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Jazz this week: Big Sam's Funky Nation, Louis Armstrong Festival, and more


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This weekend's calendar of jazz and creative music in St. Louis has a bit of a New Orleans flavor, with two of that city's favorite working bands playing gigs here, plus two nights of a locally produced tribute to one of the essential New Orleans musicians, Louis Armstrong.

Let's go to the highlights...

Thursday, August 11

Big Sam's Funky Nation (pictured) returns to St. Louis to perform at the Broadway Oyster Bar. Led by trombonist and singer “Big Sam" Williams, they recently were named “Best Band In New Orleans” by the local magazine Where Y’At in the publication's 19th annual writer’s poll. You can check out some of their insistent grooves on video in this post from a couple of Saturday ago.

Also on Thursday, drummer Kevin Bowers and friends will present a show celebrating the release of his new album Nova at Off Broadway; Dizzy Atmosphere plays swing and Gypsy jazz at Missouri Botanical Garden; and the Liberation Organ Trio performs at Evangeline's.

Friday, August 12

The Louis Armstrong Festival at the Ozark Theatre in Webster Groves will feature two nights of music associated with the legendary trumpeter and singer, performed by a band led by trumpet player Randy Holmes and including trombonist Brett Stamps, clarinetist Scott Alberici, and various special guests.

In case you need a reminder of his greatness, you can see some videos of Armstrong, including recently discovered footage that's the only filmed record of one of his recording sessions, in this post from last Saturday.

Also on Friday, New Orleans' John “Papa" Gros, former frontman of the band Papa Grows Funk, will be in town to play at the Broadway Oyster Bar; and the Funky Butt Brass Band, with help from the St. Louis Burlesque All-Stars, will present a show they're calling “Shake Your Tailfeather: Babes and Brass Salute the Blues Brothers" for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro.

Elsewhere around town, singer Tony Viviano will serenade diners at Fortel's in Creve Coeur, and Miss Jubilee plays for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom.

Saturday, August 13

Guitarist Todd Mosby plays acoustic at The Dark Room; trumpeter Danny Campbell and his Jazz Collective perform at Troy's Jazz Gallery; Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes return to the Venice Cafe; and singer David Giuntoli will perform his cabaret show “Sinatra...The Man and His Music" at The Emerald Room at The Monocle.

Sunday, August 14

Singer Joe Mancuso will lead a quartet in a matinee performance at Peno in Calyton, and guitarists Tommy Halloran and Joe Park will duet at Tamm Avenue Grill.

Continue Reading...

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