Word spread quickly on social media this past weekend: Richard McDonnell, founder and president of the St. Louis-based MAXJAZZ recording label, had died.
One of the first tributes posted -- by Dean Minderman, editor of the respected music blog “St. Louis Jazz Notes” -- was put up to replace rumor with facts. Yes, McDonnell had suffered a stoke while attending a concert Feb. 7 at Jazz at the Bistro. He died the next day.
This past February, George Sams, owner of the Metropolitan Gallery, decided to close the space at 2943 Locust St. Sams had mounted art exhibitions there since taking it over in 2005 and also presented regular concerts as part of his Nu-Art Performance Series.
Musicians included Hamiet Bluiett and Oliver Lake -- natives of the St. Louis area who went on to international acclaim as members of the World Saxophone Quartet – as well as famed pianist Andrew Hill and trumpeter Eddie Henderson.
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.
Kurt Elling is a prominent American jazz vocalist. Each of his ten albums have been nominated for a Grammy award and he has been named “Male Singer of the Year” by the Jazz Journalists Association eight times.
The Left Coast over the years has been the host to many great jazz clubs. The October 21 show presents jazz recorded in clubs in San Francisco, Oakland, Santa Cruz and Seattle. Some of the clubs are The Jazz Workshop, Yoshi's, Keystone Corner and the Blackhawk in the San Francisco Bay area and Jazz Alley and The Penthouse in Seattle. We feature such musicians as the Ray Brown Trio, the Yerba Buena Jazz Band, Shelly Manne, Cannonball Adderley, Thelonious Monk, Henry Threadgill, John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders.
Money makes the world go 'round. This episode of Jazz Unlimited will feature Duke Ellington, Muggsy Sprecher, Benny Carter, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and others with tunes about money.
Your financial support for St. Louis Public Radio helps keep Jazz Unlimited on the air. We hope that you are contributing during the Fall Membership Campaign. Thanks to all who have contributed so far.
According to the Missouri State Archives, Juneteenth is officially recognized today in 41 states, including Missouri.
NPR Music provides this selection of "five recordings, picked by five musicians, which represent the triumphs and tribulations within the freedom struggle."
Today, June 19, is a holiday known as Juneteenth - the oldest commemoration of slavery's end. Though the Emancipation Proclamation declared the freedom of slaves in Confederate states on Jan. 1, 1963, it was only on June 19, 1865 (months after Confederate forces had surrendered) that Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, to spread news of the war's end, and to enforce the proclamation in Texas.
Charlie Hunter hasn't used his famous 8-string bass-guitar hybrid for some three years now. These days, it's seven strings. He's got the low three of a bass and the middle four of a guitar, all tuned a minor third higher than normal. He happily abandoned the highest string in favor of a more condensed and practical version of his one-of-a-kind instrument. He may be practicing more drums than guitar nowadays anyway. His 2nd solo album, Public Domain, is highly percussive. Released on his own label, Public Domain kicks the dust off eleven old standards from his grandfather's era, who turns one hundred this year.