BEST SOLO ARTIST (MALE)

Teddy Presberg
Jazz artists seem to understand what so few rock bands do — that music is an open-source experience, and the more you can mix up the experience, the better it is for the musicians and the fans. Guitarist Teddy Presberg takes this methodology to heart on a weekly basis at his "Funky Wednesdays" sessions at Schlafly Bottleworks, where various jazz, funk and soul cats sit in and stir the pot. His own music as bandleader and arranger shows his fluency in all types of groove music: Meters-like funk workouts, silky jazz licks and lead-footed soul all get an airing. And given Presberg's revolving-door policy with other musicians, you simply never know what you're going to get at one of his shows. (CS)
10 p.m., Rosalita's Cantina

Javier Mendoza
With an impressive eleven albums under his belt in the last twelve years, Javier Mendoza is definitely one of the more accomplished independent acts in town. Since making the transition from a songwriter for Warner Chappell Music to a solo artist, his music has earned him numerous local and national accolades, as well as multiple placements on MTV's long-running reality show The Real World — and even an audience with Pope John Paul II. The Virginia-born, Spanish-bred singer writes his Latin-based mix of folk and pop in both English and Spanish (his last album entitled You was released in both languages), a talent he no doubt honed while writing for acts like Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias. (CC)

Sleepy Kitty Arts

Location Info

Map

Lola

500 N. 14th St.
St. Louis, MO 63103

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: St. Louis - Downtown

Lucas Park Grille

1234 Washington Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63103

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: St. Louis - Washington Avenue

Caleb Travers
Caleb Travers' warm and wizened story songs flow effortlessly. They're vignettes that seem to have been culled from decades of loving and learning. And though Travers isn't quite 30 years old, the Paducah, Kentucky, native has established himself as one of the most respected artists in the region's thriving alt-country scene. A few years back, his band Big City Lights nabbed a Best of St. Louis Award for Best Alt-Country Band, he's been recognized for his talents as a singer-songwriter, and he's no stranger to being nominated in this category, either. His upcoming record, Lifetime, which will be released this fall, is said to reflect his love of pop and rock music. (RFT)

Joe Stickley
Though nominated in the Best Solo Artist (Male) category, Joe Stickley regularly performs as part of a duo with multi-instrumentalist Sean Canan. As the leader of that duo and of Americana outfit Joe Stickley's Blueprint, the St. Louis veteran puts his wry, wiry tenor and graceful touch with a melody to engaging purpose. With Canan, Stickley has been holding down a Sunday residency at McGurk's where the Celtic side to his songs and sound are given free rein. The duo's 2010 release, Loaded to the Gunwhales, presaged that turn toward Irish balladry and anthems. But Stickley's wise, singer-songwriter soul always shines through, no matter what musical geography he explores. (RK)

Marquise Knox
Marquise Knox is the youngest, proudest and most talented of all the young lions on the St. Louis blues scene. As a guitar slinger and soul shouter who studied under Henry Townsend, his way with the most familiar blues structures belies his twenty years. It's no surprise that with his first album, Man Child, recorded at the age of sixteen, he was honored by Living Blues magazine as "Best Debut Artist," and it's even less of a surprise that his guitar playing has been compared to all three Kings: Freddie, Albert and B.B. But what's most exciting about Knox is the sense of hunger in his performances. He knows that despite his well-deserved accolades and hard-earned audience he still has a lot to prove. And he injects that sense of urgency into every gig. (RK)



BEST JAZZ ARTIST

Hamiet Bluiett
Hamiet Bluiett is fond of recalling when he first was introduced to the baritone sax: It stood taller than he did. Since then he's grown into a master of the instrument, performing alongside Charles Mingus and Aretha Franklin, taking the stage at Carnegie Hall, and these days he makes time to teach music to local kids who are themselves knee-high to a sax. He founded the Bluiett Baritone Nation in the 1990s, and just this March he debuted his Big Orchestra Band-Youth Division. At 70 years old, he's at once a link to jazz's rich past and a vital inspiration for future generations. (RFT)

Dave Black
The dean of jazz guitarists in St. Louis, Dave Black can and does play everything. Whether jamming the electric Miles Davis fusion with the Teddy Presberg Funktet or getting into a Latin swing with Javier Mendoza, Black is always tasteful but never polite. He pushes and bends notes and melodies without breaking them, and his sense of harmonics is truly mysterious. He could play jazz straight — he knows the chords and the scales like he was born speaking in quarter notes — but he prefers to find the riffs that time forgot and that lesser musicians couldn't imagine if they tried. His regular solo gigs around town are clinics on the grace and fire of the electro-acoustic guitar. (RK)
8:15 p.m., Copia Urban Winery & Market

Denise Thimes
Denise Thimes recently faced the personal tragedy of losing a sister to a random bullet, but she continues to find joy and consolation in jazz. It takes a singer of Thimes' caliber and panache to skip through the pages of the American Songbook as if she alone had discovered the magical tome. It's not that she's beyond the influence of Ella, Billie, Carmen and the Divine Miss Sarah; it's just that she commands her own gifts. Thimes' precise diction, playful cadences, warm tone and elastic vibrato are just the individual parts of her artistry. The whole of her approach to jazz vocals is to serve the song but not be a slave to it. When she takes on a blues number like "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl" she gets sassy, brassy and sensual. When she glides into "The Very Thought of You," she finds a way to draw out witty wordplay and evoke a dreamlike mood that's suited to a candle-lit romance yet somehow transcends it altogether. (RK)

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5 comments
Spons2
Spons2

Did not see Jeremiah Johnson and the Sliders or any Blues!

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