Wynton Marsalis has been to St. Louis many times, but before Thursday night he had not played at Jazz at the Bistro.
“I’ve been coming here for many, many years. This is one of my favorite cities to come and play, in many contexts,” said Marsalis, a trumpeter, composer and educator. “I’d been to the Bistro, just sitting in and hanging with musicians … and it’s a famous place to play amongst the musicians. From a national standpoint, when you talk about St. Louis, you’re always talking about the Bistro.”
Instead of following a theme, the Saint Louis Chamber Chorus' 59th season will focus on composers.
“In the early years, we’ve put together programs on ideas, on literature, on great cities, on different poets,” said Philip Barnes, the chorus’ artistic director. “We’ve performed in a wrestling arena because I wanted to sing ‘Musicians Wrestle Everywhere,’ words by Emily Dickinson. This is the first time we’ve put together a season where the composers themselves have been the driving force.”
For the last five years, playwright Rohina Malik has performed her one woman play, "Unveiled." The play focuses on the lives of five Muslim women in the wake of 9/11. She attests her play touches audience members regardless of their background.
“One after another young, white male college students kept coming up to me personally and saying, thank you so much, it was eye opening,” Malik said about a recent experience performing at an college in Ohio.
Guitar virtuoso Douglas Niedt never really thought about making a living by playing the guitar; it just happened.
“My dad learned the guitar when he was in the Merchant Marines down in Mexico, Peru, South American countries,” said Niedt, a St. Louis native. “When they went into ports, he would take lessons from whoever was playing the guitar down there.”
When his father returned home, he taught Niedt’s older sister how to play.
Soprano Elizabeth Futral and composer Philip Lasser can thank pianist Margo Garrett for their friendship, which spans nearly a decade.
“There was a third party that gave my songs to Elizabeth,” Lasser said. “Then as fate would have it, she was collaborating with Margo Garrett, who happens to be a colleague of mine at Juilliard and who had a studio at the time right across the hall from my studio. We met over these songs.”
Webster Groves’ largest music festival returns for a 14th year Saturday.
“Great musicians continue to develop here, and it’s really wonderful to give them a chance to get exposure on a big stage in front of up to about 12-, 13,000 people every year,” said Terry Perkins, the festival’s music director.
Streets will be closed and performances will take place on two stages at Allen and South Gore avenues, just north of Lockwood Avenue. The festival starts at noon.
“One Man, Two Guvnors” is part British comedy, part chaos.
“It runs like a mix between rock ’n’ roll show and a bit stand-up comedy and improv because there is so much audience interaction and there are so many wild cards,” said Raymond McAnally, who stars in the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis production.
McAnally plays Francis Henshall, a man who has taken on two jobs for two different bosses, or “guvnors.”