The weekend starts early for fans of jazz and creative music in St. Louis, as Kermit Ruffins - trumpeter, singer, entrepreneur, bon vivant and ambassador of New Orleans music - will be playing at The Gramophone tonight and again on Thursday evening.
While he's in town, Ruffins also will be doing a meet-and-greet and signing copies of his new album We Partyin' Traditional Style on Thursday morning at Vintage Vinyl.
Ruffins, who helped found the Rebirth Brass Band and has been seen as a recurring character on the HBO series Treme, is known as a winning showman as well as a fine trumpeter. For much more about Ruffins, and footage of him and his band the Barbecue Swingers in action, see this post from a couple of Saturdays ago.
Also tonight, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will play a free concert for the Whitaker Music Festival at Missouri Botanical Garden.
Then on Thursday, Los Angeles violinist Nora Germain, a 21-year-old USC student and protege of Cowbop guitarist Bruce Forman, will bring her band to Robbie's House of Jazz as part of a Midwest tour called Music Licks on 66".
Also on Thursday, drummer Maurice Carnes and his group will play a free concert to wrap up the summer Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University; and the Tavern of Fine Arts presents their monthly Avant-Garde Arts Night" featuring live improvised music.
On Friday, Good 4 The Soul, featuring pianist Adaron Pops" Jackson, drummer James Jackson, bassist John King and guitarist Shaun Robinson, will play for the first of two nights to close out the summer season at Jazz at the Bistro.
(Except for a couple of one-off shows related to the upcoming St. Louis Cabaret Festival and American Music Festival, the Bistro is scheduled to be dark for nearly two months, until the week of September 25 - 28 when Yellowjackets come to town to open the 2013-14 Jazz at the Bistro season.)
Also on Friday, guitarist Tom Byrne and Have U Heard play at Jazz on Broadway; saxophonist Kendrick Smith leads a trio with bassist Charles Clements and drummer Micah Walker at Cigar Inn; and saxophonist Jay Hutson and Da Wolvez, featuring singer Tamesha Foote, are at Robbie's.
On Saturday night, it's the 21st annual All That Tap' festival at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, featuring a lineup of top tap-dancing talent from across the USA demonstrating their terpsichorean skills with music from pianist Carolbeth True's trio.
Also on Saturday, Miss Jubilee plays a free outdoor concert at Lafayette Park; Tommy Halloran and Guerilla Swing will perform at the Venice Cafe; and singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Dave Black will duet at Chaser's Lounge in the Chase Park Plaza Hotel.
On Sunday, the Dave Dickey Big Band will be back after a month's hiatus for their usual fourth-Sunday gig at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday Blind" Willie Dineen and the Broadway Collective will play at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups; and on Tuesday, saxophonist Dave Cheli's Tribal Chicken and friends, including Ajay Khanna, Dave Stone, Chris Smentkowski and Jeremy Melsha, will present a show of free improv at Foam on S. Jefferson.
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