If you're looking to shake the mid-winter doldrums this weekend, your options for live jazz and creative music in St. Louis include the local debut of an up-and-coming New Orleans performer; an album release event featuring the first recording as a leader from one of our town's busiest bassists, and more. Let's go to the highlights...
Tonight, saxophonist Lew Winer III leads a trio at The Engine Room, while singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Dave Black play at Nathalie's, a new restaurant on Lindell in the building that formerly housed Salt, and before that, Savor and the Cabaret at Savor.
Tomorrow night, bassist Jahmal Nichols will make his Jazz at the Bistro debut as a bandleader for the first of two nights promoting the release of his first album, 2 Worlds 1 Mind.
The band for the gig will include saxophonist Kendrick Smith, guitarist Eric Slaughter, keyboardists Cory James and Andre Thomas, and drummer Andrew Exum, plus special guests," but advance information about the record is scarce, other than a YouTube video that lists the musicians who played on the CD over an excerpt of a unnamed track evoking early Stanley Clarke. (In a coincidence of particularly unfortunate timing, Nichols' website appears either to have been recently domain-jacked or gone 404, so no help there, either.)
That evening, New Orleans pianist and singer Jon Batiste(pictured) and his band Stay Human will make their St. Louis debut at the Sheldon Concert Hall. You can hear an interview with Batiste, recorded in December for NPR's Weekend Edition," and some samples of his music here.