Jazz This Week: Jeremy Davenport, Dave Dickey Big Band, Tim Cunningham, and More
Though the holiday weekend means minimal activity from touring musicians over the next few days, St. Louis' local players will be serving up plenty of home-cooked jazz and creative music, both before and after the traditional turkey dinners and football games. Let's go to the highlights...
The weekend's headline attraction is trumpet player, singer and University City native Jeremy Davenport (pictured), who's coming back from his current home in New Orleans for what's become an annual Thanksgiving weekend gig on Friday and Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro.
Except for a brief post-Katrina interregnum that saw him back in St. Louis for a year, Davenport has held the house band gig at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans for over a decade now. Singing in the same Sinatra-inspired vein as his former employer Harry Connick Jr., and playing swinging trumpet in a straight-ahead style, Davenport is so popular there that a few years ago, the hotel renamed the room where he plays The Davenport Lounge" in tribute. For much more on Davenport and some video samples, see StLJN's previous coverage here and here.
Elsewhere around town, tonight singer Joe Mancuso is at Frontenac Grill, and Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will play at the Feasting Fox.
On Friday, the Willie Akins-Eric Slaughter Group with singer Erika Johnson will perform at Cigar Inn, and singer/guitarist Tommy Halloran and flautist Dre Concepcion will duet for diners at Big Sky Cafe.
Then on Saturday, saxophonist Tim Cunningham and special guest Theo Peoples - singer, keyboardist and former member of both the Temptations and Four Tops - will play at the Signature Room.
That same evening, singer Feyza Eren leads a quartet at the Wine Press; and the cabaret show Love Grows Here — In St. Louis! The music of Lina Koutrakos," starring singers Shauna Sconce, Robert Breig, Dionna Raedeke, and Katie McGrath, will be performed at the Kranzberg Arts Center
On Sunday, the Dave Dickey Big Band will play their monthly gig at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company, with the Webster Groves High School Jazz Band performing during intermission.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Tuesday singer-guitarist John Pizzarelli will be in town a day before his opening at Jazz at the Bistro to do a book signing and interview with KMOX radio's Charlie Brennan at Nerinx Hall High School in Webster Groves. Pizzarelli's just-released book World on a String is described as a musical memoir." The event is free, but you must call 314-444-1827 in advance to reserve a spot.