Jazz This Week: Gregory Porter, Wack-a-Doo, a Jazz/Funk Tribute to the Beatles, and More
Call it a post-holiday hangover, a winter break, or whatever you like, but with one major exception, it's a pretty slow week for touring jazz and creative musicians visiting St. Louis. Fortunately, there are plenty of local musicians who aren't vacationing and/or hibernating, and thus are prepared to take up some of the slack.
The big attraction of the week is singer Gregory Porter (pictured), who's making his much-anticipated St. Louis debut with a four-night engagement starting tonight and continuing through Sunday at Jazz at the Bistro.
Porter, a big-voiced baritone who mixes soul and gospel influences with jazz, has received a ton of positive press over the past couple of years, and deservedly so, as his sound certainly is distinctive and, on record so far, he seems to have the talent to justify the hype (to the extent that anyone could). Video evidence indicates that Porter is a galvanizing live performer, too; you can see that for yourself, read more about him, and check out some interviews with Porter via last Saturday's video showcase post.
Elsewhere around town, on Friday retro swing band Wack-A-Doo plays for Lindy Hop St. Louis' monthly first Friday dance at the Mahler Ballroom in the Central West End; drummer Paul Shaw leads a trio with bassist Bob DeBoo and vibraphonist Tom Rickard at Cigar Inn; and trombonist/vocalist Doug Burns fronts a quartet at Robbie's House of Jazz.
Then on Saturday evening, guitarist Brian Vaccaro's organ trio will bring their Beatles tribute show to the Wolf Public House in west county; Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers will play for dancers at Casa Loma Ballroom; and singer Joe Mancuso will perform at the KindaBlue house concert venue on the south side.
On Sunday, it's the winter edition of the St. Louis Record Collector and CD Show at the American Czech Center, and then that evening, Dizzy Atmosphere will perform gypsy jazz and string-band swing at the Schlafly St. Louis Brewery and Tap Room.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday night guitarist Tom Byrne and his trio will take the stage at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups. Then on Tuesday, guitarist Dave Black brings his group to BB's, while pianist and singer Curt Landes will be just down the block at the Broadway Oyster Bar.