Jazz This Week: The Yellowjackets with Mike Stern, New Music Circle Turns 50, and More


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This will be a relatively short post by the usual “Jazz this week" standard, both because yr. humble editor has some time constraints due to other pressing matters, and because there's a slight lull in the St. Louis concert scene this weekend with regard to jazz and creative music. Specifically, we're at the time of year when some of our not-for-profit presenters, such as the Sheldon and the Touhill, have already wrapped up their jazz concert series for the season; the universities are coming to exam time and the end of their spring semesters; and the summer slate of festivals, fairs, concerts in the park, and so on has yet to begin.

As a result, there's only one major jazz headliner in town over the next few days to recommend - the Yellowjackets with guitarist Mike Stern (pictured), who will be performing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro. For more on this pairing of two very popular acts among jazz-fusion fans, including some video samples, see this post from last Saturday. Given that both Stern and the 'Jackets have their own respective fan bases, and the presence of St. Louis native Marcus Baylor (second from right) on drums, these shows should draw some good crowds. So, while advance reservations are usually a good idea if you're planning to go to the Bistro, in this case, calling ahead is definitely recommended.

Not far from the Bistro, singer Brian Owens is doing a free show starting at 7:30 p.m. Thursday night at the Vaughn Cultural Center, which is located in the Urban League building, 3701 Grandel Square in the Grand Center district. The flyer for the show says seating is limited, so get there early to be assured a spot.

Also in the very same neighborhood, electronic musician and former St. Louisan Tom Hamilton will be back in town this weekend to do a 50th anniversary-themed concert for New Music Circle on Saturday at the Kranzberg Arts Center, which is in the newly renovated Big Brothers-Big Sisters building at 501 N. Grand. For more about Hamilton's concert, check out the preview story Terry Perkins wrote for the St. Louis Beacon here.

Elsewhere in town, St. Louis Jazz Cafe will have smooth jazz saxophonist Readus Miller on Thursday and again on Saturday; drummer Joe Pastor's trio on Friday; and the Usual Suspects Duo for Sunday brunch. On Sunday night, jazz/funk/R&B band Good 4 The Soul has an early evening gig at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups, and on Tuesday, saxophonist Bennett Wood is back for another no-cover-charge show at The Gramophone.

With a new month beginning this week, band and venue schedule information for May is still coming in. So, as always, updates on more jazz-related events in St. Louis this weekend and beyond will be posted to the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar as they arrive at StLJN HQ.

(If you have calendar items, band schedule information, news tips, links, or anything else you think may be of interest to StLJN's readers, please email the information to stljazznotes (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you have photos, MP3s or other digital files, please send links, not attachments.)

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