Jazz this week: J.D. Parran & George Sams, "New World Harmonica Jazz," Chapter:SOUL, Chick Corea Trio, and more


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This week's calendar of jazz and creative music in St. Louis offers some early summer eclecticism, including a homecoming performance by one of our city's exemplars of the avant-garde; a couple of free, multi-venue festivals featuring a variety of local talent; sold-out shows featuring two touring pianists, and, as the saying goes, much, much more. Let's go the the highlights...

Wednesday, June 15

Saxophonist Doug Lawrence leads a quartet in a free show at Saxquest; Cabaret Project St. Louis presents their monthly “Open Mic Night" at the Tavern of Fine Arts; and bassist Bob Deboo will have some special guests for his weekly performance and jam session at the Kranzberg Arts Center, including drummer Matt Wilson, vibraphonist Peter Schlamb, and saxophonist Adam Larson.

Thursday, June 16

The esteemed multi-instrumentalist and St. Louis native J.D. Parran will be back home from NYC for a visit, joining forces with trumpeter George Sams and other free improvisers for a performance at the Tavern of Fine Arts; the Route 66 Jazz Orchestra plays at Jazz at the Bistro; and The 442s will celebrate the release of their latest album RELAY with a performance at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Friday, June 17

Grand Center's “Music at the Intersection" series returns for the second year, kicking off with an assortment of local funk, soul and hip-hop performers paying tribute to Prince at various venues in the district, including Good 4 The Soul at the Ferring Jazz Bistro and Fresh Heir at the Curtain Call Lounge, next to the Fox Theater.

Also on Friday, the Funky Butt Brass Band plays a free outdoor concert at Edwardsville City Park; the St. Louis Big Band performs at St. Peter's United Church of Christ, and singer Chuck Flowers takes the stage at the Tavern of Fine Arts.

Saturday, June 18

Starting on Saturday afternoon and continuing through the evening, the Riverfront Times will present their annual RFT Music Showcase, featuring more than 90 acts at nine venues in the Grove district.

While the lineup emphasizes rock and hip-hop, there are some performers of potential interest to StLJN readers, especially at Handlebar, which over the course of the day will host sets from singer/guitarist Tommy Halloran's Guerrilla Swing, saxophonist Dave Stone's trio, the Vernacular String Trio, Animal Children, and electronic musician Eric Hall.

Also on Saturday afternoon, singer Wendy L. Gordon will present a matinee performance at J&C BBQ and Blues.

Saturday night, the 12-year-old piano phenom Joey Alexander will play a one-nighter at Jazz at the Bistro. Both sets are sold out, but Jazz St. Louis is advising anyone still interested in tickets to check with the JSL box office on Friday and/or Saturday for cancellations and returns.

Elsewhere around town, pianist Carolbeth True and multi-instrumentalist Sandy Weltman (pictured, center left) will reunite to revisit music from their collaborative album New World Harmonica Jazz at the Kranzberg Arts Center; Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes return to the Venice Cafe; and Wack-A-Doo performs at Evangeline's.

Sunday, June 19

The Jazz Edge Orchestra will present a concert version of the musical Five Guys Named Moe, featuring songs made famous by saxophonist and singer Louis Jordan, in a matinee at the Sun Theater in Grand Center.

Also on Sunday, the recently formed New Orleans funk band Chapter:SOUL, which is fronted by saxophonist Calvin Johnson Jr. and features sousaphonist Kirk Joseph of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, will make their St. Louis debut with an early evening show at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

Monday, June 20

Singer Dean Christopher and company return with their “Rat Pack and More" show to One 19 North Tapas and Wine Bar.

Tuesday, June 21

Pianist Chick Corea's trio with bassist Christian McBride and drummer Brian Blade will perform for the first of two sold-out nights at Jazz at the Bistro. As with the Joey Alexander performance, at this point any available tickets will be due to returns or cancellations, and prospective buyers are being advised to check with the Jazz St. Louis box office. In the meantime, you can sample a few performances by Corea, McBride and Blade on video by checking out this post from last Saturday.

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