Tonight, trumpeter Terell Stafford opens a four-night engagement that continues through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro. Stafford and his quintet are expected to showcase material from his album The Side of Strayhorn, a tribute to the music of composer and Duke Ellington associate Billy Strayhorn released last year on the St. Louis based MAXJAZZ label. In addition to the leader, the band includes Stafford's longtime associate Tim Warfield on saxophone, Bruce Barth on piano, Rodney Whitaker on bass and Dana Hall on drums. For more about Stafford and the Strayhorn project, check out Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University. They'll play music primarily drawn from the collaborations between saxophonist Cannonball Adderly and singer Nancy Wilson, both of whom recorded for Capitol Records back in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Thursday also is the first night of the Nevermore Jazz Ball, a weekend-long series of events for swing dancers and fans of traditional jazz presented by Lindy Hop St. Louis. The Ball gets underway Thursday evening with the Sidemen performing at Atomic Cowboy. On Friday, Miss Jubilee and the Bella Rue Jazz Band will play for dancers at Casa Loma Ballroom.
The NJB's Cherokee Street Jazz Crawl on Saturday afternoon will present free live music from a dozen different acts at various venues and businesses along Cherokee St. Then on Saturday night, the New Orleans-based Meschiya Lake & Dem Little Big Horns will headline another evening of music for dancing at Casa Loma. Lake and her band also will play on Sunday evening at Atomic Cowboy for the Festival's lagniappe." The Nevermore Jazz Ball also includes a number of dance classes and contests as well as other events; see the website for the complete schedule.
Elsewhere on Thursday, saxophonist Paul DeMarinis will play at Robbie's House of Jazz, with basically the same band that gigged at Jazz at the the Bistro a couple of weeks ago billed under the co-leadership of DeMarinis and guitarist Dave Black. Joined by pianist Nick Schlueter, bassist Ben Wheeler, drummer Kyle Honeycutt, and singer Debby Lennon, DeMarinis and Black will feature primarily original compositions from the various members of the group.
On Friday, Indianapolis-based jazz harpist Jan Aldridge Clark will play at Robbie's, backed by Bob DeBoo on bass and Kyle Honeycutt on drums; and drummer Paul Shaw leads a trio with vibraphonist Tom Rickard and bassist Bob DeBoo at Cigar Inn in Belleville.
On Saturday afternoon, Terell Stafford will present a free performance and workshop at Saxquest.
Then on Saturday night, cornet player and composer Taylor Ho Bynum's Sextet (pictured) will perform in a concert presented by New Music Circle at Luminary Center for the Arts. Adventurous yet relatively accessible, the group brings together a diverse lineup musicians who all are bandleaders in their own right, including Mary Halvorson (guitar), Jim Hobbs (alto sax), Bill Lowe (bass trombone & tuba), Ken Filiano (bass), and Tomas Fujiwara (drums). For more about Bynum and some extended video footage of the Sextet in concert, see Joe Mancuso leads a quintet at Jazz on Broadway in Alton, and singer/pianist Curt Landes will front a trio at Robbie's.
On Sunday afternoon, Saxquest will host another workshop and performance featuring the Oasis Saxophone Quartet, while the St. Louis Jazz Club will present their monthly concert, this time featuring traditional jazz and swing from Cornet Chop Suey at the Doubletree Hotel in Westport.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday guitarist Tom Byrne and Have You Heard? will do their Pat Metheny-inspired thing at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups, and Webster University's student jazz combos will perform at the college's Community Music School, located at 535 Garden Ave in Webster.