Jazz at the Bistro

Eugene Redmond, Professor and Poet Laureate of East St. Louis
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

In the past year, St. Louis has been saturated by a groundswell of art related to social justice concerns, specifically issues of the region’s racial inequalities. For scholars, fans and former members of St. Louis’ Black Artists Group (BAG), the trend is remarkably familiar.

Terence Blanchard performs with his band E Collective
Willis Ryder Arnold | St. Louis Public Radio

Grammy-winning jazz musician Terence Blanchard is no stranger to composing music inspired by social injustice. He wrote an album about New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  He wrote the opera "Champion," which dealt with race and sexuality issues in boxing and debuted at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis last year. And he just released a new work inspired by the death of Eric Garner and the #BlackLivesMatter social media campaign that’s taken root in St. Louis since the shooting death of Michael Brown.

(Courtesy: John Pizzarelli)

“It’s only had strings on it for less than 70 hours,” John Pizzarelli said of his new guitar that was made in Springfield, Missouri at Moll Custom Instruments.

Pizzarelli is a world-renowned jazz guitarist and singer. This is the latest of several guitars that Bob Moll has made for Pizzarelli over the years.

After playing live in our studio, Pizzarelli told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter, “It felt really good while I was playing it.”

Robert Orth as Howie Albert and Aubrey Allicock as Young Emile Griffith
Ken Howard | Opera Theatre of St. Louis

I recently joined a group of arts leaders at the Nine Network to discuss how organizations in Grand Center could collaborate more effectively. As part of the meeting, they asked us to name some of the ways collaborations have created value in the community. This question took me back to my first day of business school at Washington University, when we talked about the concept of value: how the benefits an organization produces are greater than the costs of the organization. It is a classic case of one plus one equals three.

Richard McDonnell
MAXJAZZ

On Sunday, May 25, Jazz at the Bistro will have a lineup of performers worthy of the man everyone is gathering to honor: Richard McDonnell.

In addition to founding St. Louis-based independent record label MAXJAZZ, McDonnell was one of the original board members of Jazz St. Louis.

The night before he died this past February, Richard McDonnell spent the evening doing what he loved most, said his son Clayton McDonnell. First he went to hear Peter Martin at the Sheldon, and then he went to hear sets performed at Jazz at the Bistro.

Jazz St. Louis

Jazz St. Louis in Grand Center has announced a new expansion that it hopes will make it one of the top five jazz hubs in the world.

The $10 million plan includes the purchase its building at 3536 Washington Ave. and another next door, a renovated performance space, an education center and a jazz lounge.

Anna Webber

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.