Jazz this week: Catherine Russell, Mardra Thomas, Brooke Michael Smith, and more

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This week's calendar of jazz and creative music in St. Louis features a pleasing variety of female vocalists, both visiting and local, as well as a tribute to saxophonist Dexter Gordon's work in the 1986 film Round Midnight, and more. Let's go the the highlights...

Wednesday, November 16

Singer Catherine Russell will perform for the first of four nights continuing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro.

Russell, the daughter of pianist and bandleader Luis Russell and singer/guitarist Carline Ray, is known for interpreting vintage jazz and blues material, and recently released her sixth solo album Harlem On My Mind. For more about that, and some videos of Russell performing some songs from the album, see this post from last Saturday.

Thursday, November 17

The Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University will present a free program called “Jazz and Film: 30th Anniversary of Bernard Tavernier's Round Midnight." The event features multi-instrumentalist Jeff Anderson on tenor sax, with Adam Maness on piano, Darrell Mixon on bass, and Maurice Carnes on drums. They'll interpret some of the music from Round Midnight that originally was performed on the soundtrack by Dexter Gordon (who also gave an Academy Award-nominated starring performance in the film.) .

Also on Thursday, students in the UMSL Jazz Combos will give a free concert at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

Friday, November 18

Former St. Louisan Mardra Thomas (pictured, bottom left) will be back in town to perform a free concert at St. Peter's United Church of Christ, and singer Wendy Gordon, pianist Carolbeth True, and friends will present an “Ebony and Ivory Tribute to Divas of Song" at the Ozark Theatre.

Elsewhere around town, Second Generation Swing will play for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom; saxophonist Austin Cebulski leads a trio at Cigar Inn; and San Francisco-based cabaret singer Brooke Michael Smith will perform for the first of two nights at The Emerald Room at The Monocle. While Smith's Friday show is already sold out, as of this writing some tickets remain for Saturday.

Saturday, November 19

The vintage swing and Americana band Wack-A-Doo return to Evangeline's, and percussionist Herman Semidey and Orquesta Son Montuno will play salsa, Latin jazz, and more at Club Viva.

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