With the fall presenting season now in full swing, the next few days in St. Louis offer a pleasingly varied selection of gigs for the jazz and creative music fan. Let's go to the highlights...
Tonight, trumpeter Terence Blanchard(pictured) opens a four-night engagement at Jazz at the Bistro. Blanchard is a familiar figure to St. Louis audiences from several previous appearances here both at the Bistro and at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Having composed many film scores for director Spike Lee and others, the New Orleans native now also is writing an opera that will receive its world premiere next year at Opera Theatre St. Louis. For this gig at the Bistro, though, Blanchard will be leading a small group and and seems likely to showcase his customary post-bop sound, spiced with a bit of syncopated New Orleans flavor.
Also tonight, The Cabaret Project presents their monthly Cabaret Open Mic night at the Tavern of Fine Arts, with actor/singer Bob Mitchell as host and Carol Schmidt at the keyboard.
Tomorrow night, the Texas-based jazz/funk/world music outfit Snarky Puppy comes to town to perform at The Gramophone. Comprised mostly of former students from the well-known music program of the University of North Texas, Snarky Puppy on record is a sprawling collective that includes a couple dozen members. The live band, though smaller in numbers, emphasizes the same expansive grooves to underpin improvisations from a varied cast of soloists.
Then on Sunday, the Dave Dickey Big Band will play their monthly gig at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company. This month's performance will feature the music of Count Basie, and the venue is clearing some floor space for swing dancers who wish to strut their stuff.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday guitarist Tom Byrne and his Pat Metheny-inspired ensemble Have You Heard? will play at Webster University's Moore Auditorium.