2018-2019 Whitaker Jazz Speaks

performance and author series

2018

The Crisis in Music

featuring Ted Gioia

Leading author and music critic, Ted Gioia will discuss disruptions that are changing — and perhaps destroying — the fragile music infrastructure in America. Are the ever-changing technological, economic, and cultural landscapes threatening the music ecosystem? Gioia discusses this and more, and will provide predictions on how our songs and performances might change over the next ten years.

Wednesday, September 12
Please note the location of this event.

St. Louis Central Library Auditorium
1301 Olive Street 63103
7 pm (doors open at 6 pm)
Cost: FREE

1950: The Year Jazz Changed on Two Coasts

featuring Marc Myers

Wall Street Journal contributor and author of Why Jazz Happened, Marc Myers explores the development of West Coast Jazz and Cool Jazz through many external forces outside of jazz itself that contributed to their inception. Paired with Myers’s talk will be a performance of the music of Dave Brubeck, Modern Jazz Quartet, Gerry Mulligan, and Miles Davis’s complete Birth of the Cool.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Ferring Jazz Bistro at Jazz St. Louis
3536 Washington Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63103
7 pm (doors open at 6 pm)
Cost: FREE

Click here to reserve your seat.

Play the Way You Feel

featuring author and NPR jazz critic, Kevin Whitehead

Author and NPR jazz critic (Fresh Air), Kevin Whitehead will preview his book Play the Way You Feel, due out next year, which examines how fiction and biographical films from 1927 to 2016 tell stories about jazz music and musicians. He will examine not only what these movies get right and what they get wrong, but also how the stories are told through the various narratives, even delving into the unique way these films end. Whitehead’s talk will focus on screen representations of early jazz in such films, illustrated with clips from Birth of the Blues (1941) and Syncopation (1942).

Wednesday, November 14
Please note the location of this event.

Grant’s View Library
9700 Musick Ave
St. Louis, MO 63123
doors open at 6 pm, program to commence at 7 pm
Cost: FREE

2019

With Billie: A New Look at the Unforgettable Lady Day

featuring author, Julia Blackburn

The only child of the poet Thomas Blackburn and the painter Rosalie de Meric, author Julia Blackburn says of her works have been “a series of studies of people whose predicaments interested me: Napoleon stripped of his empire; Goya waking up to find himself deaf; a woman living on her own in the Australian desert; Billie Holiday hemmed in by racism.”

For Blackburn, With Billie broke new ground in her way of writing. She had access to a huge archive of interviews with people who had known Billie, and instead of trying to make a formal biography she decided to simply let the people speak who knew her best: piano players and dancers, pimps and junkies, lovers and narcs, producers and critics, each recalling intimate stories of the great Lady Day. In that way the book took shape like a jazz session in which one by one, the musicians step forward to perform a solo.

Wednesday, February 13
Please note the location of this event.

St. Louis County Library Headquarters
1640 S Lindbergh Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63131
doors open at 6 pm, program to commence at 7 pm
Cost: FREE

Nat King Cole

a centennial tribute featuring Reggie Thomas, the Jazz St. Louis Big Band, and special guests

Pianist Reggie Thomas and the Jazz St. Louis Big Band team up to pay tribute to one of America’s greatest pianist and vocalist. In honor of Nat’s 100th birthday, we celebrate the legacy of a man that influenced generations of musicians and broke down racial barriers as the first black man to host an American television series. Featuring pianist Reggie Thomas and the Jazz St. Louis big band, the evening will explore Nat Cole through the music of his small groups and larger ensembles.

Wednesday, March 20
Please note the location of this event.

Ferring Jazz Bistro at Jazz St. Louis
3536 Washington Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63103
7 pm (doors open at 6 pm)
Cost: FREE

A Love Supreme: The Music and Message in John Coltrane’s Magnum Opus

featuring author, Ashley Kahn

Ashley Kahn is an American music historian, journalist, producer, and author. In addition to three Grammy nominations and one Grammy award, his two most critically acclaimed books have featured two major jazz albums, Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, and A Love Supreme by John Coltrane. In this talk, Kahn takes us on a deep dive into the mind and process of the man that gave us one of the most important recordings in jazz. One of Coltrane’s best-selling recordings, A Love Supreme has stood the test of time, and after more than 50 years, it remains his most critically acclaimed works.

Wednesday, April 10
Please note the location of this event.

Schlafly Library auditorium
225 N. Euclid
St. Louis, MO 63108
doors open at 6pm, program to commence at 7 pm

Louis Armstrong’s Hot 5 and Hot 7

featuring author and Director of Research and Collections for the Louis Armstrong House Museum, Ricky Riccardi

Ricky Riccardi is not only a Louis Armstrong expert, but he is also the author of What a Wonderful World: The Magic of Louis Armstrong’s Later Years. An engaging orator, Riccardi discusses the importance and impact of Louis’s early career, focusing on two of his best-known ensembles, the Hot Five and Hot Seven. Paired with Mr. Riccardi’s talk will be a performance of the most famous material that resulted from these two ensembles.

Wednesday, April 17

Ferring Jazz Bistro at Jazz St. Louis
3536 Washington Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63103
7 pm (doors open at 6 pm)
Cost: FREE

 Reserve your seat here.

MISSION

Jazz St. Louis is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to lead our community in advancing the uniquely American art of jazz through live performance, education and community engagement.

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