Tonight, drummer Marcus Baylor, the native St. Louisan and former longtime member of Yellowjackets who's also played with Kenny Garrett, Cassandra Wilson and others, returns home for a gig at the Bistro at Grand Center.
Billed as The Sons of St. Louis Reunion," the show also will feature his wife Jean Baylor on vocals and keyboardist Shedrick Mitchell, who's recorded and toured with a number of high-profile R&B and jazz performers. (Note that while some of the information published erroneously suggests that Jazz St. Louis is involved, in fact the show is an independent production of the Baylors, and advance tickets are available only via Metrotix.)
Elsewhere this evening, it's the monthly Avant-Garde Arts Night, featuring live improvised music, at the Tavern of Fine Arts; and the MM&W-ish funk trio Downstereo will be laying down a groove late into the night at Atomic Cowboy.
Tomorrow night, saxophonist Larry Johnson will celebrate the release of I'm Just Sayin' , his second CD as a leader, with a performance at the Sheldon Concert Hall. He'll be joined by most of the musicians who performed on the CD, including pianist Carolbeth True, trumpeter Jim Manley, trombonist/keyboardist Jim Owens, percussionist Scott Collier, bassists Glen Smith and Marc Torlina, drummers David True and Joe Weber, and the Rosewood String Quartet, as well as guitarist Randy Bahr and singer Christi Jon Bye. For more about this, check out this article about Johnson written by Terry Perkins for the St. Louis Beacon.
Also on Friday, the jazz/funk/R&B quartet Good 4 The Soul returns for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro; drummer Kaleb Kirby's trio plays at Robbie's House of Jazz; and guitarist Eric Slaughter will lead a quintet at the Cigar Inn.
On Saturday, saxophonist Willie Akins and his group will present a late-afternoon matinee at Troy's Jazz Gallery, and that evening, singer Sarah Jane and saxophonist Jerry Greene perform at Robbie's.
On Sunday, Dizzy Atmosphere brings their gypsy jazz sound to the Schlafly St. Louis Brewery & Tap Room for an early evening performance.
Monday is, of course, New Year's Eve, and as usual, the city's premier venue Jazz at the Bistro goes dark for NYE while the surrounding Grand Center neighborhood hosts the annual First Night celebration. However, the alcohol-free, family friendly event does feature some music of potential interest to jazz fans, including Clave Sol, Wack-A-Doo and Farshid Etniko, as well live theater and dance performances, visual art, various participatory activities (mostly aimed at the kids), and fireworks.
Elsewhere on New Year's Eve, Willie Akins will take the stage at Robbie's House of Jazz; Erin Bode will do two shows at Cicero's; Miss Jubilee will perform at Three Kings (the former Riddle's) in U. City; and the St. Louis Big Band is playing at St. Matthias The Apostle Catholic Church, 796 Buckley Rd.