The Route 66 Jazz Orchestra is a 20-piece group dedicated to the preservation and promotion of “Big Band” jazz through performance, education, and community involvement. Founded in 1969 by Dr. Ron Stillwell as the Meramec Jazz Lab Band, Route 66 Jazz continues to act as jazz ambassadors for the community.
JUN. 15, 19, 21, 23, 27 & 29
Opera Theatre of Saint Louis’s 2019 world premiere Fire Shut Up in My Bones, was co-commissioned by Jazz St. Louis.
One moment can change everything. When Charles discovers that his cousin has returned to his Louisiana hometown, he races home from college to confront his past. Memories and shadows surround Charles as he strives to move beyond a cycle of violence and forge a brave new path. Terence Blanchard, composer of OTSL’s sold-out hit Champion, teams up with screenwriter Kasi Lemmons (Eve’s Bayou) for a haunting, powerful, and tender coming-of-age story inspired by a memoir celebrated as “stunning” (Essence), “riveting” (Chicago Tribune), and “exquisite” (The New York Times).
Run time is 2 hours and 25 minutes with one intermission
All run times are approximate and subject to change.
JUL. 12 - 13
Saxophonist and producer Carlos “Scooter” Brown Jr. is an East St Louis native and a Jazz U (Jazz St Louis) Alum as well as Northern Illinois University. Today, he currently serves as the program director for Jazz St Louis’ program “Jazz Academy”. He also serves as a member of “The Dirty Muggs”. Brown and his newly developed creative collective, “Ingenuity” isn’t defined by one genre. It’s something that he calls “Life Music” that helps to reach the masses. “It’s what we feel that the people need in that moment”, Brown says. His debut project entitled “Growth” is a culmination of sounds and waves of emotion that has helped this musician. If you enjoy Terrace Martin, Robert Glasper and KING, “Ingenuity” will be perfect for your musical tastes.
JUL. 19 - 20
Long before George Benson became a household name with hits like “Give Me the Night” and “Turn Your Love Around” he was admired as one of the premier guitarists in jazz. This salute to Benson’s iconic career reaches back to include everything from the classic grooves he laid down with his early organ-based quartet that featured Dr. Lonnie Smith to his breakthrough album Breezin’ and onward to the contemporary sounds that garnered him Grammy Awards in not just jazz but R&B and pop as well. Montez Coleman (drums) leads an all-star group of St. Louis’s finest including Eric Slaughter & Matt Sewell (guitars), Adaron “Pops” Jackson (keyboards), and Bob DeBoo (bass).
This explosive four-piece outfit—led by John King on bass, with James Jackson on drums, Shaun Robinson on guitar, and Adaron “Pops” Jackson on keys—draws upon jazz, funk, fusion, gospel, and R&B repertoires to deliver a powerful and unapologetic sound that excites and thrills audiences. When this band hits the stage, there are no boundaries. The only guarantee is a night of world-class music that is Good 4 the Soul.
Brothers Lazaroff will release their eighth full-length album “Sisters And Brothers” with a weekend of performances at the illustrious Jazz STL/Jazz at the Bistro August 2nd and 3rd. Their first release in two and half years, Brothers Lazaroff teamed up with frequent collaborators and bandmates Sam Golden and Andrew Warsheur (DJ Boogieman) in producing this new collection. This will the fourth year Brothers Lazaroff has taken to the Jazz STL stage, reinterpreting parts of their original Americana and Roots catalog, as well as pulling from their more jazz-centric material. “Sisters And Brothers” is heavily influenced by these performances at Jazz STL, as what began as an experiment dubbed “Laz Jazz” has lead the band towards a more dynamic, Jazz-inspired sound in all of their performances. With the rhythm section of Grover Stewart on drums and Teddy Brookins on bass for the past thirteen years, Sam Golden on keys and Mark Hochberg on violin, Brothers Lazaroff looked to their extended musical family to flush out this new set of ten songs; Chris Hansen on percussion, Adam Hucke on trumpet, and Ben Reece on sax and flute, as well as Anita Jackson on background vocals.
It’s impossible not to have a good time when you’re in the presence of the Funky Butt Brass Band. This musical juggernaut brings funk, soul, rhythm & blues, rock, pop, jazz, and anything else they might find under the kitchen sink together to give audiences a truly memorable experience each time they step on stage. Inspired by the brass band tradition of New Orleans, Funky Butt puts their own St. Louis stamp on everything they do…and we wouldn’t have them do it any other way!
“How did St. Louis exist so long without a true, bonafide New Orleans-style brass band? Since Funky Butt Brass Band came on the scene, it’s been impossible to miss the six-headed beast. At parades, at barbecues, at community radio festivals and especially at a certain oyster bar on Broadway, Funky Butt is a steady-gigging presence that references its Crescent City inspiration, but infuses plenty of 314-specific funkiness as well. Credit the oft-theatrical vocalizations of members Tim Halpin, Adam Hucke and Aaron Chandler for the band’s never-the-same-set-twice bravado, but recognize that “brass” is in the band name for a reason: These cats can blow.”
– The Riverfront Times
Improvisation is not just a technique for Cyrille Aimée, it’s a way of life. The acclaimed vocalist ventured from singing on street corners in Europe to dazzling audiences at the world’s most prestigious
jazz festivals; from sneaking out to sing in gypsy encampments in her native France to acting on Broadway; from braving the notoriously tough audiences at New York’s Apollo Theatre to being called a “rising star” York Times.
Jazz pianist/composer Billy Childs remains one of the most diversely prolific and acclaimed artists working in music today. Childs’ canon of original compositions and arrangements has garnered him the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, sixteen Grammy nominations, and five Grammy awards. Other Grammy wins include Best Instrumental Composition for ‘The Path Among the Trees’ and ‘Into The Light’, from his much-heralded jazz/chamber releases, ‘Autumn: In Moving Pictures’ and ‘Lyric’. Downbeat magazine states,“… Childs’ jazz/chamber group has taken the jazz-meets classical format to a new summit.”
In her new solo show, Rachel Bay Jones, 2017 Tony Award winner for Best Featured Actress in the Broadway smash musical Dear Evan Hansen, explores the music and stories that have shaped her life and career. Sharing adventures that have taken her from multiple Broadway successes to motherhood, Jones’ intimate yet soaring voice creates an incredibly compelling evening featuring music from Richard Rodgers, Andrew Lloyd Webber, storyteller and actress, Rachel was recently featured opposite Julia Roberts in the film Ben is Back.
Ella Fitzgerald is one of the most iconic voices in the history of modern music. Becoming the first African-American woman to win a Grammy award, she went on to garner 13 Grammy Awards in her career, selling more than 40-million records worldwide. Celebrate Ella Fitzgerald with an all-star band that you’ll only hear at the Bistro!
Dave Matthews Band saxophonist, Jeff Coffin, returns to Jazz St. Louis, joining bassist/composer John Clayton (Clayton/ Hamilton Jazz Orchestra) and drummer Matt Wilson (Arts and Crafts) for a swinging weekend that caps a week of education work in St. Louis. Equally amazing performers as they are educators, this powerhouse
trio is a rare weekend gathering not to be missed!
Ken Page is an American actor and singer from St. Louis, and is best known as the voice of Oogie Boogie in Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. He has been seen on Broadway in The Wiz, Guys and Dolls, and the original Broadway casts of both Ain’t Misbehavin, and Cats. This Fall, Ken is developing an all-new show to celebrate his cabaret return at Jazz St. Louis.
Raised in Philadelphia, this is where the foundation of his musical roots in Jazz, Blues, and other musical art forms were born. To hear Joey DeFrancesco today, his music embodies the traditional art form infused with a distinctly modern approach, just part of what makes his music unmistakably his own. For this engagement, DeFrancesco will be joined by the Jazz St. Louis Big Band for the first time ever! This rare opportunity to hear one of the world’s most virtuosic musicians join forces with the power of a full big band is one not to be missed!
Jeremy Davenport infuses a unique style of storytelling with original lyrics and music, creating not only a modern edge but also a feeling reminiscent of the time when jazz was at its peak of popularity. Davenport, a St. Louis native, studied and played with members and guests of the Symphony, which included an early introduction to Wynton Marsalis. A member of Harry Connick, Jr.’s big band for six years, Davenport now tours the world, plays regularly in New Orleans, and returns home annually for this Thanksgiving tradition at Jazz St. Louis.
Celebrate the Holidays with a special showcase of Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite performed by the Jazz St.Louis Big Band. These jazz interpretations of Tchaikovsky’s ballet, arranged by Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, feature tunes like “Sugar Rum Cherry” (taking the place of “Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy”) and “Peanut Brittle Brigade” (taking the place of the mundanely named “March”). Filling out each set will be Ellington/Strayhorn classics like “Take the A-Train,”“Cottontail,” “Koko,”“The Mooche,” and more, all played from the original charts.
Jim Manley is an explosive trumpet player whose forays into the musical stratosphere are exciting and unbelievable. In the past few years, Manley has branched out as a bandleader, composer/arranger, and clinician, maintaining a busy playing schedule with nearly 4,500 engagements in the last 15 years. For these special Jazz St. Louis shows, Manley has put together a screamin’ seven-piece instrumental group dubbed Mad Brass & Rhythm to bring you Holiday cheer!
This explosive four-piece outfit—led by John King on bass, with James Jackson on drums, Shaun Robinson on guitar, and Adaron“Pops”- Jackson on keys draws upon jazz, funk, fusion, gospel, and R&B repertoires to deliver a powerful and unapologetic sound that excites and thrills audiences. When this band hits the stage, there are no boundaries. The only guarantee is a night of world-class music that is Good 4 the Soul.
Lindsay Mendez received a Tony Award for her performance as Carrie Pipperidge in the 2018 hit Broadway revival of Carousel. In addition to her stage work Mendez is an eclectic, powerhouse singer whose versatility encompasses pop, jazz and the American Songbook. Her concert work includes appearances with Lincoln Center’s American Songbook Series, the Library of Congress in Washington DC, Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York City and the American Pops Orchestra. The Hollywood Reporter calls Mendez “a revelation” and The New York Times praises her work as “expertly crafted and beautifully sung.”
JAN. 31-FEB. 1
New York and St. Louis team up for the return of one of our favorite residencies, featuring some of the amazing artist/ educators from Jazz at Lincoln Center. Saxophonist Camille Thurman, trumpeter Pharez Whitted, and bassist Endea Owens mark their debut at Jazz St. Louis, joining drummer, Steve Fidyk as he returns for his second education residency.
The Erin Bode Group creates music forged from the Americana of its members’ Midwestern roots, infused with jazz grooves, and made magic by Bode’s bell-like voice. Sophisticated arrangements and attention to phrasing, both vocal and instrumental, further distinguish the band’s fresh sound. Bode consistently wins over audiences with her sweet personality and sincere performances—the perfect combination to celebrate this romantic holiday.
After wowing audiences with his rich vocals and virtuosity on the keys during last season’s sold out shows with Christine Ebersole, Stritch returns to St. Louis to salute one of the greatest American singers of all time – the legendary Mel Torme. Torme was a virtuoso whose talents ranged from swing to scat to lush ballads and Stritch embodies all of those gifts along with his own brilliance at the piano. Featuring a trio of great musicians, Billy singing Mel is not to be missed!
Lauded by Wynton Marsalis as a “rising jazz artist”, trumpeter Riley Mulherkar returns for his second residency, this time with tenor saxophonist Roxy Coss who was praised by All About Jazz for her “perfect balance of lyricism and intensity…”. Holding down the rhythm section is Bryan Carter, a graduate of the Julliard School, who is an alumnus of the bands of Mulgrew Miller, Kenny Barron, and Kurt Elling.
At age 23, Veronica Swift is now being recognized around the country as one of the top young jazz singers on the scene. In addition to performing the Great American Songbook and Bebop and Vocalese classics, Veronica is also a passionate devotee of 20s and 30s music.
Veronica will record her next album for release this year, which will feature the great pianist Benny Green and his trio.
Paulo Szot is one of the most acclaimed and versatile baritones in the world having garnered international acclaim as
an opera singer, an award-winning musical theatre star, a consummate concert performer and an actor.
For a limited 2 night engagement only, and as part of his international tour, Jazz St. Louis audiences can prepare to swoon as the Tony Award winner Paulo Szot (South Pacific) lends his extraordinary voice to
a luxurious program with songs from his native Brazil, celebrating the music of Tom Jobim and Frank Sinatra during their magical encounter 50 years ago, along with a selection of the most romantic Broadway songs.
It’ll be some enchanted evening, for sure!
For more than two decades, Orrin Evans has made an art form of the unexpected. With more than 25 albums to his credit without ever relying on the support of a major label, Evans has become the model of a fiercely independent artist who’s made a habit of rattling the jazz world’s confining cages. That determination has paid off in accolades like topping the “Rising Star Pianist” category in the 2018 DownBeat Critics Poll.
As a daring pianist, Evans combines raw- edged vigor and left-field nuance into a sound wholly his own.
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.