The Sheldon's 2013-14 jazz series will kick off on Wednesday, October 23 with the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, featuring bassist/trombonist Chris Brubeck and drummer Dan Brubeck doing a tribute to their dad, the late pianist Dave Brubeck, who played at the Sheldon several times over the years.
The jazz series then will continue with New Orleans keyboardist Jonathan Batiste and Stay Human on Saturday, January 18, 2014, Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés on Saturday, February 15, and singer Catherine Russell (pictured) on Saturday, April 19.
In addition, the Sheldon for the first time will be selling series tickets for the Peter Martin Music concerts, curated by and starring the St. Louis based pianist. The lineup of musicians is TBA for Martin's first two concerts on Saturday, November 2 and Friday, February 7. The third, on Sunday, March 30, is billed as Newport Jazz Festival at 60" and will feature Martin, saxophonist/clarinetist Anat Cohen, singer Karrin Allyson, trumpeter Randy Brecker, guitarist Mark Whitfield, drummer Clarence Penn, and bassist Larry Grenadier. Martin also will play a jazz meets classical" concert with St. Louis Symphony violinist and concertmaster David Halen and other SLSO members on Wednesday, April 23.
The Coffee Concerts series, presented on selected Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, also will include some performers of interest to jazz fans, starting with Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers on October 15 and 16. Other Coffee Concerts series shows will feature the St. Louis Ragtimers (November 18 & 20) and Swing DeVille (April 29 and 30), and there will be a single non-series Coffee Concert by Red Lehr and the St. Louis Rivermen on Tuesday, March 18.
Subjectively, the most striking thing about this 2013-14 lineup is that Martin's Newport Jazz Festival tribute would appear to offer as much star power as the entire jazz series put together. Yes, Valdes is an innovator and elder statesman of Latin jazz, but the Brubeck Brothers, Batiste, and Russell all are essentially middle-of-the-pack acts - enjoyable and musically capable, but far removed from the cutting edge of the art form; and commercially viable, but not so buzzworthy as to be able to command especially high fees. There's nothing there likely to offend or put off the average potential season ticket buyer, but unless you're already a fan of any of the specific artists, the must-see" factor seems fairly low, too.
Season tickets for the Sheldon's jazz series are $150 for orchestra seats and $135 for the balcony. Series tickets for Peter Martin Music will be $150 for VIP seating, $110 for orchestra, $95 for balcony. Series subscriptions will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. Monday, May 13 and continue through he first concert in the series. Single tickets will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. August 10 via Metrotix.