Here's StLJN's latest wrap-up of assorted links and short news items of local interest: Saxophonist and former St. Louisan Oliver Lake is featured in a new instructional video for Jazz at Lincoln Center's "Jazz Academy." Trumpeter/singer and U City ...

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"St. Louis Jazz Notes" - 5 new articles

  1. So What: Local News, Notes & Links
  2. Jazz this week: Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival, The Sunset Stomp, "Bach and Jazz," and more
  3. Joe Policastro Trio to perform Thursday, May 3 at The Dark Room
  4. Willie Akins Jazz Festival set for Sunday, May 27 at Grandel Theatre
  5. Sunday Session: April 15, 2018
  6. More Recent Articles

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

Here's StLJN's latest wrap-up of assorted links and short news items of local interest:

* Saxophonist and former St. Louisan Oliver Lake is featured in a new instructional video for Jazz at Lincoln Center's "Jazz Academy."

* Trumpeter/singer and U City native Jeremy Davenport's song "One Way Ticket to New Orleans," written to commemorate the city's tricentennial, was the subject of a feature story in the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

* Grant Green Jr. will take his father Grant Green's music on the road this summer to help promote Resonance Records' release of two previously unheard albums by the guitarist and St. Louis native (pictured).

In addition to Green Jr, who is Green's eldest son and also a guitarist, the band billed as "Grant Green's Evolution of Funk" will include saxophonist Donald Harrison, keyboardist Marc Cary and drummer Mike Clark, and will make their debut with performances from June 28 to July 1 at NYC's Jazz Standard.

* On a related note, London Jazz News has reviewed Green's two new Resonance albums, Live at Oil Can Harry's and Funk in France, which will be released officially this Saturday, April 21 for Record Store Day.  You can find much more on this year's RSD jazz releases in this article from DownBeat.

* Drummer Kevin Bowers was interviewed about his shows this weekend at Jazz at the Bistro by the Post-Dispatch's Kevin Johnson.

* Multi-instrumentalist Adam Maness has composed and produced music for a new video honoring the St. Louis Cardinals' Hall of Fame pitcher Bob Gibson on the 50th anniversary of his historic performance in 1968, aka "The Year of the Pitcher."

With some coaching from Maness and singer Brian Owens, kids from the not-for-profit LIFE Arts, Inc wrote and performed the lyrics for the video, which can be seen on Major League Baseball's site

* Speaking of baseball, the Cardinals' Ernie Hayes was among the MLB ballpark organists featured in a recent post by JazzWax's Marc Myers.

* The Sheldon Concert Hall has posted to Facebook an album of photos from Ramsey Lewis' performance at last Friday night's benefit gala and an album from last Saturday's performance by pianist Abdullah Ibrahim and Ekaya.

* Singer Denise Thimes' Mothers Day show raising money to fight pancreatic cancer, which will be held this year at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, was previewed in an article by Ladue News' Emma Dent.

* Trumpeter Keyon Harrold has been on tour in the UK and Europe, and his show last week at Jazz Cafe in London got a rave review from Jazzwise magazine.

* Miles Davis was the subject this week of a BBC program hosted by Adrian Utley of the British "trip-hop" band Portishead. Also on the Miles beat, the recently released box set Miles Davis & John Coltrane — The Final Tour: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 6 was reviewed by the Village Voice's Michael J. Agovino.

* HEC-TV has produced a video featuring testimonials from two local students, Kendall Blumenthal and Brittany O'Reilly, who have benefited from music scholarships awarded by Jazz St. Louis.

Jazz this week: Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival, The Sunset Stomp, "Bach and Jazz," and more

It's a big week for big bands in St. Louis, as the calendar of upcoming jazz and creative music events in St. Louis features a couple of famed large ensembles as headliners of the annual Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival.

There's also a retrospective of the Harlem Renaissance and a look at how Johann Sebastian Bach influenced jazz, plus plenty of other performances in jazz styles ranging from vintage to modern. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, April 18
Jazz St. Louis' "Whitaker Jazz Speaks" series continues at Jazz at the Bistro with Washington University professor Gerald Early talking about "Harlem's Renaissance,"  followed by a performance of music associated with the period.

Meanwhile, this week's "Grand Center Jazz Crawl" will help kick off the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival by featuring small ensembles from UMSL's jazz program at The Stage at KDHX and as opening acts for the jam session led by bassist Bob DeBoo at the Kranzberg Arts Center and for trumpeter Kasimu Taylor's band at The Dark Room.

Also on Wednesday, the Ambassadors of Swing return for the monthly "Shake n Shout" event at Tin Roof St. Louis.

Thursday, April 19
Singer Erin Bode performs at Cyrano's, and the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival continues with trumpeter Hermon Mehari (pictured, top left), who's originally from Kansas City and now splits his time between there and Paris, leading a quartet at The Dark Room.

(You can find out more and see some videos of performances by Mehari and the headlining bands of the GSLJF's weekend shows in this post from last Saturday.)

Friday, April 20
The SLGJF presents the University of North Texas One O'Clock Lab Band at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, while drummer Kevin Bowers reunites the band from his Nova project for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro.

Also on Friday, pianist Dave Venn begins a new weekly. early-evening gig at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel's Sidecar Lounge, and singer Danita Mumphard will perform at the Webster Groves Concert Hall

Saturday, April 21
The Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival concludes with a performance by Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band (pictured, bottom left); and Carolbeth True and Two Times True will be joined by singer Joe Mancuso at the Webster Groves Concert Hall.

Sunday, April 22
This week's Sunday jazz brunch options include The Bonbon Plot playing bossa nova and more at The Dark Room, and Miss Jubilee singing vintage jazz and blues at Evangeline's.

Also on Sunday afternoon, the St. Louis Jazz Club presents traditional jazz band The Sunset Stomp from Indianpolis, IN at the  Doubletree Hotel St. Louis at Westport.

Monday, April 23
The Webster University Jazz Singers will show off what they've learned this year in a performance at  Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster campus.

Also on Monday, Dizzy Atmosphere returns to The Shaved Duck, and trumpeter Jim Manley will be back at his weekly residency at Momo's Greek Restaurant.

Tuesday, April 24
As part of St. Louis Bach Festival 2018, the Bach Society of St. Louis will present "Bach & Jazz" with singer Erin Bode, guitarist Steve Schenkel and pianist Kim Portnoy at Jazz at the Bistro.

For more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, which can be found on the left sidebar of the site or by clicking here. You also can keep up with all the latest news by following St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at or clicking the "Like" icon on the StLJN Facebook page.

(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.)

Joe Policastro Trio to perform Thursday, May 3 at The Dark Room

The Chicago-based Joe Policastro Trio is coming to St. Louis to perform at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 3 at The Dark Room. Admission to the show is free (though The Dark Room does require a food or drink purchase).

The group (pictured), which includes the leader on bass along with guitarist Dave Miller and drummer Mikel Avery, is touring to promote their latest album Screen Sounds.

The trio's third release, after 2013's West Side Story Suite, and 2016's POPS!, Screen Sounds features their re-imaginings of music from film and TV, ranging from Cool Hand Luke to Yojimbo to Twin Peaks and more.

When not touring, Policastro, Miller and Avery perform three nights a week at Chicago’s Pops For Champagne, and individually, their credits include work with the likes of Phil Woods, Jeff Hamilton, Diane Schuur, Patricia Barber, Joshua Abrams, Rob Mazurek, and more.

Willie Akins Jazz Festival set for Sunday, May 27 at Grandel Theatre

The second annual Willie Akins Jazz Festival will take place starting at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, May 27 at the Grandel Theatre.

The event honors the late St. Louis saxophonist by raising money for music scholarships in his name at Webster University, where Akins (pictured) was an adjunct faculty member. Singer Joe Mancuso is organizing the fest and will serve as co-MC with singer Erika Johnson, who worked with Akins early in her career.

The concert will feature music from saxophonist Ben Reece's Unity Quartet, trumpeter Danny Campbell's quartet, and the "Willie Akins All-Stars," an ad hoc group of musicians who worked with and/or knew Akins, including saxophonists Freddie Washington, Paul DeMarinis and Kendrick Smith, guitarist Tom Byrne, bassist Willem von Hombracht, and drummer Kyle Honeycutt.

Following the concert, the action moves to The Dark Room, where pianist Ptah Williams, bassist Darrell Mixon and drummer Gary Sykes will host a post-performance jam session.

Tickets for the Willie Akins Jazz Festival will be $12 for general admission, available at the door.

Sunday Session: April 15, 2018

Nina Simone
Here's a roundup of various music-related items of interest that have shown up in one of StLJN's various inboxes or feeds over the past week:

* The British jazz explosion: meet the musicians rewriting the rulebook (The Guardian)
* Monika Herzig’s SHEroes Addresses Gender in Jazz (DownBeat)
* Why Hip-Hop Is Taking Center Stage On Netflix's Original Music Programming (
* At Tiny Telephone music studio, recording to tape is not a metaphor (KALW)
* MATA at 20 (New Music Box)
* How Drummer Albert "Tootie" Heath Learned to Play Jazz (Westword)
* Philadelphia native James Mtume returns to celebrate 35th anniversary of ‘Juicy Fruit’ (New Pittsburgh Courier)
* Jimmie Vaughan’s B-3 Vibe (Jazz Times)
* The Deceptively Accessible Music of Cecil Taylor (The Atlantic)
* Illuminating Cecil Taylor with Pianist Jason Moran, on The Checkout (WBGO)
* Turning The Tables: The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women (As Chosen By You) (NPR)
* “All at Full Fullness”: Remembering Cecil Taylor - Steve Coleman, Vijay Iyer, Jason Moran, Matthew Shipp and Wadada Leo Smith pay tribute to an avant-jazz icon (Jazz Times)
* All That Jazz: A #JazzAppreciationMonth Podcast Round-up (
* Music Publishers Win Major Copyright Fight Over Streaming of Legendary Rock Concerts (Hollywood Reporter)
* Composer Tyondai Braxton: 'I'm at war with myself. That's what the piece sounds like' (The Guardian)
* Spotify could kill Jazz, Soul and Classical music. Really. (
* Q&A with Al Di Meola: In a Good Place (DownBeat)
* The New Jazz Torchbearer: Kamasi Washington on His Musical Message (Rolling Stone)
* Cecil Taylor and the Art of Noise (The New Yorker)
* The Revolutionary Genius of Cecil Taylor (The New Yorker)
* The British Guitar Embargo: When Brits Were Banned from Buying American (
* How Nina Simone Captivated a New Generation (Rolling Stone)
* In Memoriam: Cecil Taylor (DownBeat)
* ‘It’s an insane project’: Toronto resident documenting city’s live-music history through posters (The Globe and Mail)
* Esperanza Spalding: Redefining Production - The bassist, composer and bandleader on her innovative recent "pop-up" album, "Exposure" (Jazz Times)
* How Musicians Are Using Field Recordings to Capture the Politics of Place (
* ‘A Singular Sound, A Singular Force’: Artists Remember Jazz Great Cecil Taylor (
* Saxophonist Kamasi Washington Announces New Album 'Heaven and Earth' With Two Teaser Videos (
* Hitting Reboot: Manhattan Transfer (DownBeat)
* American orchestras: Revamping the model, or embracing the obvious? (Washington Post)

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