Jazz This Week: Funky Butt Brass Band, Nathaniel Bartlett, West End Stomp, St. Louis Guitar Fusion, and More


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The first part of the New Year traditionally is a bit a slow for the live music business, but if you're willing to brave the cold and snow, there still are some noteworthy jazz and creative music performances happening around St. Louis in the next few days. Let's go to the highlights...

Tonight, trumpeter Jim Manley will be back for his ongoing Thursday evening gig at Joyia Tapas, 4501 Manchester Ave in the Grove neighborhood.

Tomorrow night, the Funky Butt Brass Band returns to Jazz at the Bistro for the first of two nights of what's being billed as a New Orleans-style New Year's Celebration. While the overall production may not be quite as elaborate as the FBBB's recent Holiday Brasstravaganza, no doubt they will have a least a few trickerations up their sleeves to entertain the assembled multitudes. 

Also on Friday, percussionist and composer Nathaniel Bartlett (pictured) will be in town to perform at Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center. Bartlett will perform trichotomic ecology, a composition for 5 octave marimba, viola, and percussion that uses a custom eight-channel speaker array he calls the “SSAL loudspeaker cube," which surrounds the audience and creates “an elaborate, kinetic, three-dimensional sound environment."

The piece also employs software that not only responds to the composer via foot pedal commands but also ‘listens’ via microphones to the performers and generates notation on a video screen based on composer-created computer algorithms.

Elsewhere around town on Friday, Lindy Hop St. Louis' monthly “West End Stomp" dance will feature music from Wack-A-Doo at the Mahler Ballroom; saxophonist Willie Akins leads a quartet at Cigar Inn; Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes make their debut at Backstreet Jazz and Blues club in Westport; and Wendy Gordon returns to DeLeo's Cafe & Deli.

Then on Saturday night, Robbie's House of Jazz has a double bill, with an early evening show by saxophonist Jay Hutson and Da Wolvez with singer Tamesha Foote, followed by a late set by the Robert Tucker Quartet. Also on Saturday, bassist Bob DeBoo's weekly trio performance at Kranzberg Arts Center has been held over into the new year.

On Sunday, the St. Louis Record Collector and CD Show will hold their first event of the year at the American Czech Hall, 4690 Lansdowne at Kingshighway.

That evening, guitarists Dave Black, Randy Bahr and Farshid Soltanshahi (from Farshid Etniko) will team up for their first-ever concert together, billed as “St. Louis Guitar Fusion," at The Chapel.

And if for some reason that's not enough guitar for you, there's more on Monday, as guitarist Tom Byrne will be back at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups.

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