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Jazz this week: Alicia Olatuja, jazz for Valentine's Day, and more


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For the second consecutive week, the calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis features performances by a local expat making a triumphant return home after earning national acclaim.

For more about that and the other jazz shows happening around town, let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, February 14

Singer Alicia Olatuja performs for the first of four nights at Jazz at the Bistro.

Known by her maiden name Alicia Miles while growing up in St. Louis, Olatuja has seen her career take off since she gained national attention in 2013 as a featured soloist at President Barack Obama's second inauguration. With one solo album under her belt and another set for release later this year, she's not a household name yet, but her star definitely seems on the rise.

Olatuja was a featured guest last year during harmonica player Gregoire Maret's week at the Bistro, and she'll be back in a few weeks with drummer Ulysses Owens Jr's “Songs of Freedom" project, but this will be her debut performance as a headliner at the venue, so expect a good turnout from the hometown crowd. For more about Alicia Olatuja, plus some video samples of past live performances, see this post from last Saturday.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, singer Erin Bode will be doing two shows at Cyrano's; the Joe Bozzi Band plays at Evangeline's; and there are a number of other gigs happening specifically for Valentine's Day- see the St. Louis Jazz Notes calendar for the complete listings.

Thursday, February 15

Singer Tony Viviano will perform in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University; Cabaret Project St. Louis presents their monthly “Broadway Open Mic" at the Curtain Call Lounge; and bassist/singer Tonina Saputo's quartet is back at The Dark Room.

Friday, February 16

Miss Jubilee plays for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom, saxophonist Tim Cunningham is doing a special Valentine's-themed dinner-and-show at Troy's Jazz Gallery (advance reservations suggested), and saxophonist Kendrick Smith returns to Thurman's in Shaw.

Saturday, February 17

The Gaslight Squares will play an early afternoon show at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site's Rosebud Cafe as part of a new Saturday matinee concert series presented by the Friends of Scott Joplin.

At the dinner hour, check out pianist Ptah Williams playing at The Dark Room, and later in the evening, saxophonist Dave Stone trio's continues their weekly residency at Thurman's in Shaw.

Sunday, February 18

Guitarist and singer Tommy Halloran will play for brunch at The Dark Room, while Miss Jubilee serenades the brunch crowd as Evangeline's.

Monday, February 19

Faculty members comprising the Webster University Jazz Collective will play a concert at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster campus.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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