April 24 at 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. at Jazz at the Bistro.
Tickets available by calling 314-289-4030 and through Metrotix:
The festival opens with an all-star quartet featuring pianist Reggie Thomas, bassist Rodney Whitaker and St. Louis area greats Willie Akins on tenor sax and Montez Coleman on drums.
Reggie Thomas’ soulful, hard-swinging brand of piano has made him one of the most in-demand pianists and educators in the country. A veteran of the bands of Wynton Marsalis, Terence Blanchard and many others, Rodney Whitaker is one of the leading performers and teachers of jazz double bass in the United States.
April 25 at 8 p.m. at the Touhill Performing Arts Center
Arturo Sandoval takes the stage on Friday at 8 p.m., with opening act performance by the UMSL Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jim Widner.
Sandoval is considered one of the most dynamic live performers of our time. The Cuban-born trumpeter, pianist and composer has earned many accolades, including 10 Grammy Awards, six Billboard Awards and an Emmy.
April 26 at 8 p.m. at the Touhill Performing Arts Center . Click here to purchase.
The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra takes the stage on Saturday at 8 p.m., with opening act performance by the UMSL Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jim Widner.
Since Basie's passing in 1984, Thad Jones, Frank Foster, Grover Mitchell, Bill Hughes, Dennis Mackrel and now trumpeter Scotty Barnhart have led the Count Basie Orchestra and maintained it as one of the elite performing organizations in jazz. The Count Basie Orchestra has won 17 Grammy Awards and 20 Downbeat and Jazz Times polls - more than any other big band in jazz.
In just one decade, the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival has grown to be one of the most significant jazz festivals in the Midwest.
Jim Widner, director of Jazz Studies at UMSL, developed, facilitates and serves as Artistic Director of the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival. When asked to explain its impact, Widner said, “This annual celebration of education and performance is the only festival of its kind in St. Louis. In addition to celebrating professional jazz musicians in our headline concert performances, we focus on nurturing the talent of young musicians with jazz student performances and clinics.”