Jazz This Week: Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival, Chicago Underground Duo, Tommy Halloran's Guerrilla Swing, and More


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As the final weekend of Jazz Appreciation Month comes into view, there's still plenty to celebrate, with a variety of jazz and creative music performances happening in and around St. Louis over the next few days. Let's go to the highlights...

Tonight, the 2014 Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival gets underway with a quartet performance led by pianist and ex-St. Louisan Reggie Thomas and his Michigan State University colleague, bassist Rodney Whitaker, at Jazz at the Bistro. Drummer Montez Coleman and saxophonist Willie Akins will round out the group.

Also tonight, the St. Louis Low Brass Collective presents a free showcase at the Sheldon Concert Hall; and the Tavern of Fine Arts will present their monthly “Experimental Arts Open Improv Night" with live improvised music.

Tomorrow, the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival shifts to the Touhill Performing Arts Center, where Cuban-born trumpeter Arturo Sandoval will headline Friday's show, with the UMSL jazz band, directed by Jim Widner, as opening act. For more about this GSLJF, read this interview  that Widner did with Terry Perkins for St. Louis Public Radio.

Also tomorrow night, the Chicago Underground Duo (pictured), featuring Rob Mazurek (cornet, electronics) and Chad Taylor (drums, percussion), plays at Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center; singer-guitarist Tommy Halloran and his band Guerrilla Swing make their debut in the first of two evenings at Jazz at the Bistro; and the Gaslight Cabaret Festival concludes with the first of two performances this weekend by St. Louis' own Lara Teeter at the Gaslight Theater.

And if all that's not enough, elsewhere around town on Friday Samba Bom will perform a free concert at Ferguson Citywalk; singer Joe Mancuso leads a quartet at Nathalie's; trumpeter Randy Holmes' sextet pays tribute to the music of Duke Ellington at Robbie's House of Jazz; and Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes return to CJ Muggs in Webster Groves.

On Saturday, record collectors will want to make time to stop by “The Gigantic St. Louis DJ Album Sale for Charity" being held in midtown at 3137 Locust St. (east of Compton, one block west of The Fountain on Locust). The sale will feature more than 10,000 LPs, CDs and items of music memorabilia donated by local radio personalities past and present; for more details, see this post from last week.  

Also on Saturday afternoon, mouthpiece guru Mike Lomax will give a free workshop and presentation at Saxquest; and Miss Jubilee plays a matinee at Blues City Deli.

Then Saturday evening, the 2013 Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival concludes with a concert by the Count Basie Orchestra, now directed by trumpeter Scotty Barnhart and featuring Reggie Thomas on piano, at the Touhill. For more about the Basie band and some video samples of performances of their classic repertoire, see this post from last Saturday.

And that's not the only big band show in town on Saturday, as that same evening bassist/trombonist Wayne Coniglio will lead a 35-piece orchestra with guest soloists including Cecil Cope and Elsie Parker in “The Swing of Hearts," a romance-themed program at Florissant Civic Center Theatre. Also on Saturday night, violinist David McNair and his Gypsy jazz group Tzgane return to Robbie's House of Jazz; and the Ann Dueren Trio performs at Il Bel Lago.

On Sunday, the Dave Dickey Big Band plays their monthly gig at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company, with saxophonist Chip McNeill as guest soloist and the Genesis Jazz Project performing at intermission.

Also on Sunday, guitarists Steve Schenkel, John McClellan, Dave Black and Tom Byrne - aka the guitar faculty of Webster University - team up to perform at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster campus; and saxophonist Tim Cunningham and singer Jeffery Hardin join forces for a concert at the Forest Park golf course clubhouse.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday “Blind" Willie Dineen and the Broadway Collective return to  BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups; and on Tuesday, pianist David Parker and drummer Charles “Bobo" Shaw will perform as a duo at Tavern of Fine Arts.

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