This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis includes a couple of inventive keyboardists, an internationally acclaimed guitarist, a multi-national group of free improvisers, and more. Let's go to the highlights... Wednesday, ...

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"St. Louis Jazz Notes" - 5 new articles

  1. Jazz this week: Marco Benevento, Ken Page, Joey DeFrancesco, Adrian Legg, Damon Smith & Friends, and more
  2. Sunday Session: November 10, 2019
  3. StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Spotlight on Marco Benevento
  4. So What: Local News, Notes & Links
  5. Brian Culbertson to perform Saturday, May 2 at The Pageant
  6. More Recent Articles

Jazz this week: Marco Benevento, Ken Page, Joey DeFrancesco, Adrian Legg, Damon Smith & Friends, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis includes a couple of inventive keyboardists, an internationally acclaimed guitarist, a multi-national group of free improvisers, and more. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, November 13
Keyboardist Marco Benevento (pictured, top left) will perform at the Old Rock House, with the jazz duo of twin brothers The Mattson 2 opening.

Benevento has gone through some changes since the last time he played in St. Louis nearly five years ago, steering his expansive sound toward danceable beats and pop song forms. You can find out more about that, and see some videos from recent performances in this post from last Saturday.

Elsewhere around town, singer and St. Louis native Ken Page will perform for the first of two nights at Jazz St. Louis as part of their series co-presented with Cabaret Project of St. Louis; and journalist and author Nate Chinen will give a talk for JSL's "Whitaker Jazz Speaks" series, based on his recent book Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century, at the St Louis Public Library's Schlafly branch in the Central West End. For a preview of the latter, read Chinen's interview with the Post-Dispatch's Daniel Duchholz.

Thursday, November 14
Washington University's Jazz at Holmes series moves for one night to the 560 Music Center for  "The Bridge #2.2," a free concert teaming Chicago saxophonist Mai Sugimoto and Wash U faculty member Paul Steinbeck on electric bass with two French musicians, guitarist Raymond Boni and acoustic bassist Paul Rogers.

Also on Thursday, guitarist Dave Black will team up with singer Wendy Gordon at The Pat Connolly Tavern; and singer Cheri Evans and CEEJazzSoul return to the Chase Club.

Friday, November 15
Organist Joey DeFrancesco (pictured, center left) will perform with the Jazz St. Louis Big Band for the first of two nights at Jazz St. Louis.

DeFrancesco, who also plays trumpet and recently has taken up tenor sax as well, reportedly will play big band arrangements of music from his latest album In The Key Of The Universe, which was released in March on Mack Avenue Records.

Elsewhere around town, British guitarist Adrian Legg will perform at Focal Point. Cited for his “astonishing virtuosity" by Q magazine and called “simply the best acoustic guitar player I’ve ever heard” by guitarist Joe Satriani, Legg also has been described as “kind of cross between Robert Fripp and Garrison Keillor” for his combination of expert musicianship and sly storytelling.

Also on Friday, Dizzy Atmosphere plays swing and Gypsy jazz at Urban Chestnut Midtown Brewery and Biergarten, and keyboardist Mark Harris II returns to The Dark Room.

Saturday, November 16
Saxquest presents their free, all-day Woodwind Musical Instrument Expo at St. Charles Community College's Donald D Shook Fine Arts Bldg, with instruments and accessories from many different manufacturers, educational programs, and more.

Then on Saturday evening, saxophonist Tim Cunningham will play at Troy's Listening Room; singer and actor KT Sullivan presents her cabaret show "I Can Cook" at Blue Strawberry; and the Funky Butt Brass Band returns to the Broadway Oyster Bar.

Sunday, November 17
Your jazz brunch music options for Sunday include Miss Jubilee at Evangeline's and guitarist and singer Tommy Halloran at The Dark Room.

Later in the afternoon, singer and impressionist Dean Christopher brings his "Rat Pack and More" show to the Hatheway Cultural Center on the campus of Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey.

Monday, November 18
Bassist Damon Smith, a recent transplant to St. Louis, will be joined by an ensemble of improvisers including Chicago trombonist Jeb Bishop (pictured, bottom left), Dutch composer and performance artist Jaap Blonk, and drummer Weasel Walter of Flying Luttenbachers fame for a show at the Cherokee Street art gallery Flood Plain.

Also on Monday, the Webster University Jazz Collective, featuring members of the university's jazz faculty, will perform in a concert at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster campus.

Tuesday, November 19
Cabaret Project St. Louis presents their monthly "Singers Open Mic" at Sophie's Artist Lounge, and singer Joe Mancuso plus guest vocalists Kim Fuller-Barnes and Robert Nelson will perform music from "The Great American Songbook" at the Gaslight Theater.

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.)

Sunday Session: November 10, 2019

Sonny Rollins
Here's this week's roundup of various music-related items of interest:

* How streaming killed underground micro-labels (
* Rock legends The Bonzo Dog Band win legal ding-dong to put the Doo Dah back into their name (Daily Mail)
* The 2010s: A Jazz Revival In Black Music (NPR)
* Selling Your Record Collection To Move On In Life The Focus Of New Documentary Based At Dusty Groove (
* The Range, Breadth and Development of Keb’ Mo’ (DownBeat)
* Sonny Rollins in the ’70s: Part 1 (Burning Ambulance)
* Sonny Rollins in the ’70s: Part 2 (Burning Ambulance)
* Manfred Eicher: "You Can't Record Everybody" (Stereophile)
* A New World for Coltrane’s ‘Blue World' (DownBeat)
* Jazzrausch Bigband Moves Beyond Tradition (DownBeat)
* Spinal Tap Creators and Universal Music Settle Copyright Dispute (Variety)
* Reissue Captures Nat King Cole Before He Broke Through To Mainstream (NPR)
* Gerry Teekens, Founder of Criss Cross Jazz Label, Dies at 83 (DownBeat)
* On 'Mellotron Variations,' A 1960s-Era Instrument Makes A Comeback (NPR)
* Major Swing: Django Reinhardt, His Disciples, and Their Hot Brand of Acoustic Jazz Guitar (Acoustic Guitar)
* A Detroit homecoming for the illustrious drummer Doug Hammond (Detroit Metro Times)
* 400 Years of slavery and inequality, set to music: Bassist Avery Sharpe’s African American Musical Portrait (Valley Advocate)
* Terri Lyne Carrington Shores Up Her Legacy In New Album Centered On Social Justice (WBUR)
* Photos: 2019 BRIC JazzFest (Jazz Times)
* The Focused Energy of Saxophonist David S. Ware (DownBeat)
* Angel City Festival Strings Together Sets of Innovative Jazz (DownBeat)
* The Curious Case of Keiko Yamada (New Music Box)
* 'Hittin' The Ramp' Traces Nat King Cole's Early Artistic Development (NPR)
* David Byrne Teases New Immersive, Sensory-Based Production ‘Theater of the Mind’ (Rolling Stone)
* ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’: The Ongoing Saga of Pop’s Most Contentious Song (Rolling Stone)
* The Secret Jewish History of Joni Mitchell (The Forward)
* Landmark ECM Anniversary Celebrated at Jazz at Lincoln Center (DownBeat)
* In Lead Up to Disney Plus Launch, Musicians Rally For Fair Pay (
* Ken Vandermark convenes a fresh group of old and new collaborators (Chicago Reader)

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Spotlight on Marco Benevento


This week, let's take a look at some videos featuring keyboardist Marco Benevento, who will be in St. Louis to perform next Wednesday, November 13 at the Old Rock House.

Benevento, who last played here in November 2014 at 2720 Cherokee, is touring in support of Let It Slide, his new album released in September. While he initially made his reputation playing mostly instrumental music on the jam band circuit, in recent years Benevento has turned more toward pop song forms and danceable grooves, and added his own vocals to the mix.

Those features are clearly in evidence on Let It Slide, which was produced by Leon Michels, who has worked with artists including Dr. John and soul singers Charles Bradley and Lee Fields. And so one challenge now for Benevento - and, arguably, for every artist whose sound evolves significantly over the course of their career - is being able to please current fans while also bringing new ones into the fold.

How well does he succeed? Well, you can decide for yourself by checking out these videos, all recorded in the last year, starting up above with a clip of Benevento performing "Greenpoint" in February 2019 at the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival in Colorado.

After the jump, you can see Benevento playing "Oh Baby Can't You See" in July 2019 on Adult Swim's "FishCenter," followed by a video of four tunes recorded in September at Paste Studio in New York City.

For a deeper dive, there then are three full shows, recorded in August at the "Alive at 5" outdoor concert series in Albany, NY; in May at Ardmore Music Hall in Philadelphia; and in July at the Levitate Music & Arts Festival in Marshfield, MA.

For more about Marco Benevento and Let It Slide, read his recent interview with the alt-weekly Maine Edge and the feature about him published earlier this year on, and listen to him on an episode of the podcast from last month.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...






So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* The Kranzberg Arts Foundation this week announced the St. Louis Music Initiative, consisting of three related projects intended to promote the local music scene.

St. Louis Music Week, set for September 4 through September 13, 2020, will "actively market and promote music events at participating music showcase the depth and breadth of music offerings available throughout the region."

The week will conclude with Music at the Intersection, a three-day event featuring more than 60 local acts performing at various venues in Grand Center. Then in 2021, the foundation will present the Midwest Music Summit, which is "designed to build music industry infrastructure in St. Louis through panels, workshops, exhibitions and classes."

* Singer and St. Louis native Alicia Olatuja was the featured guest on last week's episode of Montana Public Radio's "Musician's Spotlight."

* Bassist, instrument inventor, and former St. Louisan Mark Deutsch (pictured) was the subject of a short Riverfront Times feature story by Thomas Crone. Deutsch will perform a solo concert on his instrument, the Bazantar, tonight at the Judson House.

* Trumpeter Keyon Harrold was interviewed by Harrold is visiting the "land down under" this week, performing at the club Bird's Basement at Melbourne.

* Dizzy Atmosphere has posted to YouTube a playlist of videos from their concert last Saturday at the Focal Point.

* Cabaret singer and former St. Louisan Katie McGrath's appearance on Saturday in the show "Immigrant Song" at .ZACK was touted in a brief item by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Joe Holleman.

* Keyboardist Jim Hegarty has posted a video of his solo piano concert last month at Principia College on YouTube and the audio from the show as a free download on Bandcamp.

* In the latest development regarding the financial troubles of community radio station KDHX, the Riverfront Times' Daniel Hill reports that the Kranzberg Arts Foundation will take over the first floor of the KDHX building, which includes a performance space, The Stage at KDHX, and a bar/cafe that has gone through several iterations and operators since opening in 2014.

* More than a year after the last-minute cancellation of the Loufest music festival, St. Louis Public Radio's Jeremy Goodwin reports that the festival's former sound and lighting contractor Logic Systems is suing LouFest promoter Listen Live Entertainment and its managing partner Mike Van Hee for defamation, malicious prosecution, and abuse of process.

Brian Culbertson to perform Saturday, May 2 at The Pageant

Multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson is returning to St. Louis next year to perform on Saturday, May 2 at The Pageant.

Culbertson (pictured) will be touring in support of his upcoming album XX, which will be released in April 2020. He previously played here most recently in September of this year as part of the "Smooth Jazz Cruise on Land" at Chesterfield Amphitheater.

Tickets for the all-ages show are $49.50 and $39.50, and will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. next Friday, November 15 via Ticketmaster and the Pageant box office.

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