You just have to know where to go and when, and to help you with that, we've compiled these highlights of upcoming jazz and creative music performances in the St. Louis area...
Tonight, bassist Christian McBride, who was just here last month with his trio at Jazz at the Bistro, drops into the area again for a day to do a master class and concert with pianist Peter Martin down I-55 at Jefferson College in Hillsboro.Tickets for the evening concert are only $5 for the general public, so even figuring in that it's a bit of drive from many parts of the area, that's still a bargain.
Meanwhile back in downtown St. Louis, keyboardist and St. Louis expat David Garfield, former musical director for George Benson, and singer Alex Ligertwood, who's toured and recorded with Santana, Average White Band and Brian Auger, will join forces with saxophonist Jim Stevens and his rhythm section for two sets of funk, soul and jazz at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups.
Also tonight, the Gaslight Cabaret Festival resumes with singer and actress Emily Bergl, who's best known for her work in musical theater and a recurring role on ABC's Desperate Housewives, presenting the first of three performances of her show Until the Real Thing Comes Along" at the Gaslight Theater.
On Friday, pianist and Jazz St. Louis education director Phil Dunlap brings his new quintet to Jazz at the Bistro for the first of two evenings featuring the music of Miles Davis. Along with Dunlap, the group includes trumpeter Danny Campbell, saxophonist Ben Reece, bassist Nathan Pence, and drummer Montez Coleman.
Also on Friday, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes play at the Atomic Cowboy; singer Wendy Gordon and pianist Arthur Toney perform at the Tavern of Fine Arts; and guitarist Dave Black, violinist Asako Kuboki and saxophonist Paul DeMarinis will team up for a trio show at the house concert venue KindaBlue, 6101 1/2 Idaho in south St. Louis.
On Saturday afternoon, the revived Nu-Art Series will present drummer Charles Bobo" Shaw, pianist David Parker and trumpeter George Sams at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site.
Then on Saturday evening, guitarist Kevin Eubanks (pictured) will play two shows at Lumiere Place Casino's Lumiere Theatre. Eubanks just got back from a series of dates in Europe and Russia with bassist Dave Holland, performing in both a trio format and with the quartet Prism. The former bandleader for Jay Leno's Tonight Show also made news recently when he dropped by Arsenio Hall's syndicated late night program for a chat and a bit of jamming.
Elsewhere around town on Saturday evening, the Pennsylvania-based contemporary chamber music group NakedEye Ensemble will make their St. Louis debut at The Chapel; trombonist Doug Burns returns to Robbie's House of Jazz; Miss Jubilee plays for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom; and The People's Key and Elastik Soul will present Bold as Jimi: Love as Jazz," a jazz/funk tribute to Jimi Hendrix, at the Schlafly St. Louis Brewery and Tap Room.
On Sunday, multi-instrumentalist Sandy Weltman and pianist Carolbeth True will be the featured performers at this month's free Inner Jazz" concert at Kirkwood United Church of Christ; and Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center continues their “Quiet Concert” series with a performance headlined by Kansas City-based electronic musician and composer Jason Zeh.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday the jazz faculty at Webster University will present their annual concert in Winifred Moore Auditorium to raise funds for the school's Shepard/Davis scholarships.
On Tuesday, the Sheldon Concert Hall is busy day and night, starting with a morning Coffee Concert" (also repeated on Wednesday) featuring Red Lehr and the St. Louis Rivermen, and continuing with an evening performance by trumpeter and singer Dawn Weber as part of the hall's Notes From Home" series. Also on Tuesday, the Twin Cities jump-blues and swing band Davina and The Vagabonds will be back in town for a show at The Gramophone.