production of “Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration" at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. The extended work by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis was created in 2008 for the 200th anniversary of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, and now is getting a touring production (pictured) featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the 70-voice Chorale de Chateau.

For much more about “Abyssinian," including interviews with Marsalis and choir director Damien Sneed and some video footage shot during the current tour, see this post from last Saturday.

Also on Friday night, trombonist William Cepeda, who combines Latin jazz with traditional music from his home territory of Puerto Rico, will be in town to play at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Cepeda's colorful show includes folk dancers as well as musicians, so you can bet they'll be using every square inch of the Sheldon's stage, and maybe a bit more besides.

Elsewhere around town on Friday, singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Dave Black will duet at Chaser's Lounge in the Chase Park Plaza Hotel; singer/pianist Anita Rosamond and her band will be at Robbie's House of Jazz; singer Feyza Eren performs at the the Wine Press; and guitarist Tom Byrne will lead a trio at Thurman Grill.

On Saturday night, pianist Dave Venn will be featured in a one-nighter at Jazz at the Bistro; singer Tony Viviano performs at Talayna's in Chesterfield; and the Dixie Dudes will play traditional New Orleans style and swing at Jazz on Broadway. Also on Saturday, pianist Tim Garcia leads a quartet at Robbie's; and Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes perform at Venice Cafe.

On Sunday, singer Wendy Gordon will present the latest show in her “Jazz Heaven" series at the Ethical Society, featuring a dozen musicians and singers performing songs made famous by various legends of jazz and blues. Also on Sunday, singer/guitarist Elliott Ranney will support the release of his new CD Bellevue Shuffle with a performance at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday the SIUE Concert Jazz Band performs at Dunham Hall on the SIUE campus; and trumpeter Keith Moyer brings his quartet back to BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

Then on Tuesday, the Route 66 Jazz Orchestra will play a “Notes From Home" concert at the Sheldon, while keyboardist Jim Hegarty will lead a trio in some experimental sounds at the Tavern of Fine Arts.


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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.
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