Brian Owens

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Next Tuesday, a local dream musical team will unite for the 442s’ “Holiday Spectacular” at Washington University’s 560 Music Center. In addition to the talents of the 442s themselves, Peter Martin, Brian Owens and Erin Bode will join the group on stage to perform holiday favorites.

"We are all constantly a part of each other's projects," said Bjorn Ranheim, member of the 442s. 

In this case, that means performing personal holiday favorites and originals from each performer's repertoire.

Aine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Erin Bode, Brian Owens, Diane Reeves, Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman, David Sanborn…these are just some of the names in local piano legend Peter Martin’s figurative rolodex. He’s performed with them all, and he’s crossed off every name on his musical bucket list—except for one.

Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

A group of performers from the Hindu Temple of St. Louis joined Batya Abramson-Goldstein, the executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, on “Cityscape” this Friday as part of preparations for this Sunday’s fifth annual Arts and Faith interfaith concert at the Sheldon, which promotes peace and unity in the region and around the world.

We had the pleasure to hear (and mic up!) nine of the Hindu Temple Choir performers live on air. The choir usually performs at full capacity with 18 members. 

Brian Owens joined "St. Louis on the Air" in studio.
Áine O'Connor | St. Louis Public Radio

Soul singer Brian Owens has called Ferguson home for about nine years and encapsulates his experience there as “interesting, frustrating,” and ultimately, “hopeful.”

Now, Owens capitalizes the “hopeful” part by presenting a Labor Day weekend concert. The Soul of Ferguson Community Festival is based on a simple idea, Owens said: unifying the community with healing, peace and music.

Far Lft, Brian Owens; Middle Lft, Sara Michaelis; Middle Rt, Stanley Johnson; Far Rt, Sonya Murray
Alex Heuer

The St. Louis Symphony and Maryville University collaborated to create an 8-week music therapy program called “Life Compositions” to help students at Confluence Academy Old North deal with the challenges and trauma of growing up in urban neighborhoods. Graduate students in Maryville’s music therapy program worked with the youth to write and record songs, which they will highlight in a concert titled “Courage Counts” on June 4.

The Normandy High School Chorale performing in February 2014.
Tim Lloyd |File Photo | St. Louis Public Radio

We confront trouble in various ways, and the most destructive of them and wasteful of them is violence. Certainly, tragically, the death of Michael Brown Jr. on Aug. 9 in Ferguson was a mean-streets example of the most malevolent sort of violence, a violence that generates an expanding circle of suffering, one affecting exponentially the lives of a huge and diverse population.

It’s been almost trendy to talk about Ferguson’s young leaders lately, but youth leadership and community involvement is nothing new in the Ferguson area. For nearly four years, the Ferguson Youth Initiative has worked to connect teens and young adults with community events and opportunities.

The neighborhood free outdoor summer concert season is now in full swing. If you know of a free series that isn't on this list, let us know.

You can read more about Brian Owens, the Funky Butt Brass Band and Bill Forness and One More Round, A Tribute To Johnny Cash. Or just check out what's coming this week:

Musician Brian Owens
(Courtesy Brian Owens)

St. Louis vocalist Brian Owens continues his Masters Series with the music of Ray Charles Friday, April 18 at the Sheldon. 

“I’ve always been enamored with, not just covering certain musicians, but really preserving their music. Folks like Sam Cooke and Marvin Gaye, I just don’t hear their music a lot performed live with original charts and different things like that anymore, so that … spawned the desire to want to cover these musicians in a setting that was more of a concert setting,” said Owens of the series.

Musician Brian Owens
(Courtesy Brian Owens)

St. Louis vocalist Brian Owens will be performing a holiday concert to benefit a University of Missouri-St. Louis scholarship fund this Sunday at the Bistro at Grand Center. The event is sponsored by the UMSL African American Alumni Chapter.

"It’s been a real blessing for me to continue in partnership with the university I graduated from," said Owens, who graduated in 2008.

In addition to his connections with UMSL, Owens also has working relationships with Sterling Bank and other local businesses.

Mary Edwards

Kids Rock Cancer is an outgrowth of Maryville University’s Music Therapy Program.  Inspired by the program Purple Song Can Fly in Houston, Texas, the Maryville program goes into hospitals and works individually with children with cancer and other blood disorders.  The musical therapist helps the child express a set of thoughts and ideas, turn them into lyrics of a song and compose a tune for the lyrics.  Then the child gets to sing the song into a microphone with instrumental accompaniment.  The result is a CD recording for t