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.

Divided & United is the name of a new, two-disc collection of songs from the Civil War. The selections tell tales of fear, loneliness, exhaustion and triumph. All recordings featured on the album, which was produced by Randall Poster, are new takes on old songs; historian Sean Wilentz wrote the liner notes for the record.

The collection features lesser-known songs of the Civil War, some by a songwriter named Henry Clay Work. According to Wilentz, Work was a key member of a group of composers that wrote the history of the era through song.

ProPhoto STL / (Courtesy Autumn's Child)

Native American flutist Mark Holland has been performing with the ensemble Autumn's Child since 1995. The group’s music has been described as something of a “musical smoothie,” and Holland himself calls it “a delicious mix of various genres,” including Native American music, world music, jazz, classical and folk.

(courtesy Five Eight)

The Old North Restoration Group is holding a benefit concert Saturday that will feature the band Five Eight.

The group out of Athens, Georgia was named by All Songs Considered last year as one of five bands that should be way bigger than they are.