As Jazz Appreciation Month 2014 continues past the halfway point, the live performance calendar this week in St. Louis includes several touring performers visiting our town, the return of a veteran of Gaslight Square, and the usual variety of activity from local musicians. Let's go to the highlights...
Tonight, percussionist Poncho Sanchez
and his band (pictured)
open a four-night engagement continuing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro.
One of the standard-bearers for mainstream Latin jazz, Sanchez' group over the years has consistently offered satisfying grooves topped with engaging solos, and the current edition is no exception. You can check out some relatively recent Sanchez performances on video in this post
from a couple of Saturdays ago.
Also tonight, the Route 66 Jazz Orchestra
returns to Kirkwood Station Brewing Company; Cabaret Project St. Louis
presents their monthly open stage" event at the Tavern of Fine Arts
; and Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center
presents a double-bill featuring free improvisation by Joe Hess, Nick Horn, Alex Cunningham and Dave Stone, plus some more structured jazz sounds from the newish band Boysiac, with Mason Baran, Matt Villinger, Joe Hibbs, and Nathan Pence.
Tomorrow night, Miss Jubilee
will being doing double duty, with a happy hour performance at Magpie's
in St. Charles and a late night session downtown at Thaxton Speakeasy
; and guitarist Dave Black
and Friends, including singer Joe Mancuso
, will be at Nathalie’s.
On Friday, the Twin Cities jump blues and swing band Davina and the Vagabonds
will be back in town for a show at The Gramophone
, with singer/guitarist Tommy Halloran
's Guerilla Swing as opening act. That same evening, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes
will perform at the Highway 61 Roadhouse
; singer Feyza Eren
will lead a quartet in concert at the Kranzberg Arts Center
; and guitarist Tom Byrne
's trio plays at Cigar Inn.
On Saturday evening, singer and multi-instrumentalist Don Cunningham and his wife, singer-pianist Alicia Cunningham - better known as The Cunninghams
- will be visiting from their home in Las Vegas to perform at 560 Music Center
, accompanied by a local rhythm section including pianist Carolbeth True, Jeff Anderson on bass, and Gary Sykes on drums. You can read more about Don Cunningham's days performing in Gaslight Square, his first meeting with Alicia, the couple's subsequent popularity as a touring act in Asia, and more in this short feature about them
that I wrote a few years back for the Riverfront Times
If the Cunninghams' close harmony and occasional forays into exotica aren't your bag, you might want to check out singer Catherine Russell,
who will be making her St. Louis debut as a headliner on Saturday at the Sheldon Concert Hall.
Russell is sometimes referred to as the daughter of jazz royalty," and you can find out more about that and see some video samples of her performing in this post
from last Saturday. And if that piques your interest, you also should know that The Sheldon and Metrotix now are offering a discount on tickets to the concert
Elsewhere around town on Saturday, saxophonist Jason Swagler
, guitarist Eric Slaughter, bassist Nick Jost, and drummer Marty Morrison will take the stage at Robbie's House of Jazz
; singer Tony Viviano
returns to Talayna's of Chesterfield
; and the Funky Butt Brass Band
will play at the Old Rock House
On Sunday, saxophonist Jim Stevens
and band will perform in a matinee by the Mississippi at The Loading Dock
in Grafton; and pianist Dave Venn
will be holding forth at Pomme Café & Wine Bar
Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday the student jazz singers from Webster University
will cap their semester with a performance at Winifred Moore Auditorium
Then on Tuesday, this spring's series of Twilight Tuesday" concerts at the Missouri History Museum
in Forest Park gets underway with saxophonist Michael Fitzgerald
offering A Tribute to Miles Davis and David Sanborn"; and the SIUE Concert Jazz Band
& Alumni, directed by Brett Stamps
, will be back for another evening at Jazz at the Bistro.