The original lineup for the 1998-99 Jazz at the Bistro concert schedule listed pianist/vocalist Freddy Cole (Nat "King" Cole's brother) as the featured artist this weekend. But Cole has been replaced by St. Louis singer Denise Thimes (pictured). No, the change in schedule wasn't brought about because Cole couldn't make it. The schedule revision goes back to the evening of Aug. 31, when a concert was held at the Backstage Bistro to honor Barbara Rose and raise funds for the nonprofit Jazz at the Bistro Foundation. The musical highlight of the evening was clearly the performance by Thimes. She gained the full attention of the large crowd with her blend of strong, soulful vocals on up-tempo numbers and a smoky touch on ballads. It was a performance that caught the attention of Rose (who passed away last month), who decided to change the Jazz at the Bistro schedule to feature Thimes on New Year's Eve. Backed by an outstanding group of musicians that includes Vince Evans on piano, Tom Kennedy on bass and Montez Coleman on drums, Thimes is sure to provide a great evening of musical entertainment. She and her group perform sets at 9 and 10:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 1 and 2, along with the special New Year's Eve concert. Call 534-3663 for reservations.
-- Terry Perkins