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Emily Wallace with the Funky Butt Horns

"The best musicians are the true storytellers. The people who need to sing in order to feel whole and treat lyrics like breaths of fresh air to the lungs of a dying soul. They climb on any stage and just play. Stage prep and theatrics are left at the door, and all you get is a story with a beautiful voice behind it. St. Louis musician Emily Wallace is one of those trusted storytellers." Dan Buffa, KSDK.

Singer/songwriter Emily Wallace has quickly become one of the most talked about performers in St. Louis. Together with her sister, she co-founded The Sleepy Rubies, whose opening performance at the 2016 LouFest is still garnering waves of acclaim.  2016 also saw Wallace write “South City,” a moving tribute to her beloved neighborhood that was hailed by the Riverfront Times
as being “the anthem we’ve been waiting for.”  For her Bistro debut, she’s gathered a remarkable group of friends and musicians to join her, including the Funky Butt Horns (Aaron Chandler, Adam Hucke, & Austin Cebulski), Nathan Jatcko (keys), Jim Peters (guitar), and Tony Barbata (drums).

7/28/2017 To 7/29/2017
The People's Key

Combining the happy swinging feel of the Kansas City jazz scene with the hard, soulful groove of St. Louis Funk, Soul, and R&B, The People’s Key blends these Midwestern styles into one coherent sound. They swing in the traditional style of jazz, but provide listeners the opportunity to ride along as they relive the sounds of their lifetimes, with tunes by modern artists from Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder to Jay-Z and Bruno Mars. This band puts the classic organ group sound of the ‘50s & ‘60s on all your favorites from the ‘70s and beyond.

8/4/2017 To 8/5/2017
Koplant No
Single Tickets On Sale August 9!

Koplant No, led by saxophonist Joel Vanderheyden, is a forward-thinking ensemble that fuses intricate compositions and jazz improvisation with electronica, progressive rock, and hip-hop. The band has been developing its unique sound throughout the midwest since 2008. The group turned some heads when opening for The Bad Plus at the 2012 Twin Cities Jazz Festival, and has been noted as "one of the most innovative ensembles in the midwest" by David Cazares from Minnesota Public Radio. Koplant No features Brian Lewis Smith on trumpet, keys, and laptop, Drew Morton on bass and synths, and Rob Baner on drums, samples, and vibraphone.

style: modern jazz/fusion/electronic
9/8/2017 To 9/9/2017
Brothers Lazaroff - Laz Jazz
Single Tickets On Sale August 9!

Brothers Lazaroff celebrate the release of their album Laz Jazz at the Bistro, recorded during their debut engagement here in the summer of 2016. For this engagement, the rock ‘n roll band led by Jeff & David Lazaroff augment their standard group with horns, and adding jazz elements to their original music. Along with drummer Grover Stewart, bassist Teddy Brookins, keyboardist Nate Carpenter and violinist/sound designer Mark Hochberg, Brothers Lazaroff is known for their genre-bending approach and wide-ranging stylistic collaborations.
9/15/2017 To 9/16/2017
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Sponsored by Capes, Sokol, Goodman, & Sarachan, P.C.

"The most adventurous quartet in contemporary jazz music." All Music Guide

Recently celebrating their 30th anniversary as a recording and touring group, the Grammy Award-winning Yellowjackets are one of the most acclaimed and influential jazz groups in history. Led by keyboardist Russell Ferrante and featuring saxophonist Bob Mintzer, bassist Dane Alderson, and drummer Will Kennedy, the Yellowjackets blend funk, fusion, and straight-ahead jazz in a way that provides for an extremely exciting and energizing experience.

style: modern jazz / fusion

9/20/2017 To 9/23/2017
Grace Kelly
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Sponsored by Mueller Prost

“Grace Kelly has an electric charisma on stage that instantly ignites the room.” Jon Batiste, band leader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert


Saxophonist, singer, and composer Grace Kelly plays with the heart and passion of an old soul yet with the genre bending zest and energy of a 24-year-old. A regular guest with Jon Batiste & Stay Human on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Kelly recently released her 10th CD, Trying To Figure It Out. The album was voted #2 Jazz Album of The Year in the 2016 Downbeat Magazine Readers Poll.


In recent years, she has been featured on Amazon’s Emmy nominated TV show “Bosch,” CNN.com, Glamour Magazine, Forbes, Billboard, Vanity Fair, Huffington Post, and in many appearances on NPR.  As a songwriter, Kelly has won multiple ASCAP Composer Awards and International Songwriting Awards. 


style: modern / contemporary jazz

10/4/2017 To 10/7/2017
Arturo Sandoval - Dear Diz
Single Tickets On Sale August 9!

"He’s one of the best.” - Dizzy Gillespie

Sandoval’s tribute to Dizzy Gillespie, the mentor and friend who literally rescued him and his family from an oppressive existence and gave them a chance at an entirely new and better life. The album is a collection of classics from Gillespie’s massive body of work, each framed in big-band arrangements that throw the spotlight squarely on the elements of bebop that underscore so much of the iconic trumpeter’s work and set the tone for the music of his era.

10/13/2017 To 10/14/2017
Harold Lopez-Nussa
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Exclusively Sponsored by Marian Nunn & Tom Wendel

“A pianist originally from Havana, Harold López-Nussa has made his name as a small-group jazz dynamo, as both a bandleader and a sideman.” The New York Times

During Harold Lopez Nussa’s young career he has performed as a soloist at Cuba’s most important theatres. He has also performed with the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, Holguín Symphony Orchestra, Matanzas Symphony Orchestra and Havana Lyceum Mozartiano. He has played together with outstanding figures of Cuban traditional music and popular music, as well as with known jazz musicians such as Chucho Valdés, David Sánchez, Horacio “El Negro” Hernández, Christian Scott, Stefon Harris, Bobby Carcassés, Elmer Ferrer and Alexander Brown.

style: Cuban jazz

10/18/2017 To 10/21/2017
Sammy Miller and the Congregation
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Sponsored by American Family Insurance - Ted Wheeler Agency, and Sandy.

“The Perfect-Player Scholar” - Wall Street Journal

Making their debut appearance at the Ferring Jazz Bistro, drummer and singer Sammy Miller leads his band, The Congregation, as they cap off their education residency
week in grand style. This six member, feel-good group will have you swingin’, stompin’, and groovin’ to the music of New Orleans and the golden age of jazz.




10/27/2017 To 10/28/2017
Houston Person Quartet
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Sponsored by Entertainment Cruise Productions and Lodging Hospitality Management

“One of the best…he’s got bull chops!” –Dizzy Gillespie  

One of St. Louis’s favorites and a giant of soul and groove based jazz, Houston Person’s velvet-toned saxophone has enamored jazz lovers since the 1960’s. Throughout his prolific career, Person has remained a symbol of constant swing and good times. He embraces the Great American Songbook and the blues, a foundation on which he has built a legendary career. As Person puts it, he wants to give people “good solid melodies with some improvisation and plenty of blues feel.” Swing…and soul…PERSON-ified!


style: straight-ahead / soul jazz

11/1/2017 To 11/4/2017
Jim Widner Big Band
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Sponsored by The Cheshire

Jim Widner, former bassist with Stan Kenton, Woody Herman and the Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Buddy DeFranco, is celebrating his 30th year anniversary as leader of the Jim Widner Big Band and his summer jazz camps. Widner is a Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, where he directs the UMSL Jazz Ensemble. In 2013 he was the recipient of the Faculty Excellence Award from the College of Fine Arts and Communication.

11/9/2017 7:30 PM
Russell Gunn's "Blackhawk Revisited" featuring Jimmy Cobb
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Exclusively Sponsored by Friends of Jazz St. Louis Staff

“The real tribute here is not so much that Gunn is playing Miles, it’s that he gets Miles.” - All Music review of Russell Gunn Plays Miles

East St. Louis raised Russell Gunn turns the clock back to salute Miles Davis’s legendary stint at San Francisco’s famed Blackhawk club.  For these performances, Gunn’s quintet features legendary drummer and Miles Davis alumni Jimmy Cobb, who performed the original run with Davis in 1961. Gunn continues to broaden his musical landscape, in a career that has garnered him two Grammy nominations (Ethnomusicology Volumes I & II), and more than 15 albums as a leader.  His Bistro return is sure to be a memorable week!

style: straight-ahead

11/15/2017 To 11/18/2017
Jeremy Davenport

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Sponsored by Jackson Advocates LLC

“Cool and charming…like if Sinatra had been raised in New Orleans.” – goNOLA.com

Jeremy Davenport infuses a unique style of storytelling with original lyrics and music, creating not only a modern edge, but also a feeling reminiscent of the time when jazz was at its peak of popularity.

Davenport, a St. Louis native, studied and played with members and guests of the Symphony, which included an early introduction to Wynton Marsalis. A member of Harry Connick, Jr.’s big band for six years, Davenport now tours the world, plays regularly in New Orleans, and returns home annually for this Thanksgiving tradition at Jazz at the Bistro.

style: straight-ahead/ vocal jazz





11/24/2017 To 11/25/2017
Jane Monheit
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Exclusively Sponsored by Garden View Care Centers

“a voice of phenomenal beauty” The New York Times

A leading light in both the jazz and cabaret worlds since emerging as a finalist in the Thelonious Monk Institute’s 1998 vocal competition, Jane Monheit is blessed with “a voice of
phenomenal beauty” (Stephen Holden, New York Times). Monheit’s quick popularity with her first albums can be seen as a contributing factor in the resurgence of the Great American Songbook.  With her new album, The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald—the first to be released on her own Emerald City Records—the Long Island native has surprised even herself with her artistic leap. Jane had thought about recording an Ella tribute for a long time. Fitzgerald’s beloved songbook albums held “Biblical” importance for her when she was growing up and have never lost their hold on her.


style: cabaret vocal / straight-ahead

11/29/2017 To 12/2/2017
Freddy Cole Quintet feat. Harry Allen
Single Tickets On Sale August 9!

Sponsored by Cortland Associates

“Freddy has an impeccable sense of swing… he is, overall, the most maturely expressive male jazz singer of his generation, if not the best alive.” The New York Times

Recognized as one of the great practitioners of American song, vocalist and pianist Freddy Cole is widely regarded as one of the most influential singers in jazz. Growing up in a musical household that included his older brother Nat “King” Cole, visits from the likes of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Lionel Hampton were common. Cole has taken all those familiar sounds and come up with his own distinct voice that is smooth and swingin’. His shows are perfect for all types, from those looking for a romantic night out to jazz purists looking to recall the heydays, and everyone in between.

style: straight-ahead/vocal jazz

12/6/2017 To 12/9/2017
Take 6

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Sponsored by Jim & Lynne Clanahan


“Part jazz, part R&B, part gospel, Take 6 is doing what it does best: using the human voice with and without words to make beautiful music.” –All About Jazz


Take 6 is the most awarded a cappella group in history, with ten Grammy awards and a countless number of other awards, honors, and recognitions.  Recently celebrating their 25th anniversary, the group heralded by Quincy Jones as the “baddest vocal cats on the planet!”, is the quintessential a cappella group and the model for vocal genius. They have redefined the standards for vocal music.


style: cabaret vocal/straight-ahead

12/13/2017 To 12/16/2017
Jazz St. Louis Big Band plays Ellington's Nutcracker

Single Tickets on sale August 9!

“Among the joys of jazz” – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Celebrate the Holidays with a special showcase of Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite performed by the Jazz St. Louis Big Band. These jazz interpretations of Tchaikovsky’s ballet, arranged by Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, feature tunes like “Sugar Rum Cherry” (taking the place of “Dance of the Sugar-Plum Fairy”) and “Peanut Brittle Brigade” (taking the place of the mundanely named “March”). Filling out each set will be Ellington/Strayhorn classics like “Take the A-Train,”“Cottontail,” “Koko,” “The Mooche,” and more, all played from the original charts.

style: big band jazz / swing / holiday




12/19/2017 To 12/21/2017
Good 4 the Soul

Single Tickets On Sale August 9!

This explosive four-piece outfit—led by John King on bass, with James Jackson on drums, Shaun Robinson on guitar, and Pete Ruthenburg filling in for Adaron “Pops”Jackson on keys—draws upon jazz, funk, fusion, gospel, and R&B repertoires to deliver a powerful and unapologetic sound that excites and thrills audiences. When this band hits the stage, there are no boundaries. The only guarantee is a night of world-class music that is Good 4 the Soul!

style: contemporary jazz/funk

12/29/2017 To 12/30/2017
Joshua Redman Quartet

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Sponsored by Jon & Barbara Topp


“unparalleled among horn players today” – JazzTimes


Grammy-nominated saxophonist Joshua Redman is one of the most esteemed and charismatic artists of his generation. His music can be challenging, provocative, and forward-thinking, but also hard-swinging, melodic, and soulful, with a strong link to the jazz idioms of the 1950s and60s. His quartet demands serious energy and engagement of themselves and their listeners, and creates music with a joyous and celebratory spirit.  Redman returns to the Bistro with his quartet( pianist Aaron Goldberg, bassist Reuben Rogers, & drummer Gregory Hutchinson) for the first time since his inaugural visit to the venue 17 years ago!


style: straight-ahead / modern jazz

1/3/2018 To 1/7/2018
Jazz at Lincoln Center Group
Single Tickets On Sale August 9!

Sponsored by Sandy.

Artists TBA.
1/12/2018 To 1/13/2018
The Bad Plus
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Single Tickets on sale August 9!

“By any standard, jazz or otherwise, it is moving, mighty music." - Rolling Stone

After 17 years together, and a decade-long tradition with Jazz St. Louis, The Bad Plus announced a major change in the band’s infrastructure last spring.  Longtime pianist Ethan Iverson will be leaving the group, with Philadelphia native Orrin Evans joining the band in 2018.  With Iverson’s final engagement set for December 2017, bassist Reid Anderson and drummer David King will debut the NEW version of The Bad Plus, with Evans, at the Bistro!  With the new lineup, the band continues their long-standing tradition of being a leaderless trio with a committed belief in what they’ve dubbed ‘avant-garde populism’ — the idea that serious music can be as engaging and accessible as it is forward-thinking and provocative.


Style: modern jazz











1/17/2018 To 1/20/2018
Cyrus Chestnut

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Sponsored by Jim & Lynne Clanahan


“The pianist Cyrus Chestnut is one of jazz’s most convincing anachronisms.” — New York Times


Virtuosic and playful, pianist Cyrus Chestnut’s hard swinging, soulful sounds have become a staple in the jazz community. Blending contemporary jazz, traditional jazz, and gospel, Chestnut gives himself plenty of freedom to explore different emotions, while keeping his music in form. His lush chords, playful grace notes, worshipful tremolos, and effortless runs up and down the piano are sure to impress, but it’s his warm demeanor and irresistible sweetness that make him one of jazz’s most beloved ambassadors.


style: straight-ahead

1/31/2018 To 2/3/2018
Alicia Olatuja

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Sponsored by Jackson Advocates LLC


"Olatuja possesses a special instrument: a full-bodied tone, precise pitch and personal engagement at the lowest whisper or highest wail." –Downbeat


Praised by the New York Times as “a singer with a strong and luscious tone and an amiably regal presence on stage”, Alicia Olatuja has been astounding audiences with her exquisite vocals, artistic versatility and captivating demeanor. She first came into the national spotlight in 2013, whilst performing as the featured soloist with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir at President Barack Obama’s Second Inauguration. Shortly thereafter, she assembled her own jazz based ensemble and recorded her first solo album, Timeless.


Originally from St. Louis, MO, Alicia Olatuja grew up immersed in a wide range of musical styles, including gospel, soul, jazz and classical. These influences have informed her artistic journey, and she later graduated with a Masters degree in Classical Voice/Opera from the Manhattan School of Music. After appearing in numerous operatic and musical theater productions, she started to perform more regularly in gospel and jazz concerts and worked with such esteemed artists as Chaka Khan, BeBe Winans and Christian McBride.



style: modern vocal jazz

2/14/2018 To 2/17/2018
Benny Green Trio
Single Tickets On Sale August 9!

“…he plays funky and hard, and breathes not only bebop but Oscar Peterson’s virtuosic effusions as well.” — The New York Times

Benny Green possesses the history of jazz at his fingertips. he developed his mastery of the keyboard with decades of real world experience in the star-making bands of three of the most masterful musicians of the last half century: singer Betty Carter, drummer Art Blakey, and bassist Ray Brown. More recently, Green has been known to take the stage and record with artists ranging from Christian McBride to Diana Krall. A successful bandleader himself for over 20 years, Green is perhaps the most exciting, hard-swinging, hard-bop pianist to ever emerge from The Jazz Messengers. Nobody plays straight-ahead modern jazz piano with more swinging joy and finesse than Benny Green.

style: straight-ahead jazz

2/21/2018 To 2/24/2018
Sean Jones Quartet

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Single Tickets On Sale August 9!


Sponsored by Don & Debbie Jacobs


“When Jones solos, soaring with a gentle strength as his band swells behind him, it’s not just a pretty melody… it’s praise.” – JazzTimes


Sean Jones returns to celebrate his new album, Live from Jazz at the Bistro, recorded here in December 2015. Jones has quickly established himself as one of the most outstanding and innovative trumpeters and composers on today’s scene. Apprenticing with such legendary figures as Jimmy Heath and Nancy Wilson, he also served as lead trumpeter with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra from 2004-2010. In 2011 he toured internationally with Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter (‘Tribute to Miles’ tour), and has since become one of the top trumpet bandleaders of his young generation. Jones is also the Chair of Brass at Berklee College of Music and the Artistic Director of the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestras.


style: straight-ahead

2/28/2018 To 3/3/2018
Melissa Aldana Quartet

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“She is planting her flag in a sax player’s jazz world that clearly and deservedly belongs now to her.” — JazzTimes


At 24, Chilean-born tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana seemed to come out of nowhere to win the prestigious, hotly contested 2013 Thelonious Monk Competition. She may have been a dark horse, but her captivating sound and bold creative vision have been nurtured by some of jazz’s most insightful talent scouts. Born in Santiago, she was a teenage standout on the Chilean jazz scene when an encounter with Danilo Perez left the pianist so impressed he recruited her for Berklee College of Music. Focusing on improvisation and composition, she studied with heavyweight saxophonists like Joe Lovano and Greg Osby. But her mentors don’t get all the credit for her rapid rise. Her grandfather was a thriving swing saxophonist in 1950s France, and her father competed in the 1991 Monk Competition that launched Joshua Redman’s career.


style: straight-ahead / modern jazz

3/14/2018 To 3/17/2018
The Baylor Project

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“A former Yellowjacket and his creative/life partner drop a funky and finely detailed collection that isn’t shy to show a little tenderness or to head down lots of creative avenues.” - Modern Drummer Magazine


A husband. A wife. An astonishing debut. Marcus and Jean Baylor’s highly anticipated collaboration is steeped in the heart and soul of Jazz. As you listen to “The Baylor Project,” you will be taken on an eclectic musical journey that showcases as much versatility as it does virtuosity.


Marcus, a St. Louis native, is widely recognized as the former drummer of the 3-time Grammy Award winning jazz quartet, the Yellowjackets. With his natural feel, creative use of space and innovative ability to tell a story, his musicianship and improvisation are those of a seasoned musician.


Jean, a “Jersey Girl”, has been a featured guest artist in performances and recordings with The Yellowjackets, Kenny Garrett, Marcus Miller and legendary bassist, Buster Williams. Well-equipped with an agile mezzo-soprano range, Jean combines a fresh, whimsical approach to phrasing with clever improvisation resulting in singing of such vocal purity that she embraces the soul.


Style: modern jazz

3/28/2018 To 3/31/2018
Allison Miller, Riley Mulherkar, & Chad Lefkowitz-Brown
Single Tickets On Sale August 9!

Sponsored by Sandy

An exciting group of dynamic musical leaders come together in a one-of-a-kind performance you’ll only find at the Ferring Jazz Bistro! Capping off a week of teaching in area schools, this collaborative performance is also of these artists’ debut performances in the Ferring Jazz Bistro! Known for her original compositions and razor-sharp precision, drummer Allison Miller brings a contemporary vibe with all the history of Art Blakey and Max Roach. Trumpeter, Riley Mulherkar is a graduate of the Julliard School and was named a“rising star jazz artist” by Wynton Marsalis and an upcoming talent “to keep an eye on” by the Wall Street Journal. Tenor Sax man, Chad Lefkowitz-Brown is a rising star on the jazz scene. A graduate of the Brubeck Institute, he has 15 Downbeat Awards to his name and is a member of the multi Grammy award-winning Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. Don’t miss the chance to see this all-star group!

4/6/2018 To 4/7/2018
Songs of Freedom

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Ulysses Owens, Jr., Musical Director

featuring Alicia Olatuja & Joanna Majoko


Exclusively Sponsored by Jim & Cathy Berges


“A centerpiece of the program is “Everything Must Change,” associated with Ms. Simone. Alicia Olatuja brings an earnest intensity to the song, bringing it into implicit dialogue with “A Change Is Gonna Come,” the indelible Sam Cooke tune. “No one and nothing stays unchanged,” she sings, and as she slowly builds a crescendo, she hints at both a formidable obstacle and the will to overcome.” – New York Times


First presented under the auspice of Jazz at Lincoln Center, the 1960s are explored through the work of three prolific artists: Joni Mitchell, Abbey Lincoln, and Nina Simone – all of whom have made an indelible mark in music. Each artist expressed freedom in various ways. Joni composed and sung about the freedom of love, Abbey expressed freedom of her individuality and race through her lyricism, and Nina Simone demanded freedom politically through song.  The project is under the musical direction of Grammy Award-winning drummer, Ulysses Owens Jr.


To effectively deliver this vast repertoire, the program features vocalists Alicia Olatuja and Joanna Majoko.


Style: modern jazz with vocals

4/11/2018 To 4/14/2018
John Scofield Joe Lovano Quartet

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Sponsored by Jon & Barbara Topp and Tim & Debbie Callihan


It’s often said that history repeats itself but in the instance of making music, a reunion of two performers will not necessarily bring about the sounds of their collective past. Grammy-winning saxophonist/composer Joe Lovano and the equally lauded guitarist/composer John Scofield are preparing another turn together in the public eye. One of the most popular groups of the early 1990’s, Scofield and Lovano have both built their own followings since departing their shared bandstand.  Since then, the opportunity to hear them together has been few and far between.  Listeners will rejoice at this rare opportunity to hear two modern masters reunite on stage.


style: modern jazz 

4/25/2018 To 4/28/2018
Terell Stafford Quintet

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Exclusively Sponsored by Garden View Care Centers


“This is an extraordinary band playing extraordinary music.” The Wall Street Journal


Known for being a gifted and versatile player with a voice all his own, Terell Stafford combines lyricism and a deep love of melody with a spirited, adventurous edge. This uniquely expressive, well-defined musical talent enables Stafford to dance in and around the rich trumpet tradition of his predecessors while making his own in roads. His quintet is one of the premier, hardest-swinging groups on the scene today, and features pianist Bruce Barth and saxophonist Tim Warfield.


style: straight-ahead

5/9/2018 To 5/12/2018
Poncho Sanchez & His Latin Jazz Band

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Exclusively Sponsored by Ken & Nancy Kranzberg


“As Elvis is to rock and James Brown is to soul, Poncho Sanchez is to salsa…particularly the congas.” –Los Angeles Times


If music were about pictures, percussionist Poncho Sanchez’s music would best be described as a kaleidoscopic swirl of some of the hottest colors and brightest lights to emerge from either side of the border. At any given show, fragments of Latin jazz, swing, bebop, salsa, and other infectious grooves collide and churn in a fiery swirl, with results that are no less than dazzling. Sanchez grew up in a suburb of LA, where he was raised on an unusual cross section of sounds that included straight-ahead jazz, Latin jazz, and American soul. Whatever the genre, the mesmerizing array of sounds and colors from Sanchez’s youth have telegraphed across the decades and continue to inform his creative sensibilities to this day. His over 20-year relationship with Concord Records has yielded two dozen recordings, a Grammy Award, and several Grammy nominations.


style: Latin jazz

5/23/2018 To 5/26/2018