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 Javier Mendoza and Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers. Or just check out what's coming this week:

Miss Jubilee is proving that she is a favorite of the neighborhood concert scene. Over the next seven days, she will be at Bluebird Park in Ellisville, Eckert's in Belleville and Music on Main in St. Charles.

David Mulat, 13, and his sister Betty (short for Bethlehem), 15
Nancy Fowler | St. Louis Public Radio

Summer camp is where teenagers make friends and sometimes find their first love. It’s also a place they can improve social skills and self-esteem.

A new music day camp in St. Louis focuses on building confidence as well as musical ability. David Mulat, 13, and his sister Betty (short for Bethlehem), 15, are attending the Littlestone Summer Music Festival at St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church in South City on scholarships.

Courtesy of Duane Reed Gallery

The very first thing that has to take place before a person can find a visually appealing show is for the artist to have the means to create.

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.

Lou 'Fatha' Thimes Sr.
St. Louis Media Archive

In the dog-eat-dog world of music radio, Lou “Fatha” Thimes Sr. was top dog for a very long time.

“In broadcasting you’ve got to be able to contend with all types of personalities, your boss, the program director …” said the veteran disc jockey, leaving the sentence dangling in the 1999 book of biographies, Lift Every Voice and Sing. But, he added: “Broadcasting is a beautiful field. I’ve loved every moment of it.”

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.

Carl Socolow | Alarm will Sound

Alarm Will Sound, the 20-member contemporary chamber music ensemble that has gained worldwide acclaim since its debut in 2001, has become a fixture in St. Louis since October 2012 – presenting an annual concert series at venues such as the Sheldon Concert Hall, the Pageant and the Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

The 442s: Shawn Weil, Adam Maness, Bjorn Ranheim and Syd Rodway
Sandra Calvo

For the four musicians who make up the 442s, Duke Ellington’s words (right) resonate. Of the quartet of musicians who make up the group, two — violinist Shawn Weil and cellist Bjorn Ranheim — are members of the St. Louis Symphony. The other two — pianist, multi-instrumentalist and composer Adam Maness and bassist Syd Rodway — are known for their work with vocalist Erin Bode. Maness and Rodway also have strong jazz backgrounds.

St. Louis’ LouFest has unveiled its complete lineup for the Sept. 6-7 music weekend.  

For many St. Louisans, summer means Cardinals baseball, pork steak on the grill and free outdoor concerts. Coming this week:

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To let us know about your concert series, please email Arts, Culture and Voices Editor Donna Korando (

Billy Peek, Coco Soul, Gavin DeGraw, Miss Jubilee, Ralph Butler, Javier Mendoza
file photos

Nothing quite signals that the weather is heating up than the beginning of free outdoor, neighborhood concert series throughout the St. Louis area.

Tonight, April 25, the Ferguson concerts kick off with Samba Bon. Tuesday, April 29, is the beginning of the Twilight Tuesdays series at the Missouri History Museum. The featured group there is FatPocket.

Mary Delach Leonard|St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon

The blues will spill out the open front doors of Christ Church Cathedral in downtown St. Louis on Good Friday evening as local performers join in a service that blends religion with music rooted in city tradition.

The Very Rev. Mike Kinman, dean of the Episcopal cathedral, says blues will be incorporated throughout the program. The service will begin with a dramatic reading of gospel accounts of the passion of Jesus Christ and will conclude with a live concert.

(via Flickr/akasped)

Music festivals in downtown St. Louis on the scale of Lollapalooza are about to become a reality.

The city's Board of Aldermen on Monday approved the measure that sets aside Memorial and Labor Day  weekends for the music festivals. Mayor Francis Slay is expected to sign the bill and as soon as he does, Los Angeles-based ICM Partners can start negotiating for talent and financing.

Provided by Fair St. Louis

Fair St. Louis gave the area “something to talk about” today with an announcement that Bonnie Raitt is among the top acts for this year’s Fair St. Louis. The Fray and The Band Perry round out the list of headliners for this year’s annual Fourth of July festival.

The Band Perry will play Thursday, July 3 at event, which moves to Forest Park this summer because of construction at the Arch Grounds.

New Obama administration rules aimed at protecting African elephants are causing widespread anxiety in the music world. From country to classical, working musicians say the policy will make them think twice about touring abroad.

The proposed regulations would place a near-total ban on anything made with ivory moving in and out of the U.S.

Ken Scott got his start in the music business 50 years ago when he dropped out of school at 16 and got a job at a small London recording studio called EMI. Today that studio is known as Abbey Road, after the album by the famous band which also got its start recording music there.

“It was different over in England at that point. You could leave school at 15,” Scott said. “Education was out in the real world.”

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated with comments from the hearing. Edited at 8:45 a.m. Thursday to correct typos.

After more than two days of debate, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen tourism committee approved plans for Lollapalooza-like festivals to be held in downtown St. Louis on Memorial Day and Labor Day Weekends.

Chesterfield and St. Louis
(Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio)

The St. Louis Bluesweek Festival and the Budweiser Taste of St. Louis are on the move, and people throughout the metro area have been quick to share their reactions.

Taste of St. Louis and Bluesweek left many regulars reeling after organizers announced that this year both will be held in Central Park and the Chesterfield amphitheater.

Connie Fairchild
Provided by The Presenters Dolan

The format for the Songbird Café series — placing four singer-songwriters in the round and having them sing songs in turn — was made famous by the Bluebird Café in Nashville, Tenn.

The approach has worked well here over the three years that Steve St. Cyr has presented the Songbird Café series at Focal Point in Maplewood and occasionally at UMSL at Grand Center.

(via Flickr/alaina.buzas)

St. Louis aldermen have temporarily slowed the progress of a measure that would reserve Memorial and Labor Day weekends for a new music festival in downtown St. Louis for at least the next 10 years.

The city's tourism committee heard two hours of testimony on the measure today. Chairman Joe Vollmer delayed the vote by a week to give its members time to digest the bill. A good portion of the 29-member Board of Aldermen sat in for at least part of the hearing.

(via Flickr/pasa47)

Updated at 9:50 a.m. Tuesday to correct a typo.

For the second time in one week, a major festival has unveiled plans to move from downtown St. Louis to Chesterfield.

(via Flickr/akasped)

The city of St. Louis took an initial step today toward locking in a decade of music festivals featuring big-name performers in downtown St. Louis.

courtesy Mike Heidorn

In the late 1980s, Jeff Tweedy, Jay Farrar and Mike Heidorn were students at Belleville High School, playing 60s era cover songs in their parents’ garages. But somewhere around the time they became known as Uncle Tupelo, they transitioned into a new sound. Today it’s called Alt Country, but at the time they just knew it was different.

Adam Bielawski / via Wikimedia Commons

Despite a musical career that has spanned decades and provided inspiration for the civil rights movement, until recently the only information available about the Staple Singers was from interviews, articles and songs.

A new biography by Chicago Tribune music critic Greg Kot changes all that by providing the back story of the musical family in book form for the first time. With a nod to two hit songs, the book is titled “I’ll Take You There: Mavis Staples, the Staple Singers, and the March Up Freedom’s Highway.”

The Jungle Fire Is Catching On

Jan 22, 2014
From left: Matt Berra, James Fields, Justin Haltmar, Kristen Luther, Adam Barr, John Wright, Dan Johanning
Provided by the band

The Jungle Fire is a seven-piece soul group that has been playing the local scene since early 2011. The sound comes from the musical backgrounds of its members: jazz, classical, punk, alt-country and hip-hop.

Those players start with songwriter and guitarist Dan Johanning, who brought the band together. The rest of the group consists of drummer Matt Berra, bassist Justin Haltmar, organist and vocalist Adam Barr, tenor saxophonist John Wright, flutist Kristen Luther and lead vocalist James Fields. 

Vanity Projects

Using words like “play” and “permissiveness” in its promotional materials, the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts wants to make sure St. Louisans know it's operating on a different frequency in the upcoming “Reset” program.

With fifteen a capella groups, including the 100 year-old ensemble the Whiffenpoofs, it’s an understatement to say a capella is big at Yale University.

“It’s fervent at Yale,” Ian Miller said. He’s the music director for one of those fifteen groups, Shades of Yale, and a St. Louisan.

“It’s almost like sports at some other university,” Shades of Yale Tour Manager Hannah Sears added. “It seems like every other person you meet is somehow involved.”

slso image for a gospel messiah
St. Louis Symphony Orchestra

Only 11 more shlepping days ‘til Christmas. But if you need to take a break from the season’s ritualistic mass consumption, upcoming local holiday arts offerings range from ho ho ho to Handel.

“Too Hot to Handel: A Gospel Messiah,” presented by the St. Louis Symphony: 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13, Powell Hall, 718 North Grand Blvd., 63103. $30-$65.

Reign, aka Michael Rainer
Provided by Michael Rainer

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - His name is Reign. Before that it was Wildmann. And through all that, it is Michael Rainer.

Wildmann? "I got the name back in 2001 when I was on tour with K-Ci & JoJo. They told me that when I play, I tear the stage up and have so much energy. I was a little wild then … So, they gave me the name Wildmann. From that moment, I took the name and ran with it."