For a lot of St. Louis jazz fans, there's a hole in this weekend approximately the size and shape of tenor saxophone giant Sonny Rollins, who, up until a couple of weeks ago, had been scheduled to play this Saturday night at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.
Unfortunately, Rollins' continuing health issues forced him to cancel the show here, along with the rest of his summer schedule. Fortunately, there are lots of other jazz and creative music events on tap over the next few days, and while none of them are Sonny Rollins, there's still some good stuff in the offing. Let's go to the highlights...
Tonight, the second-ever STL Fringe Fest begins, with a variety of events at venues along Locust St., just to the east of the Grand Center district. Though it's oriented mostly toward theater and performance, the Fest once will include some events that may be of interest to jazz fans, including tonight's set by singer Christy Strickland and the Randy Holmes Quartet at Satori and Hey, Minnie the Moocher: A Musical Tribute to Cotton Club Swing Jazz Legends," the title of which seems self-explanatory.
(Both productions will be repeated at various times over the weekend, and interested listeners should note that admission requires both a Fringe Fest wristband and a separate ticket for the specific performance you want to see; consult the Fest's website for details.)
Tomorrow night, pianists Adaron Pops" Jackson of Good 4 the Soul and Phil Dunlap, Jazz St. Louis' director of education, will team up for 88 Squared" at Jazz at the Bistro. The one-off performance will feature the two keyboardists playing together backed by bassist Jahmal Nichols and drummer Marty Morrison.
Also on Friday, singer Joe Mancuso and his quartet will revisit a concept that dates back to the Beat era, as they'll perform at Robbie's House of Jazz while artist Vesna Delevska paints live" in accompaniment. That same evening, pianist Ptah Williams, drummer Montez Coleman and bassist Darrell Mixon will play at Cigar Inn; and singer Ann Dueren and her trio will be at Il Bel Lago.
On Saturday, New Music Circle will be taking part in Open Studios STL, presenting what's being called a group sound environment" at the William A Kerr Foundation building on Laclede's Landing. (The free, all-day Open Studios event, organized by the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, is designed to encourage visitors to artists' studios throughout the area.)
Musicians playing as part of NMC's presentation will include Tracy Andreotti (cello), Joseph Raglani (modular synthesizer), John Tamm-Buckle (computer), Michael Williams (electronics), Connie Su (electronics), Ajay Khanna (guitar/computer), Nathan Cook (electronics), Laura Dempsey (electronics), Fred Tompkins (flute), Dave Stone (saxophone), Henry Claude (percussion), Gwenyth Merner (theremin/electronics), and Patrick Boland (percussion).
There also will be an Open Studios after party" Saturday night at 2720 Cherokee with music from funky organ trio Downstereo and Moon Hooch, a group of former NYC subway buskers made up of two saxophonists and a drummer.
Elsewhere on Saturday, pianist Matt Villinger leads a trio at Robbie's, while Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes hold forth around the block at C.J. Muggs.
On Sunday, there's a double-header of music from two well-known New Orleans bands, starting with a 2:00 p.m. matinee from the brass funk rock" ensemble Bonerama at Broadway Oyster Bar. Bonerama's show originally was scheduled for Sunday evening, but got moved to the afternoon, presumably to minimize conflict with the performance by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band (pictured) on Sunday evening at Off Broadway.
Both bands have played here numerous times in recent years, but if you'd like to sample some of their music, you can see some videos that will give you a taste of both in this post from a couple of Saturdays ago.
Also on Sunday, the Dave Dickey Big Band will play their monthly gig at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday guitarist Denny Jiosa will be in town to present a free workshop at Mozingo Music, and Blind" Willie Dineen and the Broadway Collective will play at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups.
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