Jazz This Week: Rudresh Mahanthappa, Miles Davis Memorial Project Fundraiser, and More


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This week brings both the official start of spring and an assortment of jazz and creative music music performances in and around St. Louis, including the local debut of a fast-rising saxophone star; a couple of big band concerts; a benefit to raise money for a statue honoring Miles Davis, and much more. Let's go to the highlights...

Tonight, saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa (pictured) makes his St. Louis debut, opening a four-night stand with his band Gamak at Jazz at the Bistro.

A prolific collaborator who keeps at least a couple of different projects going at any one time, Mahanthappa has gotten a good amount of media attention - by jazz standards, anyway - for his blend of jazz and Indian classical music, including features in the major jazz magazines, appearances on NPR, and so on.

Gamak is one of his more extroverted ensembles, incorporating electric guitar and near-rock dynamics into a sound that should appeal to fans of fusion, funk and world music. You can find out more about Mahanthappa and check out some video samples of Gamak in this post from a couple of Saturdays ago.

Also tonight, Sarah Jane & The Blue Notes trio will do their monthly gig at The Feasting Fox, and trumpeter Jim Manley will be on tap at Sasha's Wine Bar.

On Thursday night, the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University will present “The Colors of Chloe," a free concert featuring an ensemble led by drummer Steve Davis and guitarist William Lenihan playing music inspired by the ECM label. Also on Thursday, Common Time plays jazz-fusion at The Engine Room, and Wack-A-Doo will perform swing and vintage pop at the Schlafly Tap Room.

On Friday, violinist David McNair will lead a quartet at Robbie's House of Jazz; guitarist Dave Black plays solo at the Tavern of Fine Arts; and the Darrell Mixon Trio performs at Cigar Inn.

Saturday evening is a big night for the Miles Davis Memorial Project, as the organization will present its  “Kind of Blue" Fundraising Dinner at The Commons at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey, IL. Proceeds from the event will go toward putting up a statue of Davis in downtown Alton.

Elsewhere on Saturday evening, singer Tandra Williams will be backed by guitarist Tom Byrne's trio at Robbie's House of Jazz;  Miss Jubilee plays at Nathalie’s; singer Danita Mumphard and friends return to Jazz On Broadway; and, for those in the mood for some Rat Pack nostalgia, the Viviano Brothers - comprised of singer Tony Viviano and his siblings Jerry and Frank - will open for singer Deana Martin's “Reflections of Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra" show at Lindenwood University's Scheidegger Center for the Arts.

On Sunday, the Dave Dickey Big Band will return for their monthly gig at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company, with the Bishop DuBourg High School Jazz Band performing a set during intermission.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday Dizzy Atmosphere will return to The Shaved Duck, and trumpeter Keith Moyer's quartet will play at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

Then on Tuesday, the St. Louis Jazz Orchestra, directed by bassist Jim Widner, will perform at the Sheldon Concert Hall; and singer Erin Bode will be back at Cyrano's.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.


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