Along with the official start of spring, this weekend brings several events of interest to fans of jazz and creative music in St. Louis.
The weekend's best-known headliners are Dave Samuels and the Caribbean Jazz Project, who will open a four-night run this evening at Jazz at the Bistro. You can see some video of the CJP in action here, and listen to a podcast interview with Samuels here
On Thursday evening, drummer Ben Thigpen leads his group in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University. Also on Thursday, guitarist Fareed Haque and the Flat Earth Ensemble will play at 2720, and Hugh Peanuts" Whalum returns to Brandt's.
(Parenthetically, Brandt's website domain name seems to have expired and fallen prey to the dreaded domain-jackers, as has the website for Seasons St. Louis, which has featured jazz performers such as Erin Bode and Mae Wheeler. If anyone reading this knows more about what's going on with either place, please drop me an email.)
Elsewhere this wekeend, Robbie's House of Jazz will feature guitarist Scott McCloud on Friday and the up-and-coming Kansas City band Diverse (pictured) on Saturday. Diverse are particular favorites of StLJN's cross-state counterpart Plastic Sax, which has provided ongoing coverage of the band and named trumpeter Hermon Mehari the Kansas City jazz Person of the Year" for 2009. You can hear an interview with Mehari from late last year on Jason Crane's The Jazz Session, and read a review of Diverse's self-titled 2009 debut CD here.
On Sunday afternoon, saxophonist Willie Akins performs the music of Sonny Rollins at the Metropolitan Gallery as part of the Nu-Art Series' re-arrangements & nu-compositions" concerts. Also on Sunday, the St. Louis Jazz and Blues Vespers series presents a free blues concert by Big George Brock and the Houserockers at the Second Baptist Church.
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